Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Dodgeball Dilemma

One of the most highly debated topics in the world of Physical Education is the use of the game of dodgeball in the curriculum. Many people have their opinions based on their personal experiences with game. Some see it as a rite of passage for students, while others see it as a barbaric sport that needs to be removed from schools. Here is my No Spin opinion:

When I was in junior high school, I was first introduced not to dodgeball but a variation called "angle ball." Dodgeball itself was removed from our schools and the Physical Education teachers implemented this variation so us students could experience it. The rules were pretty much the same; elimination when you get hit by the ball but to ultimately win the game, your team needed to knock a basketball off of the cone on the other teams side of the court. Needless to say everyone enjoyed this.

As a Physical Education teacher, however, I have to decide whether dodgeball would be appropriate to use in my class. I feel that the game helps to develop and strengthen important physcial skills including running, throwing, and catching, while it also includes teamwork and strategy. It is a fun game and should be experienced by all. However, it does have its share of negatives. Many students are not as physically able as others and prefer to sit to the side or not participate at all. Plus, it allows certain students to target and bully others all the while promoting the use of violence. The game has plenty of positives and negatives.

My decision would be to use dodgeball, or a variation of the game, in my Physical Education class. However, I would offer an alternative game or activity for those students who choose not to participate in the game. This allows students who want to experience the game the ability to play it and gives the other students to experience another activity they are more comfortable with that also shares the same skill development.

There are many people who claim that dodgeball is a dangerous sport and needs to be removed from the school. However, sports like football and hockey share the same heightened risk but continue to be played without opposition from concerned parents. If one sport is to be penalized, then all who share the same risk should be subjected as well.

While it will always be a contested subject, there should be a compromise that will give students a choice to participate in dodgeball whether in Physical Education class or as an after school activity. It could be a decision for the best.

1 comment:

  1. I think dodgeball is great and there are many variations which can make it safe enough to play in a physical education setting. If we don’t at least allow variations I think we are being drastic and doing a great disservice to our students. I see pros and cons to both having dodgeball and not having it. I can see dodgeball in its pure form can be brutal, but at the same time I see how we as a society we have started babying our students and kids. In today’s society we don’t have “losers” anymore and I am afraid we are not teaching them lessons that will help them in life.