Dodgeball was a part of many kids’ lives in elementary school. However, the safety fears and gateway to bullying cast dodgeball in a negative light and so, it was banished. Then, adults resurrected it in intramural leagues around the country as a nod to nostalgia, but also for its health benefits of staying sharp and running around. And now–enter the Pastrami Dodgeball League.
The PDL was organized by Raul Goldstein and Daisy Berkowitz, who own the popular kosher deli “Shalom, Have a Seat!” The idea stemmed from a creative way to use unused hocks of pastrami that could no longer be served 2 days past their due date.
“Dodgeball taught us there is nothing more fun than winging something that weighs a pound or two full speed at the unprotected body of your friend,” says Daisy. “We wanted to resurrect that feeling, but with a twist.”
“Dodgeball taught us there is nothing more fun than winging something that weighs a pound or two full speed at the unprotected body of your friend,” says Daisy Berkowitz, co-organizer of the Pastrami Dodgeball League.
“Because the pastrami is a couple of days old, it surprisingly stays together no matter how hard you fling it at your friend. And if it breaks apart? Who gives a shit? We’re throwing pastrami!” Raul comments.
The League follows the same rules of dodgeball and includes four teams: The Government, The Media, The Church, and The Bank. Each team consists of 6 players hellbent on demolishing the other team. They begin by racing to the middle of the parking lot to retrieve a pastrami, then chase each other, hurling the bowling ball-sized meat at each other’s heads and bodies.
“It can be pretty intense. Every team has its own strategy for controlling things,” says Bernie Shade, a member of The Bank. “Some teams even help each other out from the sidelines, barking out orders and exerting their authoritative will and power on each opponent. In the end, though, we all go out for beers and it’s a fun time.”
Games take place on Wednesday evenings in the Shalom, Have a Seat! parking lot after closing.
Interested in pastrami dodgeball? Let us know!