Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Great Dodgeball Debate

Can you remember back to the good ‘ol dodgeball days in elementary physical education class?  For some people they recall it as the glory days, making the last catch to win the game. However, not everyone’s memories were as fond of the game. Dodgeball can bring back some painful grade school memories for some people, being labeled as the team target. This wide range of reactions to the game is where the great debate starts. Over recent years, many have been debating on whether or not dodgeball should be banned in K-12 physical education curriculums.

             The benefits of dodgball are that it is a game that incorporates agility, balance, jumping, ducking, throwing and catching. Although I agree that dodgeball has many benefits, I don’t think traditional dodgeball has a place in K-12 physical education curriculums. Traditional dodgeball is where students take a ball, and chuck it across the gym at students at the other team. The problems that arise is that the students are aiming at human targets.  Using human targets can be a problem because it feeds into bullying, the strong picking on the weak, thus keeping the weaker uncoordinated sitting out on the side the longest, and having the kids more coordinating students in the game the longest.  Students that always find themselves out and sitting on the side are going be bored in class thus creating negative attitudes towards physical education class. I think there are a lot more games out there that work on the same physical skills as dodgeball and are more inclusive to students of all skill levels.

            Even though I believe dodgeball does not have its place in the classroom, I don’t feel as if it should be banned in schools totally. I think it is a great game to be played at after or before school intramural programs.  I think intramural programs is a more appropriate setting for this game because it is where participants can play it with people who are more or less at the same skill and interest level as they are.  The game should also be highly monitored to be sure that students are following the rules of the game such as not pegging at the head. Dodgeball can be a great game if it is played properly and there are a number of different variations that can be really fun.

-I found this website that has great variations for dodgeball: