HOUSTON – There’s a new twist to the old school game of dodgeball, and it includes the chance to win big bucks.
3D Dodgeball, which takes place on a giant court made up of trampolines, is popular with teens and young adults. Players can jump several feet in the air to avoid getting hit by the dreaded ball.
Now Sky Zone – a popular trampoline park—is hosting a national tournament with $100,000 in prize money. Five-member teams will face off in each four-minute match.
The teams that win regional qualifying tournaments will advance to California where the champions will get a $25,000 grand prize.
In 3D Dodgeball, athleticism is matched with attitude.
"I’ve been told I look like Spiderman sometimes jumping around," said 16-year-old Johnny Zaragoza, a former gymnast.
"I’m the best," countered his buddy Louis Flores, also 16.
Most games are over within two minutes.
"When you’re playing, it’s action packed. Its going, like, it’s fast," said Flores. "You’re not thinking. You’re just throwing and dodging."
There are no replacement refs here. Two marshals call each game and it’s a serious business since cold hard cash is on the line.
Dodgeball has been banned in schools all over the country because it’s considered to mean.
"It teaches kids, well, about life pretty much," said Mohammad Binzahid, a referee.
The game will also give you a workout. Sky Zone employees say an hour of non-stop jumping burns 1,000 calories.
The deadline to register for the tournament is September. The local regional contest is held at Sky Zone on 10207 S. Sam Houston Parkway West at South Gessner on October 1 and 2. Entry fee is $200 a team.