Hi, I’m Anne Koester and I work in Communications in New York City, NY. I first participated in dodgeball on the hard wood court of my parochial school, when I was somewhere around 7 years old. This was pre-uber-litigious USA and they were still allowing compulsive and uncoordinated grade schoolers to reverse expensive orthodontia in gym classes around the country, or at least around Indiana where I was raised. I adored it.
It was the perfect counterbalance to an otherwise strict Catholic-school existence, and since it was the default fill-in whenever our gym teacher ran out of patience we were able to play it with increasing frequency through the otherwise plodding school year. But I think somewhere around 4th grade, after too many students were taken out by errant face throws (myself included), our rubber balls were repurposed for four square and we resumed a relatively pastoral existence. My only access to this celestial sport coming through fever dreams in the night, full of unanswered longing.
Years would pass during which I was lucky enough to secure an education, get involved in other sports, get hit in the face with other balls, and age. I never spent a lot of time reminiscing about parochial school itself but every once in a while I’d fondly remember the brief – but fiery – romance that was old school dodgeball, and wish for us to run into each other at the library or a revue or something.
When I first moved to NYC it looked like, as with good cheap tacos and easily accessible swimming pools before it, dodgeball was one of the few things that the city couldn’t, or just wouldn’t, offer. Happily, however, an internet search discovered a local dodgeball league, (divine?) creation of Ari Goldberg, for which I have been exceedingly grateful. It’s been my pleasure to be able to participate the last couple of years alongside fully developed and coordinated versions of the kids who always singlehandedly nailed everyone in gym. I’m happy to be there competing against – and learning from – this hit and run community. And I’m really happy to be playing in Manchester.