Sweat pours down their faces. They dab their brows with matching wristbands and hurl balls at retreating figures with all their force. The members of the Baytown Bitch Slappers have just nailed their latest victims. That's life at the Houston Dodgeball Association, the local league spawned with the help of 94.5 the Buzz morning host Rod Ryan. Ryan began the push when schools started banning dodgeball. "It kinda hit us out of nowhere," he says. "We knew we had to do something to protect the sport." Now, hundreds show up every Wednesday at the Outback Pub to throw balls at one another. "Everybody can play," says Ryan. "You don't need equipment, just some shoes and a ball. And you get to relive your childhood." Surprisingly, it's not just guys at these meets. "Each team must have a minimum of three women," says Ryan. (What self-respecting woman wouldn't want to join a team called the Bitch Slappers?)
Expect a huge crowd for this Wednesday's tourney finals, thanks to Ben Stiller's upcoming Dodgeball flick. "With that movie and all our new leagues this fall, this could be the new 'it' game," says Ryan. Tournament winners get trophies, a shot at the MVP title and a chance to bond with fellow bitch-slappees over a drink. 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 23. 3100 Fountain View. For information, call 713 780-2392 or visit www.thebuzz.com. Free until 8 p.m. $5 thereafter.-- Steven Devadanam
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You don't need a pit crew, a half-million-dollar car or even a mullet to enjoy the thrill of racing. But with high insurance rates and pesky cops, what's a leadfoot to do these days? Most speedy Houstonians used to go-cart at the fabled Malibu Grand Prix. But this bastion of Formula 1 mock-racing (for kids and bigger kids) is gone. Now Celebration Station, once known as merely a putt-putt place, carries the checkered flag. You can vent your road rage, impress a date and experience the thrill of crashing into a row of tires at 20 miles per hour during "Roaring Thursdays," the Station's all-day drive-a-thon. Start your engines and practice your left turns from noon to midnight. 6767 Southwest Freeway. For information, call 713-981-7888 or visit www.celebrationstation.com. $5. -- Steven Devadanam