|View Poll Results: How do you feel about dodge ball?|
|I think it is violent.||7||87.50%|
|I think it promotes violence.||10||100.00%|
|I think it's just a game.||16||100.00%|
|Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 8. You may not vote on this poll|
I commented briefly on dodgeball in another thread (in Education, I think) and it was suggested I add my comment here. Which I will, but will also flesh it out a bit.
Both of my kids' HSs sponsored dodgeball tournaments. Completely voluntary. At my son's school, there were no guidelines wrt team make-up. The tournament did have guidelines in terms of where the ball could be thrown (below the waist) and was supervised by teacher refs. Teams ranged from loads of jocks to misfits (like my son!). But a good time was had by all from what I could tell.
My daughter's school was more structured in terms of how the teams were made up: four students, one from each grade and evenly divided by gender and one teacher. Now, one might think that the involvement of teachers on each team would keep things calm and well-behaved. Well... I gather competition was quite fierce. Starting with the formation of teams. I can tell you that my daughter started cherry-picking her team from the first day of school each year after she was a freshman. As did several other students AND teachers. They took it pretty darned seriously. Probably more so than they did at my son's school. Team uniforms, good-natured trash-talking, etc. At the actual tournament, the only guideline was they couldn't shoot for the head. Other than that? No holds barred. Like I said - it could get pretty fierce. But again, a good time was had by all.
I remember dodgeball quite fondly from my own school days, to be honest. And no, I wasn't that good at it. LOL More like my son than my daughter.
I think dodgeball is popular in school because it's simple to understand and doesn't require a lot of equipment. All you need is a ball and a boundary and some kids. The rules are simple — you throw the ball and try to hit someone. If that person is hit then he or she is "out". Not much more than that.
If you compare that to something like basketball which requires only slightly more equipment (a goal/basket + ball) the rules for basketball are much more complex. It's harder to teach, more skill is required to play it, and there's less flexibility on the size of the group that can play it.
However, mtiger's example, notwithstanding I think dodgeball doesn't have near the popularity outside of a school environment because most people don't really like it. I live right by a park (like the baseball field backs up to my back yard and I can see if from my deck). I see groups of kids and adults who organize themselves to play softball, baseball, kickball, soccer, basketball, and frisbee (sometimes catch, sometimes Ultimate), and non-ball games like Tag regularly. I NEVER see anyone organize a group to play dodgeball.
"All you fascists are bound to lose" — Woody Guthrie
There is a huge difference between being forced to participate and volunteering. And I wonder if that 'fierce' competition was fierce meaning the ball was thrown with intent to hurt, or fierce meaning that both sides did their best to win. It makes a difference.
In my experiences, dodge ball was the game of choice for a lazy teacher. I don't miss it, in the least.
"Let me see you stripped down to the bone. Let me hear you speaking just for me."
I definitely think it was a way for bullies to torment kids under the auspices of it being a game. There was a boy in my class who wore a turban and despite the "no hitting above the waist" rule, some of the boys deliberately tried to knock his turban off (and succeeded once, as I recall). For me it was an exercise in humiliation because I had few friends and wasn't athletic at all. I would usually be the last kid standing because I had no friends trying to get me out and I always managed to make myself not noticeable (even though I was a chubby kid). Inevitably, someone would get me out by hitting me in the ass with the ball which added an extra level of humiliation.
I also wore glasses as a kid and I can't count how many times my glasses were smashed in PE. Basketball, dodgeball, volleyball, softball. All were magnets for my face, probably because I was so uncoordinated.
Now i work in an environment where we have the occasional sports day. Usually softball and volleyball once or twice a year. I try to make sure I'm on holidays because I hate team sports so much. I also have a seemingly athletic body so people tend to think I'm good at sports. The organizers always make it seem like it's just for fun but I always end up on a team with ultra-competitive type As. Last time we played volleyball it was a good thing I was wearing sunglasses because I was in tears for most of the day. Once my team realized I stunk they'd basically body slam me out of the way so I wouldn't touch the precious volleyball and possibly make our team lose.
I did much better in PE later in high school when we did more personal fitness activities. I was a great runner/jogger so I got decent marks because I didn't walk around the track like most of the girls in my class. At that point, a lot of girls took PE for "easy marks" because it was elective. But I liked my teacher and put in a lot of effort. I still stunk at anything involving hand-eye coordination(can't serve in badminton to save my life) but she saw the effort I was making! Which was a nice change from gym teachers just thinking I was pathetic and useless.
So here's another question: Why is dodge ball so popular if so many people dislike it? I don't know how common of a game it is for kids today, but in our generation it seems quite common since we are all familiar with it. Or does a poll like this skew results by attracting only people with negative memories of the game?
I think it was a low skill game, low equipment and kept a large number of children occupied so was an easy PE filler activity. I don't think it was common because kids enjoyed it but rather because it was easy on teachers.
There were mass games that were kind of fun with those big cage balls but I don't know if those are as common as dodgeball.
Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)
I think it's partly because it happens in PE. This is probably going to come out wrong, but I'll give it a try. IME, the people who go into teaching phys ed are usually jocks...not just athletes, but jocks, which is a slightly different group. These are, by and large, the people who never had any empathy for the clumsy kid, or the slow kid, or the kid who just didn't get it (or who had, whether diagnosed or not - austism spectrum disorders, sensory issues, etc.). They probably loved dodgeball. They may or may not have been deliberately harsh on the "lesser" kids (weaker, less coordinated, whatever), but fi they were, they almost certainly thought of it as "toughening them up" or "making them try harder and not wuss out" or some variation on the theme. They finish school, go become teachers, and come back to teach phys ed...and still want to "toughen up" the "weak" kids, and have never figured out that those kids went through hell in PE...so they just keep the cycle going. Dodgeball is part of it. (So is "you and you are team captains - pick your teams". This could only come from the brain of someone who was never picked last in their life...or a sadist.)
