Sunday, September 25, 2011

Dodgeball Decision

    Dodgeball is one of the most debatable topics upon the Physical Education Field.  The decision over whether to allow it in Physical Education Classes is up for discussion all over the country.   Many people see it as an exclusive dangerous game, while others see it as another game played in Phys. Ed class.  Here is my opinion to this highly disputed controversy of Dodgeball:

I believe that Dodgeball should be allowed in Physical Education Classes.  With this argument, I do believe there is certain modification, rules, equipment and regulations that need to be applied.  However in the long run I think that this is a game many people enjoy to play for physical activity.  In my Phys. Ed Class in high school we played a variation of Dodgeball called “Pins and Rims”.  This game had 2 teams set up on opposite sides of the gym.  Then there was balls set up in the middle, just like in Dodgeball.  However, on each side there were 2 bowling pins set up.  The team who knocked down both bowling pins of the opposite team first, won.  People could still get eliminated if they were thrown at and hit by the ball, like in Dodgeball.  However, if someone on your team hit the backboard one person could come back in, if they made the basket everyone on their team could come back in.  I believe this variation of Dodgeball would be completely acceptable in a school setting.  This is because people are not the main target, a student could roll the ball and knock over the pin on the other side and not even throw at another student.   Also it allows people to be aiming at the basketball hoop to get other teammates back into the game.  In my high school people enjoyed this game so much; my softball team organized a tournament to raise money for our organization.  Over 20 teams were enrolled in the tournament; everyone in my school loved this game of “Pins and Rims”.
Now looking into my developing career as a Physical Education teacher I have to look at every aspect of safety and pleasure for my future students.  After thinking about all these factors, I do believe I would play Dodgeball in my Physical Education Class.  I believe this game is a great source of physical activity for children.  This game instills skills for throwing, running, aim, hand-eye coordination, teamwork, strategy and success.  This game puts many skills from other sports such as baseball, basketball and track and field.  In my class I would never do a whole unit on something such as filler for in between units or on a rainy day where our activity could not be played.  Also I would only play this game in a high school setting, never an elementary or even middle school setting.  I believe the children should first learn these skills through sports then play games like this and utilize their skills.  Many kids enjoy not such a structure at all times.  I believe to use a game like this; many kids would enjoy and participate because it is not a full unit that they would be tested on.  Also I would use variations like the game I explained earlier so there was more to the game then just hitting each other.  Also I would use the right equipment such as very soft, squishy balls not balls such as volley and soccer balls which have been used or even the rubber balls.  Also I would insist on certain rules they must follow.  I would insist on no hitting another student in the head or you are immediately eliminates.  Also you must stand behind a certain line so that the throws would not be as hard.  Another thing I would do would let students choose if they wanted to play this game.  I would give them options such as walking the track, go into the weight room, or play another game with another teacher. 
Although I do think this game should be played in schools, just like many other games played it does have its negative aspects.  This game is not the most physically active games that could be played in Phys. Ed Class.  Another aspect is that students could be targeted in some variations of the game.  Many people say that Dodgeball is seen as a dangerous sport that is to violent for children.  However when you look at other sports played in Phys. Ed class they have many of the same dangers as dodge ball.  For example, when playing baseball or softball in Phys. Ed Class if a strong boy that plays baseball comes up and hits a line drive into a girl who does not know how to play the sport.  Say she gets hit with a very hard hit, hard ball.  I believe the consequences could be a lot more severe than those in Dodgeball played with safety regulations.  Another example would be floor hockey getting hit with the puck or soccer getting hit with a hard kicked soccer ball.  I believe those dangers are just more dangerous if not more than any softer, squishy ball thrown in Dodgeball.  However, all these sports are seen as acceptable in school settings, why is Dodgeball the only one being subjected?
I believe that there is always going to be controversy over the safety in kids in school settings with how our world has become with law suits and such.  However, if this game is played with the right equipment, rules, variation, and regulations I believe it is a fun game for children to play.

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