Ready, Set … Dodgeball!

Mikey%21
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Ready, Set … Dodgeball!

Mikey!

Mikey!

Josh Ort

Mikey!

Josh Ort

Josh Ort

Mikey!

Sam Harrington, Todd Cravedi, and Andrew Skwiot

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You stare down your opponent, a ball firmly in hand. The windup, the throw and the unmistakable sound of a landed hit. The team storms the court, you won. The game of dodgeball has faded away from public schools and has become a thing of the past.  Due to a shift in culture, high school students around the United States have lost an essential part of physical education, dodgeball.

 

A key component in physical education is achieving student interest. More often students are becoming turned off to the limited amount of physical activity many of them will get in their day. During an interview on NPR, Paige Metz, a Physical Education teacher at Westview High School said: “We’ve reached a time in society where kids aren’t just going outside and playing.” It is important to capture the younger generations enthusiasm before it is diverted to gaming consoles. The best way to do this is to offer more engaging options in gym class. Senior Max Congdon was asked if he believed students would be more interested if dodgeball was added to physical education and he responded “H-E-L-L double hockey sticks yes.” This level of enthusiasm is what dodgeball brings to the table when it comes to physical activity.

 

A common concern that many people have relating to dodgeball is how less skilled students will respond. Dodgeball is an elimination game, inevitably it will be more fun for some people than others. Craig Archambault, a Hall High School Physical Education teacher, expressed concerns over the idea that dodgeball singles kids out and has a potential risk of injury. However, he said that when done properly it fosters a healthy environment for those that choose to participate. A minor bruise or a rare bloody nose is not sufficient justification to remove dodgeball from the curriculum. Furthermore, a potential substitute to prohibiting dodgeball is allowing alternatives within a gym class. Given students various athletic backgrounds, this would give more control over their own physical wellness.

Alex Dobbins
2017 Dodgeball tournament

One case of dodgeball being removed from public schools came following the tragic Columbine shooting. According to The New York Times, a school district in Texas deemed dodgeball to be too violent and banned the activity in an attempt to make schools safer. Now, almost two decades removed, it is safe to say dodgeball is not correlated with school shootings. With a new perspective we should relook at the reasoning behind the banning of dodgeball. Kids are becoming less interesting in physical education and a change of activities is the perfect way to reverse that path.

 

Being competitive in gym class is a story as old as time. We need to go back to competition; we need dodgeball.