GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba - Teams from across Guantanamo Bay dodged, dipped, ducked and dived to avoid elimination at the Morale, Welfare and Recreation’s dodgeball tournament Aug. 24.
Ten squads of six players flung the brightly-colored balls across center court in an attempt to make it to the next round of play in this double-elimination tournament.
“The turnout was great,” said Jim Holbert, MWR sports coordinator. “We had about 30 or 40 volunteers and six of them were the officials and did a good job.”
The volunteers surrounded the court and acted as ball shaggers for stray spheres that were thrown outside the court. Holbert said the last dodgeball tournament held was nine on nine and took place at the hockey rink but for this tournament the MWR decided to change the location and number of people on each team.
“These guys put in a service to take care of us through these games to raise morale and it helps us out,” said Air Force Tech Sgt. Bryan Jones, an electrical systems craftsman with the Base Engineer Emergency Force.
“This is good fun right here and this supports the entire idea of MWR,” said Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Eric Doussett, Hospital Corpsman with the Fleet Marine Force, Joint Medical Group.
As the tournament progressed, teams were knocked out of the brackets until only two remained, Crazy Balls and the Dirt Boyz, both of which were comprised of GTMO’s BEEF. After more than three hours of play, the roar of the crowd did not die down.
“Everyone was into it, there was a lot of cheering going on,” said Holbert.
As if a scene from a Hollywood movie, the last game of tournament came down to a kind of sudden death match where the playing court was shortened and the teams faced off in a kind of thunder dome battle. In the end, it was the Dirt Boyz who came out victorious.
The MWR plans on hosting another dodgeball tournament in four or five months.