I wasn’t originally going to go to this event. At the beginning of the 2017/18 season, I’d looked at British Dodgeballs event list to try and see which ones were going to be held close to me, and then looked at the dates to see if I wasn’t busy on any of them. There were only a couple of events I thought I’d be able to get to and this wasn’t one of them. I was working nights over this weekend and after speaking to a friend who would be there on both days, thought I’d try and get along to one day over the weekend, and I decided that would be the Saturdays event. On the Saturday they had the womens and juniors tournaments, then on the Sunday they had the mens tournament.
As I was meant to be working nights, I got Saturday night off, but that did mean I was still working Friday night as I couldn’t justify having two or three nights off to attend this event. After working Friday night, I finished work at 7am Saturday morning, getting home and managing to grab about an hour, maximum an hour and a half, of sleep, I was up again having a quick shower and heading out.
This event was held at Derby Arena and that was one of the reasons I decided to go along, from photos I’d seen online it looked like a really nice place. It isn’t too far from where I’m based, and after a short drive I was there. I had looked online to check that Derby County weren’t playing at home on the same day, as their stadium is right next to the arena, but they played the previous evening.
When I arrived I made my way into the main hall where the dodgeball was taking place, there was a viewing area signposted for upstairs, but for a start I went courtside. Walking in, I could see that there were lots of games taking place at the same time and in total there were 6 courts for the games. Upstairs and above where the dodgeball event was held there was a velodrome with bicycles going round throughout the day, a really nice sporting arena on first impressions.
I walked round to one of the courts on the far side where East Anglia Vikings women’s team, The Valkyries, were on court. While there aren’t any specific teams that I support in the world of dodgeball, I tend to follow the teams that have people I know in them and for this day I was mainly here for East Anglia Valkyries in the women’s tournament and Ultimate dodge in the juniors tournaments.
I didn’t really plan on taking too many photos, but the photos I would take would be of Ultimate Dodge and their four teams entered into the English Open. They had one team at under 11’s, one at under 13’s and two for the under 16’s category. One of my oldest friends from school is the coach for them, so most the photos taken would be passed onto him. I did take a few photos of East Anglia Valkyries to kind of warm up a bit, get my setting sorted and see what the lighting was like in the venue. I also took some photos of the women’s final between Lutterworth Meteors and Bedford Mighty Eagles.
Throughout the day I was wandering around and watching the various games going on, throughout the six courts. In one way it is great to have that many courts and be able to have more teams in the tournament, but I did find it a bit annoying when wanting to watch two games that were taking place at the same time. I ventured upstairs to the viewing area, and while there were a few people up there, I think most people were just watching from courtside, but you could see more of an overview from up there, so that may be a better way to watch the games when they clash.
With me not having much sleep, as the day went on I was starting to feel it and getting quite tired towards the end of the day. The tournament started around 10am and went on till about 7pm with presentations to finish the day. Even though I was knackered by the end, it was a nice day out, I got to take a look around Derby Arena, saw some high quality dodgeball action and caught up with a few people I hadn’t seen for a while. It’s a venue I’m sure will be used again for other tournaments so it probably won’t be too long until I’m back here again and hopefully that time I will have had more sleep beforehand.