That makes sense. Maybe part of the reason that it's implemented better at DS's school is that PE is taught by the regular classroom teachers, not a dedicated PE teacher. (Although I have fond memories of my PE teacher in grade school - there are good ones out there!)
My biggest problem with dodgeball, is that we tell our children that it is not OK to hit others, or throw things at others. (our school has a zero tolerance policy on physical violence). So if it is not OK to hit them with a my hand, why is it OK to purposefully throw a ball at them?
I think it sends a confusing message to children.
Knowing my daughter? While the intent wasn't to hurt, if it happened? Oh well, it happens. While she is an aggressive athlete, she does not play dirty and would never intentionally hurt someone. But it does happen. It's happened to her; it's happened to her opponents. She plays a contact sport. It's all part of the game.
Now, granted, dodgeball isn't a "sport", per se. But, the ball can sometimes unintentionally hit someone where it shouldn't. I am not denying that dodgeball CAN be a vehicle for bullies. I think most competitive sports/activities can be. But they can also be healthy outlets. All depends on how it's handled.
When I was in elementary/middle school, I was not athletic. I suppose I could have been, but according to my Old World parents - young ladies did not participate in sports. Young ladies learned to sew, embroider, play the piano, etc. They did not get down and dirty on a ball field. So in the lower schools, I was one of the last picked because I wasn't that good. It wasn't until I got to HS and later that I got to be more physically active.
I don't think there are really any right or wrong answers on dodgeball.
dd loves dodgeball. its quite popular in her school. she loves it because its about the only 'sport' that has boys and girls play together.
there is heavy supervision in school. however she is also in a class that has been together since second grade. there is a camaraderie amongst the students (which sometimes is a problem). no one even thinks of hurting anyone. i am sure accidents happen, but nothing bad enough to phase them.
its pretty popular in dd's school. the kids always play with it when its the right time.
I asked my kids about it. They go to a progressive/democratic school where no one would ever be forced to do something like play dodge ball, and bullying isn't tolerated.
None the less, the kids CAN play dodge ball by mutual consent.
They said it never ends well. Even when all the people playing agree to play and understand that the point is to try to hit each other with balls, someone ends up angry and feeling hurt. Every single time.
but everything has pros and cons
Lovin' my four-pack: M, S, a different M, and me.
I hated dodge ball as a kid, but no more than I hated any other sports we did in PE. I was never athletic. I am used to being the clumsiest and slowest person, and PE in general did nothing to help me come out of my shell and give sports a chance. I know people tout PE as a necessary school activity, crucial in the battle against childhood obesity, and all that. I've never seen a shred of evidence for this though. I've never met anyone who was not athletically inclined who became more active because of PE. If anything, its quite the other way around - sports like this just serve to further lower the self-esteem of those who struggle to begin with.
Yes, yes, yes. At one point, the State decided co-ed PE was mandatory, and that certainly didn't help a junior high self-esteem either. Oy. Although shortly thereafter, our school decided to offer two choices each unit that you could pick from and that was a lot more fun. I usually picked croquet and archery and badminton. Not that I was any good at those either, but at least it was learning something new and didn't require so much athleticism, which I was never going to attain anyway.
Anyhoo - the original question. I think dodgeball might be OK for smaller kids, but there was definitely a point growing up that we kind of stopped playing it in PE because the bigger boys were just too strong and started playing "alpha male". At that point, the girls just tried to get out as quick as possible so we could all weave our friendship bracelets on the sidelines. Although in 3rd grade, a boy a year older than me broke my wrist by throwing the ball at me to get me out, so you never know what's going to cause an injury, I guess.
WOHM to Leo (4/08) and enjoying the journey with DH
Announcing the arrival of Clara in August 2013!
It's funny that it wasn't at recess because the balls were there, but usually used for four-square or a racquet-ball like game against the walls. Could be because you need the gym walls to rein in the wild balls. Not a lot of fun forever chasing after those. For us, dodge ball was a winter time PE activity, along with basketball and disco dancing (!!!). Too much snow.....
"Let me see you stripped down to the bone. Let me hear you speaking just for me."
So my dd2 (3rd grade) tells me that she likes Dodgeball and that they played it today, but it was Star Wars Dodgeball. She said each team has multiple "softie" balls (rubberized-fabric covered foam balls). There's also at least one Jedi for each team in a "temple" made by a hula hoop placed on the floor. The Jedi has a light saber that has the power to bring back to life people who have been hit and "out" or "dead", but if the Jedi is hit the whole team loses. They post guards around the Jedi to keep him from getting hit. (I didn't really understand the "temple" and the light saber bringing back to life thing. Maybe the light saber is long enough the Jedi doesn't have to leave the temple, or maybe the temple is like a base?!?) She also says that there is a rule that if anyone throws the ball hard enough to leave a mark or throws it hard enough in someone's face to make them cry then that thrower is banned from Star Wars Dodgeball (at least for the rest of the year it sounded like).
So that sounds like a completely different game than the Dodgeball that I played and disliked with those big rubber bouncy kickball balls that really hurt when they whaled on you.
"All you fascists are bound to lose" — Woody Guthrie
I've never seen dodgeball as a recess game, but it was part of our PE curriculum in the late 70s and early 80s.
Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) , Emma (5/03) , Evan (7/05) , & Jenna (6/09)
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing Aaron Ambrose (11/07)
I am small, quick, relatively athletic and have decent aim. I LOVED dodgeball days at school. It was one of the few games that favoured kids like short, scrawny little me.
Red Rover, on the other hand...
Postpartum doula & certified breastfeeding educator, mama to an amazing girl (11/05) and a wee little boy (3/13).