Albany Parks & Recreation Department is betting on the success of playground sports like dodgeball and kickball — and not worrying about being picked last in gym class, so to speak.
The department is holding its first ever dodgeball league this fall, and plans are underway for kickball this spring, said Bruce Edwards, recreation sports coordinator.
“We’re really promoting the social aspect of this league and the fun side of it,” Edwards said.
“These playground sports, people are really enjoying them. It brings you back to your childhood, and you get in good shape while doing it,” he added.
Edwards said dodgeball and kickball have been on the rise in the last five years or so, and other cities already have leagues.
He is considering holding tournaments to bring traveling teams, and a bit of an economic boost, to Albany, similar to softball.
“They’re already running tournaments throughout the state,” Edwards said.
The deadline to register for the co-ed dodgeball league, which is open to players 18 and older, is Oct. 14.
Cost is $250 per team through Tuesday, and $275 after that. Single players also can sign up for $25 before Tuesday, and $28 afterward.
Edwards hopes to get at least eight teams for the Tuesday night league, which will be held at Timber Ridge School.
Teams need to have between six to 12 members, and they will play one or more matches each night of league play.
Playground Sports, which runs dodgeball and other leagues throughout the Willamette Valley, will help coordinate Albany’s league for the city.
Albany’s league will use official dodgeballs — not red playground balls — that have some give to them but don’t lose their shape or fall apart.
And the league will have raffles and other activities at a local establishment after games.
“We are still looking for a sponsor bar at this point,” Edwards said.
The team that wins the season-ending tournament will get its name engraved on a trophy, and will get to take the hardware home for the offseason, similar to the Stanley Cup.
Edwards said kickball teams also will play on Tuesday nights at city softball fields, which fits in well with the Albany’ softball schedule.
The city of Corvallis also has an adult dodgeball league this fall. The registration deadline is Tuesday.
Dave Evenson, Corvallis Parks & Recreation Department recreation coordinator, said this is the 11th year the city has done dodgeball.
“It kind of got started back when they had that movie,” he said.
“Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story,” which starred Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn, came out in 2004.
“We haven’t tried kickball yet,” Evenson added.
For more information on Corvallis’ adult dodgeball league, go to www.corvallisoregon.gov/index.aspx?page=263.
For more information on Albany’s adult dodgeball league, go to http://teamsideline.com/albany.