Last year at VMworld 2010, my friends at EMC invited a number of us to participate in friendly evening of dodgeball. Little did anyone know that the mere suggestion of such an event would quickly blossom and take on a life of it’s own. No sooner had the planning begun when the term dodgeball was retired in favor of vOdgeball and talk of playing games were supplanted with a best of 5 elimination tournament.
The inaugural event pitted the vSpecialists and their immense might versus a small outfit who proudly proclaimed themselves as the vSquirrels, a ragtag team comprised of IT-athletes (or more accurately desribed as ‘Mathletes‘) representing Cisco & NetApp and garbed in mismatched skater-wear.
As expected, the event was highly competitive and played out as one of the classic underdog story’s of our time. The games were hard fought and the play ran late into the evening. When it was all said and done the vSquirrels had triumphed 3 games to 2! The victory was a sweet reward as the vSquirells were outnumbered by the more than 2:1, played without any substitute players, and played short handed as two players temporarily went down due to injuries.
Allow me to restate, the vSquirells lost players to injury. vOdgeball is as competitive a sport as your like to find and definitely validates that not all Mathletes ‘throw like a girl’. My apologies if my use of what some may consider a crude and antequated phrase offends any female readers.
Live at VMworld in Las Vegas, Nevada it’s vOdgeball 2011
This year we have taken vOdgeball and expanded the tournament and it’s impact by inviting more from the IT community to participate and by giving back to those less fortunate than us. I’m very proud to share that the responses to our expanded format and philanthropic endeavor have been overwhelming!
For 2011 the tournament will feature 12 teams battling for vOdgeball bragging rights while also supporting the Wounded Warrior Project through financial donations and fund raising efforts. The Wounded Warrior Project is a charity organization committed to helping those injured while serving in our armed forces.
I am proud to share with you that this year’s tournament will feature teams representing VMware, Cisco, Juniper, VCE, Dell, HP, Quest software, and a group of social media divas calling themselves the “Cloud Bunnies”. EMC is doubled their commitment to the cause by fielding two teams: the ‘vSpecialists Techies’ and their counterparts the ‘vSpecialists Sales Team’.
As For NetApp…
As you’d expect we are also fielding two teams. The first is the ‘vBallers‘ lead by everyone’s favorite, the one and only Friea Berg! I’ll also be engaging in the ‘battle royale’ by leading our second team, the ‘Honey Badgers‘. We painstaken assembled each team, ensuring that only the those who could demonstrate superior knowledge of cloud computing, but also could throw an 8.25″ dodgeball faster than 70 mph/ These were the ones who comprise up our rosters, and likely you know most of them.
Friea Berg – Captain
Nick Howell (sidelined due to an injury, ironically incurred via engaging a honey badger in the wild)
The Honey Badgers
Vaughn Stewart – Captian
Below is a sneak peak at each team’s jersey…
If some of you are wondering why a vOdgeball team would chose a Honey Badger as its mascot, then you may need zoology lesson…
I must admit, before the team insisted on the honey badger as our mascot I had no idea they were so fierce!
vOdgeball and The Wounded Warrior Porject Needs Your Help
While each vendor-sponsored team has made a financial donation of $1,000 to support WWP, we are a little short of our goal to raise $15,000. I would like to personally invite anyone attending in Las Vegas on Sunday night for VMworld or just to hang out to consider joining in the fun and mayhem that can only be witnessed by attending vOdgeball live and in person.
You can register to attend the event in person here. Admission is a modest donation of $5 an frankly, is a great value for 2+ hours of non-stop wall-to-wall and dodgeball-to-face action. There will be food and beverages, including a cash bar for those seeking an adult beverage. This may be your only opportunity to witness the passion that fuels some of the technical debates physically released in the form of sport!
If you are unable to attend vOdgeball live then maybe you’d consider supporting the cause by making a charitable donation on our behalf. Your help will go a long way to ensuring we can host vOdgeball 2012 and serve as a form of motivation for those producing the videos that will go online following the tournament.
vOdgeball has emerged to become something considerably greater than most of us ever expected. I’d like to thank all who have donated and supported our efforts. I look forward to seeing all you of, players and attendees alike, Sunday night.