Local organizations hosting ‘First responders vs. Second-chancers’ dodgeball tournament


By Jessica Johnston, Assistant News Director

First responders, medical professionals and service workers often interact with the worst side of addiction.

In an effort to bring two groups in the community together to celebrate the positive aftermath of addiction, local organizations are hosting a charitable dodgeball tournament coined “First responders vs. Second-chancers.”

“We want people to see that side, the fun side, the recovery side,” Monica Batteiger, co-founder of Drug Free Muskingum, said.

Batteiger added that first responders don’t get to see the positive outcomes when they see the harsh realities of active addition on a daily basis.

“We need those people that are dealing with it everyday that maybe don’t see that side,” she said.

The family-friendly event is not just for Muskingum County residents. The tournament is open to all neighboring counties that want to get involved.

Each dodgeball team will consist of five members and up to eight people can be on one team roster. The teams are required to pay a $50 registration fee.

All registration fees will be combined and divided between the two winning teams to donate to a charitable organization of the team’s choice.

The teams are required to list a benefiting organization on their team registration form. The benefiting organizations are not required to be a 501(c)(3).

The deadline to register for the event has been extended to the morning of the tournament, Jan. 25.

The Nerf tournament will be single elimination bracket style. Teams that pre-register will be written into the bracket prior to the tournament day and teams that register the day of the event will be added to the end of the bracket.

On Jan. 25, the doors to the Foxfire School gym will open at 10 a.m. with the games beginning at 11 a.m. Admission is free for spectators and children are encouraged to partake in the kids activities. There will be a children’s dodgeball game during intermission.

The tournament currently has 15 teams registered, but the organizations are searching for more first responder and service teams — police officers, firefighters, paramedics and EMS personnel, nurses, doctors and others medical staff, etc.

Teams can mix and match service personnel with those in recovery.

“We just want to see their faces, we want to interact with them,” Batteiger said.

There will be prizes given to the team with the most unique, family-friendly, team name, as well as to the team with the most unique uniforms.

“We want crazy, unique, fun. We want them to have fun with it,” Batteiger said.

Free food will be provided courtesy of Cedar Ridge.

It’s anticipated that the tournament will last from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. depending on the number of teams that register.

The Foxfire gym is located at 2508 Pickerington Rd. in Zanesville.

Anyone interested in pre-registering for the event to secure a higher spot on the tournament bracket can contact one of the people listed below. Any individuals or businesses that would like to contribute to the day in the form of donations can contact Batteiger.

Registrations forms can also be picked up at Muskingum Behavioral Health or Guernsey Behavioral Health.

  • Cayla Hanes 740.439.4532
  • Stephanie Hinds 740.454.1266
  • Monica Batteiger 740.586.7031
  • Jaycie Evec 740.454.5876
  • Randa Harrop 740.868.8331