23rd April Northern Finals Manchester
The UKDBA Northern Schools Dodgeball competition took place at Woodhouse Park Lifestyle Centre on Monday 23rd April 2012. 10 Schools travelled from around the North of England and Wales to take part in the competition. Teams were made up of boys and girls from KS3 and KS4. It was the first time for the majority of schools to take part in a Dodgeball competition and many teachers and students on the day commented on how enjoyable the day was. The competition was contested in 2 groups of 5 teams, playing best of 5 game matches against each other. The top 2 teams from each group would then advance to the semi final stage and beyond to the final. The bottom 3 teams in each group would contest best of 3 playoff matches to determine their overall position at the event.
Appealing to the inclusivity of the sport there were teams consisting of year 7’s all the way to year 11’s, teams that had trained hard and were determined to win and others who were taking part and representing their school for the very first time. Coventry Cobras (the only UKDBA affiliated club team to enter) and Long Eaton School from Nottingham showed excellent team work and it was clear that a lot of preparation and coaching had gone into their teams prior to the event. Other schools such as Stretford High and St John Bosco of Liverpool used players from backgrounds in other sports such as handball and were reliant on raw talent and would develop throughout the day. It was also great to see teams from Argoed High, Darwen Vale and All Hallows taking part that were younger than the rest but never the less held their own and played with a smile on their faces throughout.
Group 2 saw an outright winner in Stretford High who came through all their matches unbeaten, Coventry Cobras testing them the most with a well fought match up. The Coventry team however were dominant against the 3 other schools in group 2 and qualified for the semi final in 2nd place. Group 1 was a much evenly contested group with St John Bosco, Long Eaton and Blacon High all taking games off each other and it wasn’t until the final game was over in this group that we knew who would be going to the semi finals. Blacon High just missing out and this meant they would be competing in the play off matches.
In the Play off matches Sir William Stanier High School from Crewe and Flint Falcons from North Wales won all there 3 matches to finish top of the playoff group. Sir William Stanier having beaten Flint earlier in the day were to finish above them in the overall standings.
And so to the semi final match ups. Winners of Group 2 Stretford High School proved to be too strong for Long Eaton High School and marched on to the finals playing some excellent attacking Dodgeball and displaying some powerful throwing. The other semi final saw an epic encounter between the ever improving St John Bosco and Coventry Cobras. St John Bosco were taken all the way to overtime by the Coventry team but in the end it was the Liverpudlians who held there nerve to progress.
The competition final took place between Stretford High School of Stretford Manchester and St John Bosco High School from Liverpool. A high quality match took place with the 2 deserved finalists playing to their best. It was also great to see the level of sportsmanship being shown in the final with handshakes between players at the change of ends after each game. Stretford High School as they had shown throughout the day were just a step above the rest and their overall power proved too much. Congratulations to Stretford High for becoming the inaugural UKDBA North England Schools Champions.
Special thanks go to all the teachers and coaches for attending the event with their school teams, to the referees Chris and Lindsay and to Woodhouse Park Lifestyle Centre. We look forward to the increasing popularity of the sport bringing along more regional and county tournaments next year.
1. Stretford High (Manchester)
2. St John Bosco (Liverpool)
3. Long Eaton High School (Nottingham)
3. Coventry Cobras Juniors (Coventry)
5. Sir William Stanier High School (Crewe)
6. Flint Falcons (Flintshire) MVP Liam Lloyd
7. Blacon High School (Chester) MVP Ryan McKay
8. All Hallows High School (Salford) MVP Charlie Lang
9. Argoed High School (Flintshire) MVP Liam Davis
10. Darwen Vale High School (Blackburn) MVP Intasham Ulhaq