Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Bring Dodgeball Back to Schools

The article written by the National Association of Sport and Physical Education on Dodgeball in physical education classes brings about some good points. In the game of dodgeball, there is a great chance the less athletic students that may need the most physical activity because of their health, are the ones getting picked on, and taken out first. I agree with this in some cases, knowing that that situation is always possible. However, simple variaitions made on the game would solve that problem, making the game more fun for everybody. Another argument that this article stated was the fact that kids get hurt becuase they are the target. I disagree with this because I believe that there is a much greater chance of a student getting hurt in some of the other sports such as football, hockey, and soccer, that are taught in our schools curriculum today. Many people tend to generalize dodgeball with the movie that came out a few years ago. First of all, the characters in that film were all grown men and women who are much stonger and can throw much faster that any student in grades K-12. Second, they were using heavy rubber kickballs, while in the league that I play in outside of school at home, we use 8' 1/2" foam balls. Of coarse, if a physical education class is using heavy rubber balls, or sometimes volleyballs, someone is going to get hurt. But that is the fault of a poor physical education teacher. In my league, using the foam balls that work equally well, not a single person has been injured (I have been playing for 4 years). Playing dodgeball the normal way with the normal rules is harmless, however other variations are possible if schools are not convinced. Variations such as making everyone throw with their weak hand only, or make a different target instead of the student, like a cone or ball, also make this game worthy of coming back into schools. Dodgeball also can improve students motor skills greatly, and even more than some other sports. Besides track in high school, Dodgeball was the only sport that I stuck with. After 4 years of playing this sport I found that it really keeps me in shape, and my hand eye coordination and reaction time improved a great deal. If the game of dodgeball should stay out of the schools curriculum, then I believe the association should be taking a look a many other sports too and their dangers, because its only fair. As long as a school has a great physical education teacher who can turn any game into a usefull activity for all students, than any sport should be allowed, including dodgeball.