KZMU's Invasion of the Glooban Ballsnatchers won the award for best team theme at the 2017 Moab Gear Trader Dodgeball Tournament. [Courtesy photo]

Funny costumes. Teams loudly “dissing” each other. People leaping and contorting to avoid contact with an inflated ball.

This. Is. Dodgeball.

Dodgeball has graduated from the elementary schools to become a bona-fide sport. Dodgeballers try to tag each other with the ball while simultaneously avoiding this themselves.

If you attend a charity dodgeball tournament at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 3, at the Grand County Middle School gym, you will see athletic aptitude as well as weird costumes. Dodgeball is the sort of sport that’s perfect for the spectators as well as the teams.

For dodgeballers, it seems that skill level is not as important as a willingness to have a good time.

“We are very excited about our Community Rebuilds team this year, as we will have our brand-new group of 17 interns joining in the fun,” said Claire Spalding, coordinator for Community Rebuilds. “Last year, the tournament took place before our interns arrived, so this year’s tournament will be a great way to introduce them to the Moab community. I always appreciate how this event attracts a wide cross section of the community, giving a snapshot of how wonderful and supportive this town is.”

Participants can act silly in an environment where it is appreciated by all. The team registration page encourages them to wear costumes that “instill fear (or laughter)” as they use dodgeballs to tag each other.

“Although we aren’t a particularly competitive team,” Spalding said, “and we will likely be eliminated very early on, it’s so fun to see everyone out on the court, rallying around a great organization.”

Gather together a team of six to 10 players and register through the event website at to experience a few hours of strategic and wacky group exercise. You can make new friends. You might even win one of numerous prizes, especially if your team costume is creative.

An adult team must have at least one youth member; eighth grade is the cutoff. If you’ve never played dodgeball or haven’t since you were a youth, try to remain humble as your youth team member schools you on the ins and outs of the sport. Sometimes, expert advice flows up the ladder of age.

For very little money – $3 per adult and $1 per child – spectators get to yell a lot and cheer for all the entertaining (yet determined) people on the court. Refreshments will be available, and a raffle will be held. Spectators can consider donning their own costumes to support the spirit of the event.

All proceeds from this event will go directly to the BEACON Afterschool Program. BEACON provides after-school programs for children in grades kindergarten through eight, offering diversified enrichment and academic learning opportunities to Moab’s youth.

“We are excited to see the enthusiasm and energy that people bring to the court this year,” BEACON Program Manager Kaitlin Thomas said. “It is fun watching registrations roll in, and we will have some new and returning teams at the tournament. We hope for a great community turnout to support after-school programming, and look forward to who will take the championship belt this year!”

BEACON has received event sponsorship from Moab Gear Trader, Moab City Recreation, Best Western Canyonlands Inn, Aarchway Inn, Moab Chevron, Moab Happenings, Sunset Grill, Eklecticafe and Turner Lumber.

Want to get fired up for the event? Consider watching the film “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story.”

Whether you’re a dodgeballer or a spectator, be ready to have a ball!

Fundraising dodgeball tournament comes to GCMS gym on Feb. 3

What: 6th Annual Moab Gear Trader Dodgeball Tournament

When: Saturday, Feb. 3, at 11 a.m.

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

Cost: For spectators: $3 per adult and $1 per child. For dodgeballers: $40 to $80; visit the registration website for more information