'The Smack of Rubber on Flesh': Dodgeball's Back

Most people thought they left dodgeball behind when they graduated from grammar school. But now it's back — on the big screen, on TV and at a gym near you.

"Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story" (search) brings the schoolyard game to movie theaters this weekend, when Ben Stiller (search) and Vince Vaughn (search) square off in their latest screwball comedy.

"It's a childhood game that a lot of people can relate to," Vaughn told Fox News. "It's the fact that you have adults playing it and taking it seriously I think is funny."

To play White Goodman, a bulked-up bully who runs the glitzy Globo Gym, Stiller modeled himself after '80s icon Patrick Swayze.

"I worked with Patrick Swayze in a movie called 'Next of Kin' in 1988," he told Fox News. "He's an extremely cool guy ... and he had this incredible look in 'Roadhouse.' Everybody wishes they had Patrick Swayze hair. So I got a Patrick Swayze wig for the movie."

Vaughn plays noble slacker Peter LaFleur, proprietor of the friendly but bankrupt Average Joe's gym, who must settle the score with Stiller in a national dodgeball tournament.

"It's a very spastic sport ... I threw my shoulder out from playing," he said of the game. "You would get hit, it would sting, but that would go away. But the pain in the arm and the pulled muscles and stuff, that would linger."

Stiller's wife in real life, Christine Taylor (search), provides an object of romantic contention for LaFleur and Goodman as a bank attorney assigned to investigate Average Joe's ledgers.

And she actually found Stiller's hairpiece appealing.

"I have to say there was something strangely sexy about it."

Meanwhile, the Game Show Network recently unveiled "Extreme Dodgeball," (search) a tournament with a $10,000 prize. And adult dodgeball leagues are already forming across the country.

"There are two types of people — those who love it and those who are terrified of it," Jon Chase, founder and commissioner of the United States Dodgeball Association, told the New York Post.

Colleen Finn, who founded the Portland adult dodgeball league this year, called the game "ridiculously fun."

"It's high energy, you don't stop moving. There's sensory overload," she said.

Some leagues use Nerf-type balls or have safety rules, but Chase scoffs at those precautions.

"I need the smack of rubber on flesh," he told the Post.

"Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story," a 20th Century Fox release, is rated PG-13 for rude and sexual humor and language.

Fox News' Mike Waco, Amy C. Sims and The Associated Press contributed to this report.