Originally Posted by JollyGG
I guess my question would be "how many balls are available at recess?" If there are sufficient balls that one group can devise whatever wacky game with their own rules they want to while another group plays kickball I see absolutely no issue with these rules.
We use a grocery cart to take balls, jumpropes, and hula hoops out to the playground. There is a lot of equipment, and most of it doesn't have much in the way of rules associated with it. Kids return the equipment to the cart after recess, and then it can easily be stored inside so it stays nice. We have a basketball court with 6 hoops, a ball pavilion that is painted for 2-square and 4-square, a soccer field (which follows basic soccer rules) and an empty field area for whatever (in addition to the kick ball field). Kids are welcome to make up all sorts of games, and that happens every single day. But if you want to play kickball or soccer, then you play kick ball or soccer to standard (yet simplified) rules. It lets those games happen and cuts down on kids just arguing.
Originally Posted by SweetSilver
But if those aren't present, and if incidences can be solved by an adult stepping in briefly, then why not give the kids some freedom and the chance to solve issues on their own? The end result is not always "Lord of the Flies"
Adults at our school step into playground situations every single day, encourage kids to speak to each other and work things out respectfully, help solve problems when that isn't working, make kids sit out when they are just unable to work towards solutions without resorting to fighting/screaming/etc.
Even with kickball rules, there are still tons of opportunities for kids to work things out, therefore, there are lots of times for adults to step in. Sometimes we need to have an adult on the kickball field to help enforce the rules, most days we don't.
However, one of the difficulties of recess is that there are so many of us who monitor recess at different times of the day: teachers, TAs, campus monitors (and some schools have parent volunteer help too) that having some rules predetermined so that all the adults are saying the same things is very helpful to the students. Dealing with so many children and so many adults is really quite different than taking your own 2 kids a couple of friends to the park. I feel like some of the solutions offered here don't understand this difference. On the playground I help monitor, about 15 different adults help monitor at different times of the day/week. It is SO MUCH easier for the kids when we are all saying the same things.
Also, most of the negative views on this thread assume that all children prefer to make up all their own rules without having them imposed by an authority. But what I see at school is that some kids want to play a game -- they want to run, kick, throw, score, and cheer for their team mates. That's fun for them. That makes a great recess for them. They don't want to spend the recess talking about what would make a good game, they just want to PLAY. Rules let that happen.
Originally Posted by AllisonR
....If there were all those rigid rules above were in place, I might not have been picked last, but I would have seen right through it. Kids today aren't dumb either. Rules or not, they know what it is all about.
I didn't see anything in the rules about how teams are picked, just that they need to be even. With those rules, you would still be picked toward the end (though before the kids with Downs Syndrome, wheel chairs, etc, who most likely weren't even at your school or you wouldn't have been last). What I see in the rules is an attempt to make sure every kid gets a turn. For example, the rule about how many outs are in an inning are different for 2 different recesses. I'm guessing that those recesses aren't the same length, so they need to have fewer outs during the shorter recess so more kids get to play.
Also, the pitch rule is so that as many kids as possible get a chance to pitch -- not just the same kid for the whole recess (which would also be the same kid at every recess).
I'd lay money that those rules have evolved over time to what actually works so the kids who want to can play kickball can. They aren't stopping other kids from doing other things.