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To enter the championship, players must be 16 or older, but kids of all ages can try their hand at the sport while visiting the Sky Zone. The company started a new program called Young Stars, a program that offers a skills clinic for kids Nike Zoom Red Basketball Shoes

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With two of the teammates living in Chicago and South Dakota, it can be hard for the whole team to make it to every tournament. The distance makes their monthly tournaments even more worthwhile to catch Nike Shoes Lebron 9 Price

And this isn't typical dodgeball. Instead of being played in a gym, ultimate dodgeball is played on a giant wall to wall trampoline. The five friends discovered the unique sport less than two years ago, but have since proven themselves as fierce competitors.

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The journey to the win at the regional qualifier this year was unique. Originally, the team finished second, but since the team they lost to was ineligible to play at finals, they were called back to replay the final rounds. EPHS had to play minus a teammate, but still came out triumphant.

The championship features more than $50,000 in cash prizes, including a $20,000 award for the first place team. Teams compete from 35 Sky Zone locations across the country. This year's Championship Tournament in Las Vegas will be professionally filmed and later broadcast across the Fox Sports Network.

Five EPHS alums pursue ultimate dodgeball

ages 11 15. Participants learn crucial elements of the sport such as running, dodging and throwing, and also compete in skill competitions. The Plymouth location had about 18 kids participate this year, and they plan to offer it again next year, according to Marsh. In addition to this program, the dodgeball court is open for reservations as well as open to anyone who pays regular admission if it is not in use.

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Dean Priddy, a member of the EPHS ultimate dodgeball team, launches a ball at an opponent while teammates Bill Bodner and Kyle Burkhardt look on during the regional qualifier at Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park in Plymouth. The 2006 EPHS graduates have been playing dodgeball together since they started a club freshman year at Nike Metcon Shoes Price EPHS. (Submitted photo)

The group can often be found competing and practicing at the Sky Zone in Plymouth, where they are known for not only their skills, but also their good sportsmanship.

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"My brother and I watched extreme dodgeball a lot on the Game Show Network," Buck said. "We just loved playing."

Catapulting through the air while dodging people throwing balls at you might sound a little frightening Nike Zoom Kobe 4

Despite the fact that the group met early in the morning, the attendance ranged from 10 30 students. It was something the guys looked forward to every year and something they missed when they all went off to different colleges. When Will heard about the new ultimate sport from his brother, the guys were excited to try something new and reconnect not only with each other, but also with the sport they had enjoyed for so long.

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In just two years, the sport has seen tremendous growth across the country, and the Plymouth location is no exception. Last year the facility had 6 7 teams at the regional qualifier. This year, that number doubled to 14 teams, according to Marsh. If the sport continues to grow on this scale, changes will need to be made to accommodate the large amount of teams.

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The team, appropriately named EPHS, is comprised of Burkhardt, Will Buck, Bill Bodner, Dean Priddy and David Palm. EPHS was so successful in its first year that it won a regional competition and competed at the first annual Ultimate Dodgeball national competition in Los Angeles.

As for team EPHS, the staff at the Plymouth Sky Zone have no doubt that the team will go far and compete at the national competition once again.

to some people, but for five Eden Prairie High School graduates, it's a fun way to stay in touch and continue a passion for dodgeball that they discovered at EPHS.

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While the ultimate dodgeball team started only recently, the group of five pursued their love of the game long before they began leaping and bounding on the trampoline court. Buck came up with the idea to start a dodgeball club during the zero hour before school their freshman year at EPHS. Several of the team members were friends and teammates long before their time at EPHS, playing soccer together since the fourth grade. The tradition continued each year until they graduated in 2006.

"They have a very high level of sportsmanship and are a fan favorite around here, because they are always courteous," Sky Zone General Manager Miles Marsh said. "Despite the amount of money and high stakes, these guys have always remained grounded. We've never had any problems with these guys."

"If we have a similar rate of growth next year, we will have to add some sort of semi final round," Marsh said.

This year, the team won the regional competition once again, but the stakes are different. This year, only the top eight regional qualifiers were selected to go to nationals and unfortunately the team just missed the chance to compete at the national competition in Las Vegas. The first seven were selected based on statistics from a regional qualifier and the eighth was selected via a Facebook vote.

Nike Metcon Shoes Price

Nike Metcon Shoes Price

up with old friends.

"It allows us to continue to compete, since we're all competitive guys and it allows the camaraderie, even though we're all in different places, we can continue to do this and hang out," Burkhardt said.

"EPHS have great statistics, so they have a realistic chance of getting in," Marsh said. "I could not say enough nice things about that team. They're a great group of guys.".

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