Five Denver dodgeball players selected to compete on Team USA for 2024 World Dodgeball Championships

Five Denver players selected to represent Team USA Dodgeball in World Dodgeball Championships in Austria
Five Denver dodgeball players selected to compete on Team USA for 2024 World Dodgeball Championships
Posted at 3:44 PM, Jun 02, 2024

DENVER — Some people know it as a childhood game, others equate it with a movie from 2004, but dodgeball in Denver is part of a growing community and some of those players are heading to a worldwide stage in a few months.

Within the Summit Sports League is a dodgeball community, which is where many players have excelled on the court.

There are four different ball types used in dodgeball — two of which are played internationally. The sport has both women's and men's teams, along with mixed teams.

Five Denver players were selected to represent Team USA Dodgeball in the 2024 World Dodgeball Championships in Austria in August.

Jenny Hodge has been playing for a dozen years and is the captain of the women's playoff team.

“Worlds is a chance for all the countries to get together in the world and compete in one tournament," Hodge explained, saying the championships happen every two years. “In Austria alone, our women's division is playing 30 different countries ... It's intimidating, but it's such a great experience. I'm so glad that the sport has grown to what it is.”

Hodge competed on Team USA in 2022 as well.

"I think we had 10 teams competing in my division. Now, to go three times that in two years, especially with everything going on with the pandemic and everything, it's just seen huge growth. And I think we're going to continue to see it expand and grow," Hodge said.

Five Denver dodgeball players selected to compete on Team USA for 2024 World Dodgeball Championships

Despite the international attention, Hodge said many people are shocked when she tells them she plays dodgeball competitively.

“Any work event that you go to, they're like, 'Oh, what's a fun fact?' And someone might be like, 'I do this hobby. This hobby,'" Hodge said with a smile. "Oh, actually, I compete internationally for Team USA playing dodgeball. And it's fun because it's instantly a conversation spark.”

Allie Vizcarrando is another dodgeball player who will be traveling to Austria for the championships.

"It's super up and coming. We hope to get into the Olympics soon," said Vizcarrando. “At a city level, our league here is so much fun. Everybody is so welcoming. There's always going to be a friendly face.”

Vizcarrando — who specializes in dipping and diving to avoid being hit with a ball — has been injured a handful of times playing dodgeball. She broke her leg, her nose, and even lost her two front teeth — risks that come in a sport where balls are being thrown at over 60 miles per hour.

“Any sport, there's a risk for injury, but to me, it's worth it. I have so much fun," said Vizcarrando.

The world championships last seven days.

“It's going to be expensive, but again, you know, worth it to all of us. We're going to have a great time and hopefully bring back the gold for the USA," Vizcarrando said. “Any bit that anybody can donate to us, it means a lot to us. We're not able to go there, you know, without the help of our family, friends, and all the other people who support us.”

The players selected for Team USA Dodgeball started a fundraiser to help raise money for their travel and expenses.

Online, the GoFundMe states limited funds are coming from Team USA Dodgeball, so the players must raise money for their "airfare, lodging, food, transportation, and any incidentals." The five players are hoping to raise $20,000 for the championships in Austria in August.

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