//vol.16-1 Viewpoint: Sports


Dodging the Ball and Learning About Life 

by Abby Chan

Playing dodgeball has become an integral part of Abby Chan’s life, imparting invaluable life lessons about team spirit and the importance of perseverance. 


I was introduced to dodgeball in 2015, when I was 15. Invited to join Ling Fung, a sports club for dodgeball training, the team camaraderie and enjoyment of the game kept me enthralled. I practised really hard and became a member of the Hong Kong Dodgeball Team in 2018, first playing in the U21 Category, before being promoted to the Open Girls Team.

Dodgeball is a team sport in which players on two opposing teams try to throw balls and hit opponents while avoiding being hit themselves. The objective of each team is to eliminate all members of the opposing team by hitting them with thrown balls, catching a ball thrown by an opponent, or inducing an opponent to commit a violation. The use of five balls with six players per side during competitions has made this event even more demanding and thrilling than the other ball games.

As a player, you are faced with more than one ball being thrown at you at the same time. You are required to make prompt decisions of whether to dodge or catch the ball. The cooperative effort of team members is essential for teams to achieve their objectives.


Life Lessons 

Like in life, everyone on the team has his or her strengths and weaknesses. In the game, you might be a powerful attacker, while another might be a solid defender. The important thing is that all the team members support and complement each other. With each having a significant role to play, the outcome depends on our collective performance through the duration of the match. This is the kind of strong bond and teamwork that keeps me tied to dodgeball and sustains me through all the effort, sweat and tears.

Dodgeball also provides a sense of accomplishment, especially when I excel under pressure. When I encounter a strong opponent in defence, I challenge myself to catch the ball. If I manage to “kill” or catch a ball, I feel happy and excited. The reward is immediate and gratifying.

Whatever the result, whether we win or lose, there are precious lessons to learn. Every time we fall short, with our post-match reviews, we acknowledge our shortcomings and commit ourselves to improving our skills and abilities for the next round.


Representing Hong Kong 

As a member of the Hong Kong Dodgeball Team, I have had opportunities to compete overseas, both in the Asian Cup and World Cup.

Last year, at the 2022 Dodgeball World Cup we went to Cairo, Egypt. This was an exhilarating experience facing the host team, one of the strongest contingents in the tournament. We, the U21 team, fell behind Egypt (8:14) in the Preliminary Round. After several tough battles in the Round-robin Competition, we successfully proceeded to the Finals where we met Egypt again for the Championship.

This time, we were leading in the second half, and narrowly held on to win. It was an electric atmosphere. At the final whistle, we could not help but hug each other and cry for joy. The Hong Kong U21 Women’s Team were crowned World Champions! And what an honour!

This past January, I was a member of the Hong Kong Open Women’s Team at the Asian Cup in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Against the Japanese team we lost by a large margin. In spite of the disappointment, restlessness and anxiety, we learnt how to adjust our mentality and tactics and succeeded in the next few rounds. Though we were unable to conquer the Japanese, we did manage a second place finish in the Open Women category.  We shall continue to strive hard to equip ourselves and compete again in next year’s World Cup.


Overcoming the Odds 

Interestingly, as it is not a popular game, dodgeball is only allowed in some specified government-managed stadiums. There is limited availability of spaces for daily practice and hosting competitions, with a lack of resources or subsidies from the government for dodgeball players representing Hong Kong to compete in regional or international competitions being held abroad. All the players need to bear the related costs and expenses.

On 20 December 2023, the Dodgeball Association of Hong Kong, China officially became an Observer Member of the Hong Kong Association and Olympic Committee. It will be an important step for a more prospective development of dodgeball in Hong Kong with the hope that more resources could be allocated for this team sport.


Never Give Up! 

Dodgeball is an intrinsic part of my life and I do hope more young people will become aware of and participate in this new sport.  Being athletes, we have to spend a lot of time drilling our physique and training skills. All of us have to make the time to practise after class or after work, whatever our busy schedules.

In spite of these challenges, I have seen that those who love sports must persevere, because one day you will succeed. Never feel discouraged when facing disappointments. Be brave to face your own shortcomings. Work hard to improve and you will be able to overcome any difficulty.

Hong Kong athletes are not inferior to their counterparts from other parts of the world. Hong Kong youth should believe in themselves. They should try new things, keep moving and reach their potential.

With such an unflagging spirit, you will be able to gain a lot beyond your own imagination!





Abby is a sports coach and art instructor for primary and secondary school students. Apart from dodgeball, she also plays Dodgebee and Floorball.