Rather than write a lengthy narrative describing and recounting the events that transpired during the 2nd Annual MSM Dodgeball Tournament, I figured a lengthy bulleted list would suffice.
– The Turnout – We had an MSM event record 140 students (watchers/players) show up for some sweet dodgeball action! We were praying/hoping/planning for around 100, and once again God proved that our dreams were too small.
– The Teams – Last year we had 16 teams, but this year we had 23 teams, many of which were completely or primarily made up of students that were not from our church and of those, many I had never even seen before.
– The Team Names/GUYS – “The Grrr!”, “The Jewish Men/IRA”, “Black Knights”, “Crown of Thorns”, “Time Warp”, “Hawaiian Punch”, “The Bosses”, “Jay’s Minions”, “Leroy Jenkins”, “Super Generals”, “The Blanks” (CHAMPS), “The Bruisers”, “Gilly in the Mist”, “Team Canada”, “Fearsome Five”, “Canasota”, “Biff”
– The Team Names/GIRLS – “Rainbow Zebras”, “The Dodgeball Team”, “The Thunderstorm”, “Crown of Thorns” (CHAMPS), “Pink Shock”, “The Swimmin’ Women”
– The Tournament – We use a “Round Robin” tournament format where we just keep playing and playing and no one get’s “knocked out” until the playoffs. All the guys teams played at least 5 games and the girls each played 7 games. My dad helped create the match-ups and the winning teams reported right to him. We had the top 10 guys teams advance to a single-elimination tournament where “The Blanks” beat “Crown of Thorns” in the championship game. For the girls, we only had a championship game between the two top teams and “Crown of Thorns” topped “Pink Shock” to take the crown.
– The “Fan Zone” – We had poster-board and markers in the cafe area where students could make posters for their favorite team. Most teams made posters for themselves (shocking), but there were also some genuine fans who showed up to support their favorite team, and this gave them another way to do that.
– The “Sky Deck” – We opened up the stage for students to sit/stand and watch the games from. It created almost an “arena” atmosphere and kept the students who weren’t playing connected to the games. They had to be paying attention because they were right in the line of fire and sometimes had to throw dodgeballs back into play. But it worked out really well and was a tremendous upgrade from last year’s entry way watch area because it could hold 3 times the students.
– The Leaders – We had leaders in the cafe taking care of the food, we had leaders in the mezzanine checking on the people playing wii, we had leaders in the “Fan Zone” helping with posters and leaders on the “Sky Deck” keeping students somewhat under control, we had leaders refereeing and leaders taking pictures, leaders doing registration, and a leader organizing the games that were played. Without the leaders, there is no tournament. They made it happen. Thank you, each one of you. GREAT JOB!
– The Students – Attitudes have a tendency to be tested when competition is introduced, but I can honestly say that the students had great attitudes last night. Aside from the verbal disappointment that comes from getting out or losing a tough game, all the students should be commended. Even during the break in between while I was sharing my story, they seemed to be (for the most part) quite attentive. GREAT JOB!
– The Pictures – There are more to come, but for now, check them out HERE.
– The Promotion – We printed business cards for students to pass out to their friends. We printed postcards to give to our students to put on their fridge. We printed posters which we put in the stairwell leading up to our Middle School room and students also took some and put them up in their schools. We made announcements in our service, created an event on Facebook, and we made a video (below) which we showed on the Sunday before the tournament.
– The Prizes/Giveaways – Each winning team (guys and girls) got a $40 gift card to Pizza Hut so they could go celebrate their dominance. Each winning “Best Dressed” team (as voted on by a secret panel of judges) received a pair of “special” socks (girls got tie-dye while guys got Under Armour). We also gave away 6 “regulation” dodgeballs that were given away to anyone who was there (they put their name on a ticket when they came in and that was their entrance into the drawing.) We gave all of it away at the end.
– The Gospel – After about an hour of dodgeball, we took a break and had them all sit down while I shared the Gospel with them. I talked about how when I was growing up and playing baseball, I hated pitching because I could NEVER throw it where I wanted to, which is the whole goal of the pitcher. It was equated to that no matter how hard we try, we miss the mark (Rom. 3:23) and because of it we need the gift of God to save us (Rom. 6:23). I tried to make it somewhat sports-related because of the nature of the event and the students seemed to be following along well.
– The Invite – At the very end of the night, all of the students got an invite back to hang with us on Sunday morning at 11 for our service, “MSM Live.” I also included that, “…if you’re already going somewhere on Sundays, go there” because I’m not into recruiting other church’s students. But I know there were students there that don’t have anywhere to be on Sunday and they all got an invite to hang with us and hopefully they’ll get an invite from the friend that brought them and we’ll see them Sunday.
– The Summary – It was a GREAT night. You should have been there. Much more to share. Just ask. : )