Shock value: Q&A with local Ultimate Tazer Ball player Derrick Weltz
These days, there’s no shortage of extreme sports out there. Now, Ultimate Tazer Ball has joined the fray. Played in an indoor soccer arena, the sport pits teams of four burly, taser-wielding men against each other — all of them looking to throw a 24” ball into a large net. Yes, it’s a real thing, and fans of football, rugby and, well, stun guns, might actually enjoy it. And Toronto, of course, hasn’t failed to get in on the action.
We caught up with 24-year-old Derrick Weltz of The Toronto Terror to find out more about this curious sport.
How long have you been playing Ultimate Tazer Ball?
Roughly a year.
What sparked your interest in the sport?
It’s something new, exciting and unheard of, so I thought I’d give it a shot. A couple of friends are running it and asked me to participate in it and I decided to go for it.
How are you hoping to put Toronto on the map as a tazer ball hotbed?
We’re going to have an all-Canadian roster from the Toronto area. We’re going to hold tryouts, probably in late March, and after that we’re going to be competing in all the UTB events and series, and hopefully we can be a top team with all-Canadian talent.
In Canada, we’re known for using tasers to kill people in airports. Do you think Ultimate Tazer Ball can help restore the reputation of the taser?
We don’t like to refer to them as tasers, we refer to them as stun guns. We’re hoping that we can get them government-sanctioned to use them in Canada so that we can host events here. I don’t see it happening just yet, but hopefully if this grows in Thailand we can make this thing work and they won’t just see it as a weapon.
As a man, I’m pretty sure I know what most of our male readers are asking themselves: Has anybody ever been tased in the balls?
(Laughs.) There was only one incident. A guy on the Toronto Terror received it down there by accident. He was just jumping and he just received it down there. I think now guys are going to start wearing a jock. But there is a penalty if it’s down there; it’s got to be below the shoulders and above waist.
While we’re on the subject, what part of the body hurts the most after it’s been tased?
Personally, the most tender would be the side of the rib cage area or the armpit.
A lot of you guys are pretty built. What goes into UTB physical conditioning?
It’s a lot of cardio work, a lot of running back and forth and ball movement. My main focus is cardio. I’m one of the smaller guys in the league, but I don’t feel like I’m at a disadvantage. If you don’t have a wide range of flexibility with your arms you can tear a muscle, so definitely being flexible and cardio are two big things.
Do you guys tase each other during team practice? I would think hitting the showers with teammates who’ve just tased the hell out of me is the last thing I’d want to do.
The first time we had got hold of tasers, we were in a hotel and we were just tasing each other (laughs). We work on different plays — running, passing — but for the other stuff we use tasers. These tasers are not lethal so there’s no reason not to use them. It’s just to prepare yourself and mentally get prepared for a game.
And for fans new to the sport, what can they expect when they watch the Toronto Terror play?
Definitely an in-your-face team. We don’t hold back and it’s always high action. There are going to be grinding big hits because it’s a lot of different sports packed into one.