“Who says adults can’t have recess?” Xoso Sport & Social League asks on its website. For those that long for the good old days of supervised playground violence, dodgeball is establishing itself in San Jose. There are a number of small leagues here, but Xoso puts an organized spin on the schoolyard favorite that starts with requiring women on each team and ends with postgame drinks at local bars.
Xoso Sport & Social League was founded by Nick Berruezo, who started out playing in a kickball league in San Diego. When he moved to Sacramento, he started a small kickball league that later expanded to include dodgeball, volleyball and capture the flag. Now the league has over 4,000 players and dodgeball is the most popular sport.
Unlike the 2004 Vince Vaughn comedy, Xoso’s style of dodgeball isn’t so much about intense competition as it is about having a good time. Berruezo says, “We try to keep things really fun and lighthearted, and people that sign up for dodgeball are usually a fun type of person. … We do our best to discourage the ultra-competitive ex-jocks.”
Berruezo encourages women to try out the game, as many shy away from a sport that may send them home with bruises. According to the rules of the game, a team can have only two more males than females, which makes female free agents more likely to be assigned to a team.
Games for the San Jose league will begin July 28. The full league has a season consisting of eight games over 8-10 weeks plus potential playoffs. The mini-league in San Jose, however, will have a slightly shorter season and will be cheaper than in cities where Xoso dodgeball is well-established. The league will also be offering a “buy one, get one half-off” deal for players that want to purchase a membership for multiple seasons.
To kick off its debut in San Jose, Xoso is hosting a free night of dodgeball at the Alum Rock Youth Center on Thursday, June 2 at 7pm for people ages 21 and over that want to play before committing to the league. “Be prepared to have fun and get some exercise,” Berruezo advises first-timers. In these games, athleticism is optional, assault is acceptable and everyone feels like a winner by the end of the night.
Sounds like Xoso is right on target.
Xoso Sport & Social League Free Dodgeball Night
Thursday, 7pm; free
Alum Rock Youth Center