National Dodgeball League Amateur Association

Stinger v.s. 8.5 - The POLL results are in

Well the result are in, here's some things
we learned:

An 8.5 Division is preferred over a Stinger Division 60-40. While the 8.5 division edged out the Stingers, 40 percent of our players still want Stingers.

So what does this mean for you, the rabid
dodgeball player?

In the end, there is room for both styles of play and we'll be adding an 8.5 division to most of our tour stops this year, including the Dodgeball World Championships. This means our 2008 tournament format will have to change. Because of time constraints, round robin play and double elimination may no longer take place. However, we will adjust the entry fees to allow teams to participate in both divisions and ultimately have a chance at the same amount of games. We will be experimenting with different formats throughout the year and soliciting feedback.

Some very unscientific, anecdotal analysis:

FYI: Our database represents approximately 25,000 dodgeballers, so here are some things we learned from the survey:

  • The Stinger proponents, in general, are more tolerant of the 8.5 folks

  • The anti-stinger folks had more "militant" responses and are more likely to use profanity.

  • Some people who said they have never even played with Stingers said they disliked them

  • 8.5 balls seem to be preferred on the West Coast. Stingers on the East.

Based on the majority of comments, it appears most of the 8.5 player's advocates are simply afraid of stingers. The biggest argument against them was that they hurt. (Sidenote: we've been using stingers for over four years and there is no real evidence of increased injury over one ball over another.)

The re-occurring theme for the Stingers is that it's a faster paced game puts more emphasis on offense and prevents stalling. Some felt it was a more exciting game. Even many people in favor of the all 8.5 division were concerned about the pace of play in the 8.5 games.

The re-occurring theme for 8.5" balls are they are safer, more people will play and the emphasis is taken away from the "baseball players" that can pick people off with a stinger. Also, the 8.5 balls were easier to see for both players and officials. Another argument for the 8.5 is that more women would participate.

Some women, however, expressed that they prefer Stingers because they can actually get them in their hands to throw.

Ironically, both camps had supporters that felt their style offered more strategy

Some folks dislike the rubber balls all together and prefer the foam balls

Some of you suggested a compromise 7" ball

Some of you suggested other rule changes that we will consider in the future.

Most of you were very professional in you comments and they were greatly appreciated.

Proof that you can't please everyone.

Just so you can see what we're up against on a daily basis, here are some quotes from the survey:

"I have a co-ed team but my wife and some of the other girls won't play with stingers."

"Make a division of just the 5" balls, to make things more interesting."

"Stingers add an element of play to dodgeball that would be lost if only played with 8.5" balls. In the 8.5" league, catches would dominate the game, rather than hits. I think that is the largest problem in a 8.5" only league."

"I'd prefer (and will only competitively play in) a league with the 8.5" (or similar sized) balls. Stingers are interesting, but the addition of them completely changes the game. It does not take any skill or above average arm strength to be able to throw one of those things."

"Have zero stingers."

"6 stingers, or maybe 4 stingers and 2 blockers, we hate the blockers"

" I enjoy the mixture of a stingers and blockers. Its a blend that has worked out nicely"

"The fact that you would allow a five inch ball that can be hurled just about as fast as a baseball is really quite ridiculous. These stingers cause very severe welts no matter where they strike"

"Stingers are great. Need to change the "head shot" rule."

And, one voice of reason:

"I think this would be a great way to increase numbers. While the stingers are exciting for some I don't think they are for everyone. Best of luck."


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Fatkid Dodgeball, The Official band of the NDL.