Great Balls of Fire competed at last year's Moab Gear Trader Dodgeball Tournament. At least one of the team's players will be back for this year's tournament on Saturday, Jan. 30, to play dodgeball for the The Untouchaballs. [Courtesy photo]

Do you want to make a difference in local kids’ lives – and watch grown men and women in silly costumes throw things at each other?

If so, the BEACON Afterschool Program has just the event for you.

The Moab Gear Trader Dodgeball Tournament returns for four hours of fun and mayhem on Saturday, Jan. 30, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Grand County Middle School gym, 439 S. 100 East. Tickets are $3 per adult and $1 per student; all of the proceeds will directly enhance BEACON’s programs for kindergarten through eighth-grade students during after-school hours.

BEACON serves more than 700 individual students each year, and Moab Gear Trader owner Marshall Dvorscak said his company is sponsoring the fundraising event for the second year in a row as a show of support for the program.

“We wanted to have the biggest influence we could in making the town and the community a better place,” Dvorscak said. “We love what they do and we want to support them in any way we can.”

For anyone who needs a refresher course in the sport, dodgeball is a fast-paced game where players from opposing teams try to take down their rivals by striking them with a ball below their shoulders.

Although elementary school students first popularized dodgeball, adults have increasingly embraced the game in the years since the 2004 Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller movie “DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story” enthralled audiences everywhere.

Like many others his age, Dvorscak hasn’t played dodgeball since he was in grade school. But from the safety of the stands, he still gets a kick out of the hugely entertaining spectator sport. When a ball crash-lands onto its human target, he said, the whole stadium will erupt.

“The afternoon flies by, and it gets even more heated as you get to the finals,” he said. “The crowd goes wild.”

This year’s teams will be competing for prizes in the “Team Theme,” “Overall Winner” and “Sportsmanship” categories.

With so much at stake, the Moab Sun News tried – but failed – to track down a player whose competitive dodgeball-playing persona matches that of Donald Trump or Kanye West. However, it did hear back from more modest teams like The Untouchaballs, which includes nine players so far from the Youth Garden Project and Community Rebuilds.

“We’re there to support BEACON and have some fun on the weekend,” Youth Garden Project program manager and team organizer Julie Zender said.

Zender hasn’t played dodgeball in at least eight years, but she and her teammates hope to hold a practice session this weekend.

“We’re not too competitive, but maybe on the day of, that will change,” she said.

Win or lose, Zender is looking forward to the game.

“I’m most excited about getting together with friends and wearing a crazy costume,” she said.

One person who won’t be joining her on the court is Moab Valley Multicultural Center Executive Director Rhiana Medina, who doesn’t appreciate the idea of someone throwing a ball in her direction.

“I’m a scaredy cat,” she said. “I’d be out within two seconds.”

However, Medina said she hopes to volunteer in any way she can to help BEACON and its mission.

In addition to the main event, the tournament will include a raffle; refreshments will also be available.

Registration is $80 per adult team, and $40 for each public service group, nonprofit or youth team.

For more information, or to register a team, call 435-719-4717, or email

Moab Gear Trader Dodgeball Tournament returns on Jan. 30

“The afternoon flies by, and it gets even more heated as you get to the finals … The crowd goes wild.”

When: Saturday, Jan. 30, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Grand County Middle School gym, 439 S. 100 East

Cost: $3 per adult and $1 per student; children 3 and under get in free

Information: 435-719-4717

For more information, or to register a team, call 435-719-4717, or email