Hi, my name is Brett Batky. I live in Bethesda, MD with my wife Christine, and work in Arlington, VA as an accountant. My earliest dodgeball memory was playing on the blacktop during summer camp. I was running around, dodging throws, when a ball got caught between my feet and I fell down hitting my head. A lot of crying and screaming followed because I was terrified of my own blood, but I was right back out there the next day.
The best part of elementary school for me was the after-school care program because it was the only time I got to play dodgeball. Sadly it was banned a couple years later. I discovered dodgeball again at The University of Mary Washington where I was reunited with that dusty, half-lit blacktop for late night pickup games every week. Since graduating I’ve competed in countless leagues and tournaments, helped coordinate competitive, charity, and youth events, managed a league for the past 5 years, and played dodgeball with 5,000 people at once.
Dodgeballers who I look up to are Stephen “Twitch” Smith, Colin Governski, Rob “Hometown” Immel, and Ed Prentiss. The passion with which they play the game and the kind, driven, inspirational people they are both on and off the court are qualities I seek to emulate.
I’m still not sure how I even got here. I think they needed a practice dummy to pummel with dodgeballs during warm-ups and just haven’t had the heart to say it’s me yet. Maybe they’re being sympathetic because my ear hasn’t stopped ringing since I ducked into one of Pack’s throws 4 years ago. My strategy in Manchester is to pump-fake as much as possible before I hand the ball to Brett Granfors.
In my experience I’ve found dodgeball to be a fantastic tool for building fitness, character, and community. It’s unfortunate that many have missed this experience due to the American perception of dodgeball as a sport that is too victimizing or more dangerous than others. I hope Team USA and the Dodgeball World Cup can help change this misperception and push dodgeball on to a grander stage.
I’ve been dreaming about dodgeball every night since my selection. I’m eager to compete with my teammates and meet all the talented, avid dodgeballers from other countries!