Dodging Diabetes Charity Dodgeball Tournament, a Bethesda-based nonprofit dedicated to raising money for diabetes research, became the first dodgeball tournament ever to become ReSport Certified by The Council for Responsible Sport of Portland, Ore.
The council was founded in 2007 in response to the need to consider the social and environmental impacts of sports events, according to the group’s website.
Dodging Diabetes’ seventh annual tournament took place March 11 in Rockville with 40 teams participating. It raised $25,000 for the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund.
“Dodging Diabetes has always, and will always be about knocking out diabetes for good,” said founder Anna Tiedeman Irwin of Bethesda. “But this year we realized we could be sustainable, too, while having a great time for a good cause.”
Irwin and co-organizer Elizabeth Kramer of Bethesda earned 31 of 37 ReSport Certification credits in their application for ReSport certification for the 2012 tournament
“We decided it was the right thing to do and we wanted to see if we could organize this in a sustainable way,” Irwin said. “We didn’t fit into the traditional structure they were set up for, but there were things we could do and we got it.”
The group made several changes in the way it ran the tournament, including decreasing the amount of waste produced by the event, recycling and composting wherever possible, providing local and organic food to participants and using a giant whiteboard to keep track of tournament progress, rather than printed paper brackets.
Irwin said the process was tough because everything had to be documented.
“If we said we used organic tee shirts, we had to send a copy of the receipt; we even have a photo of my husband taking everything to be recycled,” Irwin said.
Of the events that have become ReSport Certified, Dodging Diabetes is the “most unusual,” Keith Peters, executive director of, the Council for Responsible Sport, said in a statement. “ ... The Council hopes that the Dodging Diabetes Charity Dodgeball Tournament will inspire a wider variety of sporting events to pursue ReSport Certification.”
The eighth annual Dodging Diabetes Charity Dodgeball Tournament is scheduled for March 2013, Irwin said, adding that the organizers hope to take the sustainability of the next tournament to a higher level.