By Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Troth

CAMP CASEY -- Normally you wouldn't associate Angry Birds with Hotdogs or Nachos and Coke. But add five rubber balls and It's Not What You Think, and you have Camp Casey's 5-on-5 Dodgeball Tournament, which occurred Oct. 13 at the Carey Fitness Center.

The team sport that most elementary through high school students do during physical education in the states isn't just for kids anymore. Although the sport has been around for years, it had a resurgence after Vince Vaughn's 2004 movie "DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story."

Dodgeball has spread throughout the United States. Colleges have intramural leagues and local community sports centers -- such as Washington D.C.'s Arlington Athletic and Social League -- have recreational and competitive leagues.

The U.S. National Dodgeball League, which includes the Pittsburgh Punishers, the Houston Bounty Hunters and the Seattle Bluedogs hosted the 9th annual Dodgeball World Championships in Las Vegas this August. The championship brought together teams from Japan, Australia, Canada and Great Britain.

In Area I, nine teams took on the dodgeball challenge laid down by the Camp Casey Better Opportunities for Single (and unaccompanied) Soldiers, or BOSS, program.

In the true spirit of the dodgeball movie, some of the teams took to the court in "unique" team uniforms.

"We were going to do the whole 2-I-D shorts thing," Pfc. Robert Ferguson, of Battery B, 1st Battalion, 38th Field Artillery Regiment, said in a reference to the 2nd Infantry Division. "But, we went to the Exchange and found some Angry Birds costumes and thought 'Why not?'"
And thus team Angry Birds was hatched.

Another team that dressed for the tournament was from Company B, 2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, known as the "Manchus."

"My buddy plays dodgeball in college and they wear all yellow with white head bands," said Pfc. Cody Crutchfield, team captain for the Manchus.

"So I was like, we are the Manchus, so let's get our black Manchu t-shirts, black shorts, and the captain will wear black head and wrist bands, while his pawns wear white," he said.

Just because a team opted to wear a "unique" uniform didn't mean they didn't take the competition seriously. Crutchfield's Manchus, who found out about the tournament just hours before it started, were serious about winning.

"You have to pick the people you think are good athletes and know how to throw and jump… they have to be agile," said Crutchfield, who evidently picked his team wisely, as they took first-place in the tournament.

"We wanted to give the Soldiers something fun to do on the weekend," said Spc. Crystalyne Matthews, BOSS representative for Company B, 302nd Brigade Support Battalion. "It was an inexpensive event for everyone involved, it didn't cost a dime to participate in or set up."

Matthews said that during the tournament some of the participants said they'd like to have more dodgeball tournaments scheduled, possibly even a peninsula-wide competition.

"This is a great idea and will allow them to have fun on more than just one day," Matthews said. "We are always looking for ideas on what to do, so if someone has an idea of an event they would like BOSS to do, they need to contact their unit BOSS rep, or every Wednesday, we have a meeting at the Casey CAC at 3 p.m. and they are more than welcome to come. They can not only give us their idea, but also find out what is going on at Camp Casey." x\