Dodgeball's Reindt, Martino and Hamilton ( from left ) .
A group of Pretty Young Thangs ( PYTs ) —a local, all-female recreation division flag football team—came up with an idea for women's dodgeball … and so Chicago's latest sport for the lesbian community is born.
The inaugural Women's Dodgeball League runs through the end of March and has received extensive support from many of the heavy-hitters in the LGBT community, such as Marcia Hill, the commissioner of flag football and President of the Chicago Metropolitan Sports Association ( CMSA ) ; Nancy MacKenzie ( softball commissioner ) ; and Kristen Polich ( volleyball ) . All three helped recruit players; MacKenzie and Polich will be dodgeball referees.
More than 100 signed up for the first dodgeball season, comprising 13 teams. They range in age from their early 20s to their late 40s, and include teachers, nurses, waitresses, office managers and more. Plus, the league waived the registration fee for policewomen or firefighters, of which there are several.
'We just thought it would be a fun sport,' said Samantha Hamilton, 34, of Chicago, one of the four co-founders of the league. 'We knew it'd be fun to hit a lesbian and get away with it.'
Hamilton's fellow PYTs who were instrumental in the formation of the new dodgeball league are Shannon English, Diana Martino and Jennie Reindt. All four will be on different teams.
The action is held every Friday night, 7-9 p.m., at Pottawattomie Park, 7340 N. Rogers, in Chicago.
There are six players per team in a game, and each team's roster will have a maximum of 15 players. Games will be decided in a best-of-five format with teams winning once the other team is eliminated.
'We're just looking at this as a way to have fun, hopefully meet new people and just have something different—something that everyone can play,' Hamilton said. 'We're starting small, but hoping it is something that takes off and that we can [ go national ] .'