By Jack Wisniewski
Kedma held its annual dodgeball tournament at the Reckord Armory gymnasium on Saturday, Oct. 29.
Twelve teams of at least eight students faced off for the title as champions of the tournament.
“Dodgeball is not the typical sport you think of when you think of athleticism,” said Kedma social chair Gwynne Gershenson. “It’s a silly [type of] competitive.”
Gershenson, a sophomore psychology and studio art major, said that Kedma promoted that anyone could participate in the the tournament through an event page on Facebook.
“While we are a community based on religion, we want members to get together and have fun,” Gershenson said.
The first of two preliminary rounds kicked off around 8 p.m., when teams played another along the gymnasium’s four basketball courts to earn a seed based on performance for a favorable matchup in the first knockout stage.
Following the preliminary rounds, participants and attendees socialized over pizza provided by Kedma while the officials determined the seeds.
Kedma organizes the free-to-enter event every fall because of its consistent popularity, Gershenson said.
“This is one of the first big events of the year that Kedma holds,” said Gershenson, “It’s an event we know that works.
An Orthodox student organization, Kedma helps sustain the Orthodox community that students desire.
“A lot of orthodox students from around the country come to Maryland because we have a very large orthodox community,” said Kedma President Tova Rosenthal. “We try to provide an infrastructure with the funding of events that brings the community together and gives people a comfortable space to practice Judaism.”
This year, members of the Kedma board refereed the games instead of the usual student volunteers.
The tournament’s proximity to recent Jewish holidays probably had to do with the lack of student volunteers, said Kedma technical chair Amos Remer.
“The tournament usually falls around the same time during the semester, but the chagim fell late this year,” said Remer, a junior aerospace engineering major. “Fewer people showed up this year in general because of work or being tired.”
Nathan Fredman, a junior physics major, played to redeem his team’s legacy over the past two years.
“We’ve lost every single game in the past,” Fredman said. “This year we decided to play because we want to win once.”
Fredman’s team, Make Dodgeball Great Again, maintained three players from previous years. The team lost narrowly in the first knockout round.
“We had a lot of fun,” Fredman said. “I mean, what else are you going to do on a Saturday night?”
Alexa Kwart, a junior American studies major, said that her previous school did not host these sorts of events while she spectated a game from the bleachers along the gymnasium wall.
“It’s amazing that there are so many different teams,” Kwart said. “Seeing all of these people come together to play dodgeball is exciting.”
Kedma did not provide a prize to the winning team, Gershenson said.
Despite this, the winning team, Line a Day, managed to make the best of their success, said sophomore business major Ben Taragin.
“We came for the brotherhood and to win,” said Taragin.
“I’m happy with the outcome,” Taragin said. “We are going to come back stronger next year and we’re not going to lose any games.”