Dodgeball: Bandits courting success as sports centre puts them on right lines in ‘UK first’

The Banks O'Dee Sport Centre has put down the first permanent dodgeball courts in the UK, according to local team the Deeside Bandits. Pictured are the Bandits and the Guerillas training.

An Aberdeen dodgeball team think they are the first in the UK to have permanent courts to play the game.

Deeside Bandits now have two home courts lined at Banks o’ Dee Sports Centre at Spain Park in Abbotswell Road.

Dan Bennington, 30, an IT manager by day and the club’s treasurer, said: “Dodgeball is a fledgling sport, which has picked up interest and numbers in the last couple of years, especially in Aberdeen.

“But nowhere has dodgeball lines and most of the sports halls in Aberdeen didn’t want us to put down tape, which is what we usually use to mark out the courts.

“Banks o’ Dee was one of the halls we were struggling with and that was our home court.

“We met with the manager, Ian Watson, and he was really helpful and receptive. He agreed to get the lines painted as long as we kept up our attendance at the centre.

“He agreed before Christmas and we got the lines put down between Christmas and New Year.”

The Bandits had their first session at their permanent home on January 3.

Bennington said the team had to keep visiting to make sure the lines were painted correctly and were up to British Dodgeball Association standards.

Banks o’ Dee general manager Watson said: “Banks o’ Dee is a not-for-profit registered charity and one of our goals is to promote and develop sport.

“It was an opportunity for us to have dodgeball here on a more permanent basis.

“There was a cost to us to put in the lines permanently, but, in discussion with the team, it was something new and I feel it is something that has interest to a lot of people as well.

“There’s special paint that goes down with hardener in it, which permanently marks the court.

“I know they (Deeside Bandits) talked to their association and found out the parameters the courts needed to be marked out in.

“There are a fair amount of different lines there, but we’ve all worked together and come up with the exact specification of lines required for them.”

Deeside Bandits broke off from the Granite City’s other dodgeball team, the Granite City Guerrillas, in 2016.

Bennington said, with the permanent courts in place, they can now push on with UK-wide competitions and they have fixtures scheduled in Preston next month.

The Bandits finished second to the Guerrillas in the Scottish Dodgeball Premier League last year, with this year’s league due to start this month.

They also finished runners-up in the Scottish Championship.

The knock-out championship starts up again in May, with the winner qualifying for the UK version of the competition.

Deeside Bandits train every Wednesday at 8pm and are always on the look-out for new players. More information can be found at www.facebook.com/deesidebandits

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