Local dodgeball team hopes to shine at the World Dodgeball Championship

- For most of us, dodgeball brings back childhood memories, both good and bad, but on Monday nights at Champions Hall in Eden Prairie, the game brings out the kid in everyone.

Marjan Samadi joined Twin Cities Dodgeball about five years ago.

"You've got these adults who show up and willingly throw balls at each other. Everyone remembers dodgeball from their recess, gym days. You might not have the best memories, but you remember dodgeball," Samadi said.

Samadi is one of four Minnesotans, along with Eric Stone, Cody Foley and Charlie Struzyk who recently qualified for the U.S. Dodgeball team.

They will compete in the World Dodgeball Championship in Australia in October.

"Its a great honor being able to play dodgeball on that kind of scale. I don't know if I can put it into words," Samadi said.

Stone actually made the U.S. Men's Dodgeball team a couple of years ago, but he's looking forward to seeing his friends compete in the international competition this year as well.

"It's a big honor. Something I've worked really hard for. Dodgeball is something I am passionate about. Something I take really seriously," Stone said.

Samadi is the first female from Minnesota to make it on the U.S. Woman's Dodgeball team.

"Being able to play dodgeball on that kind of scale, I don't know if I can put it into words," Samadi said.

The rules of competitive dodgeball are the same as the school yard version. Just avoid getting hit by the seven-inch foam ball or catch it and make sure the person who threw it is out.

"It's the same rules, but everyone has their own secret sauce. Whether you are a dodger, a thrower, a catcher -- everyone has a strength. The more you can hone in on your strength, you can bring that to your team. But everyone's secret sauce is a little bit different," Samadi said.

She hopes to represent Minnesota and the U.S. well on the world stage.

"I can't wait. Its going to be great. The world will be there," she said. "You meet these people, who have the same love for the game that you do, that are half a world away. It boggles your mind and blows your mind. But at the end of the day, you have that thing in common that makes everyone feel the love. "

The players have to pay their own way to Australia, so they'll be setting up some fundraisers in the next couple of months.


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