Dodgeball isn't just for kids anymore. In the past three years, the number of adults playing the sport has jumped a yearly 20%, analysts say, per the Wall Street Journal. And for those who are good at it, there's serious cash to be won. "The money is great, so it kind of validates that it's becoming a real sport," says one player. A recent championship in Las Vegas had a $20,000 prize; over a two-year period, one top team reports winning $100,000.
It may help that their star is, in his own words, "the LeBron James" of dodgeball. Indeed, Vince Marchbanks, 30, takes the sport seriously, playing about eight hours per week and watching videos of other teams for four hours. He tells USA Today that "dodgeball is the most fun sport known to man." Meanwhile, the opposite trend is happening in schools: Fewer are playing the game, the Journal notes. In 2005, the National Association for Sport and Physical Education reported that "it is not appropriate to teach our children that you win by hurting others."