Head Coach, Mixed Cloth
My name is Brian Warring and I’ve been playing cloth dodgeball since the day EDH, Canada’s first cloth league started in 2005 in Hamilton, Ontario. I was immediately obsessed with the game. After over a decade of playing and reffing at EDH I began branching out and playing in other organizations, (Dodgeball Niagara, PlayHamilton) discovering other styles of play and trying foam for the first time in 2016. I found out there was a National Dodgeball Team and that Canada would be hosting the world championship in Toronto in 2017. I was amazed at what I witnessed there and I knew I wanted to get involved at a higher level.
When I found out there was going to be a tryout for a Cloth Dodgeball National Team I was immediately all in. I was selected as an alternate player and trained as a national athlete in preparation for the 2018 Cloth Dodgeball World Cup in New York City. It was at that tournament that I found myself naturally shift into a coaching/leadership position, doing everything I could from the sidelines to aid and support the players on the court.
I came away from that tournament with a vision of what the cloth program could look like. A vision of growth and development of cloth dodgeball in Canada, focusing on athlete development, organizational development and national team program development. Together with a group of talented, passionate individuals, we began to build the foundations for a national cloth program. At that time, I took the lead in team management, working alongside the coaching staff to select and train a new team. We went on to beat the US in Mixed and Womens in the 2019 North American continental cup. At this time, the WDBF announced it would be running dual formats, cloth and foam at the next world championship.
After years of development, growth and a merger with Dodgeball Canada (and of course, a long hiatus over the pandemic) I took on the role of Head Coach of the National Cloth Mixed Team in the World Championship in 2022. We focused on cohesion, communication and smart, tactical play, and that carried us through three major comeback victories against powerful European teams before losing out to the US in a hard fought battle. I was quite happy with Canada’s showing in Edmonton. All 3 cloth squads performed well in that tournament, giving us a strong foothold on the world stage. All of our years of work and development, along with the hard work of of new, talented coaches and leadership paid off. I cannot wait to see the cloth program continue to develop under Dodgeball Canada.
Although we didn’t get the medal we were looking for in Edmonton, we gained so much. Our experiences have made us stronger, smarter and hungrier. I told my team throughout the course of training “We win, or we learn.” And did we ever learn. We are going to continue to build on the foundations we created last year. We are going to be coming back with new tactics, advanced skill training and advanced player analysis processes to further build and develop the strongest cloth program possible. I want to build a healthy and positive training environment where our players can develop as individuals and as a team. Assistant coaches Rob Gale and Jeremy Reece, longtime EDH veterans like myself (Jeremy and I have played on the same team together since that very first day in 2005) will be there to help develop, support and execute this vision of positive growth and development.
I want to encourage everyone to come out and try cloth. The ball type and rule set create a fast and challenging game style and there is so much untapped potential for this style of the sport across the country. I want to see the cloth presence in Canada continue to grow and develop and strengthen as new players and organizations are starting to bring cloth to their communities. I can’t wait to see the talent coming out to the combines this year and in the years to come!
Look out Austria, we’re coming for you.
~ Brian Warring, Head Coach, Cloth Mixed Team