National Dodgeball League

The Opening Rush - Issue 10 :: The Arm Fake

The Opening Rush: An inside look into the sport of dodgeball.

I hunch in the corner of the court, patient, coiled; doing my best to remain small and unnoticed. Sweat beads down the snarl I show the other team as I wait for the right opportunity to present itself. What they don’t see lies in my hand- hidden behind my back, ready to strike.
As throws are exchanged, my teammate Twitch approaches the line and fires a ball with a ferocious grunt. Off-balance from his throw, the opposition takes advantage of his vulnerability and charges, ball at the ready.

I start forward, slowly, timing my movement with the thrower. As they bear down on Twitch I exaggerate my motions, I want them to see me, I want them to pick me up in their peripheral vision, I want them to fear what’s coming. I rear back to throw- the opponent halts. Sensing the impending doom that will befall them if they release their ball they pause to block and defend themselves. My snarl is now a menacing glare, in one swift motion I release my throw and step back…air.

The opponent looks confused. A smirk etches my lips. Twitch has safely found his way to the backcourt and awaits the throw from a distance.


To be effective the opposition must believe you have a ball. Pose as if you are picking up a ball or put your hand behind your back when they’re not looking. To be convincing, every now and then you must actually hide a ball behind your back and pick someone off. Mix it up. Give them a reason to fear you.

Situational Use

  1. To slow an individual thrower. Whether to protect your teammates or yourself, throw an arm fake to slow a thrower’s approach to the line. It’s advantageous because it can cause their throw to be less accurate and/or powerful, and if it stops them completely it allows time for your team to retreat to a safer distance.
  2. To slow opposing team throws. For the same reasons above, plus if you stop one or two of their throwers you will disrupt their coordination. The effect is fewer balls to track, dodge, and a better opportunity to catch.
  3. On the attack. If the opposition doesn't know who on your team has a ball, you can throw the arm fake in attack as a distraction. This will split their sights and result in a hindered reaction time on their part.

Brett Batky, New York Epic #43

Brett BatkyNew York Epic, #43


Custom Ink

Fatkid Dodgeball, The Official band of the NDL.