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Jingle Bell Dodgeball Tournament hits mark

Players race to grab the dodgeballs at the start of the match during the inaugural Jingle Bell Dodgeball Tournament Dec. 15, 2011, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho.  During the tournament National Dodgeball League rules were used to ensure consistency. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Heather Hayward)

Players race to grab the dodgeballs at the start of the match during the inaugural Jingle Bell Dodgeball Tournament Dec. 15, 2011, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. During the tournament National Dodgeball League rules were used to ensure consistency. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Heather Hayward)

Players from the 726th Air Control Squadron show off the medals and trophy they received for winning the Inaugural Jingle Bell Dodgeball Tournament Dec. 15, 2011, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The tournament consisted of 13 six-player teams. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Heather Hayward)

Players from the 726th Air Control Squadron show off the medals and trophy they received for winning the Inaugural Jingle Bell Dodgeball Tournament Dec. 15, 2011, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The tournament consisted of 13 six-player teams. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Heather Hayward)

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- The 366th Force Support Squadron began a new holiday tradition Dec. 15, 2011, with the inaugural Jingle Bell Dodgeball Tournament.

Thirteen teams comprised of 78 players packed into the base gymnasium and participated in the event which was won by a team from the 726th Air Control Squadron.

"This is the first time we have had a dodgeball tournament here and with this turn-out we should be able to make it an annual event," said Staff Sgt. Lance Michaud, 366th FSS sports director. "The participants and spectators have been saying how much they want us to do this type of event more often. I also think using the official dodgeball rules as a set standard for consistency keeps everything fair."

The brackets were set ahead of time and six members from each team started the games.

According to the National Dodgeball League rules, teams must consist of six players with up to four substitutes and all players must be in uniform. Also, coed teams may consist of either gender and there must be at least two players of each gender participating at the start of each game.

"We check that they have the correct amount of players before each game," said Michaud. "Once we verify everything is in order we start the match. Also, we have the grand prize to give away before the championship match."

The 726th ACS "Hard Rock" team defeated "Team Awesome" from the Airmen Leadership School in game 4 of a best of 5 series to become the Jingle Bell dodgeball tournament champions. Hard Rock picked off players from the opposing team members slowly by collecting the balls and throwing them all at certain individuals in what was described as a "bombardment tactic."

"They started using that bombardment tactic and picked off one person at a time with four or five dodgeballs," said Michaud. "Which was funny because they started doing it jokingly, as a way to mess with one of their friends from the other team, then they realized how successful it was and began doing it to everyone."

Members of the "Hard Rock" dodgeball championship team said they were most happy with the championship trophy and the bragging rights, another winner was also very excited with his raffle prize.

Senior Airman Donald Herring, 366th FSS storeroom clerk, had the winning raffle ticket and won an eight gig iPod touch. He said he was excited because now he could take it off his Christmas wish list.

The tournament and raffle prize drawing was a chance for Airmen to spend some time with their co-workers outside of the normal office settings.

"We try to do these types of events during the duty day so people can get out a little early and really enjoy themselves," said Michaud. "This is definitely one of our commander priorities, Gunfighters taking care of Gunfighters. At FSS, our main priority is taking care of people and events like this are a great opportunity for us to do that."

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