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Posted: 5/3/2001 11:55:06 AM EDT
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,20196,00.html Showdown in Dodge City FOX News Is this the end of Dodgeball? Thursday, May 03, 2001 - Michael Y. Park NEW YORK — Dodgeball, that universal schoolyard staple, has become about as welcome in U.S. schools as the "it" kid in a game of tag. The debate over the once-popular game boils down to two points of view. Critics are calling it a traumatic experience for less athletic kids that has no place in schools. Dodgeball lovers say it's good exercise and good fun and that overcautious school administrators shouldn't try to stamp out. "I believe it should be stopped," said film director Art Jones, who directed Dodgeball, a mock-documentary criticizing the game. "Anyone with an ailment or who wears glasses or anyone slightly different suddenly wears a bull's eye. I think that dodgeball derailed an entire generation of Americans. It's the true red menace." In his "docudramedy" about dodgeball — also known as bombardment, Alamo ball, burning ball, killer ball, and ball chaser — Jones makes the argument that by teaching kids to pick on the weak and slow, the game makes bullies of the more athletic kids and makes the meek even meeker. And several school districts agree, saying that dodgeball, a game in which children eliminate opponents by lobbing rubber balls at each other, is dangerous and promotes the wrong values. Districts from Maine to Texas have banned dodgeball from their gymnasiums. Great Jones Productions Watch out! Neil F. Williams, a physical education professor at Eastern Connecticut State University, made it the first game he lambasted in an article entitled "The Physical Education Hall of Shame," printed in The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance. "Generally speaking, the game is a litigation action waiting to happen," Williams writes. "At most, about half of the students really play — the rest hide in the farthest reaches of the gym. There is no denying that the game involves throwing, catching, running, thinking, teamwork, and strategy. However, there has to be a better way to do it than to endanger the health and well-being of our students — not to mention the security of our jobs." The good aspects of dodgeball could be taught in other ways, according Judith C. Young, executive director of the National Association for Sport and Physical Education, part of the association that publishes the journal. "When it's played with the traditional rules, the kids who need the most practice are eliminated," she said. "Physical education classes are supposed to make kids like physical activity. There aren't any other activities even in real sports where the idea is to throw things at people. We throw things to be caught, but not to hit people."
Link Posted: 5/3/2001 11:55:43 AM EDT
But even as the anti-dodgeball movement stumbles its way through U.S. schools like a kid playing Blind Man's Bluff, lovers of the red ball are rallying to the game's defense. "I can understand the ideas they may get in their heads about what they may have experienced or heard about the sport," said Bill DePue, co-director of the National Amateur Dodgeball Association. "But we feel that the sport can be played in a way that is appropriate for schools. It's a good stress reliever. It's a good aerobic workout. It's just, well, it's just fun." It's also more popular than ever, DePue said. Founded in July 2000, the Schaumburg, Ill., organization holds national dodgeball tournaments that have attracted as many as 300 people of all ages — that abide by strict rules of fair play and safety. And even when a team never notches up a single victory, as was the case last summer with a group of 6th graders, they still have fun. "The argument is that the game can damage the self-esteem of the less successful players," DePue said. "But these girls didn't want to stop playing even though they never won." And, he noted, there has never been even a minor injury from an association dodgeball game. At Grapevine High School in Grapevine, Texas, kids who were fans of the game even founded a dodgeball group, the Bombardment Society, which, with 60 members, is the largest club at the school. Society spokesman and co-founder Brett Bowden, now a 19-year-old college student who is still active in the group, said people's fears about the game are exaggerated. "I don't see that throwing a projectile is the same as shooting a gun at someone, or that there's any difference between dodgeball and tackling someone in football," Bowden said. "We played dodgeball in elementary school, and I don't remember anyone getting hurt. Maybe kids are growing bigger biceps than when we were little. It's just us having fun, a bunch of kids hanging out and playing a game." Not so for Jones, who remembers the guilt he felt years ago when he first nailed a smaller kid with his blistering sidewinder. "There was a sense of remorse," he said. "I thrilled in the victory, but there was the humanity of it … bodies flopping to the hardwood floor, little bodies getting pummeled."
Link Posted: 5/3/2001 12:04:14 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/3/2001 12:05:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/3/2001 12:05:50 PM EDT by Cleatus]
lets make gym class so friggin PC that we only can play games where there is no winner or looser and noboy comes in first,second or third place, no physical activity of any kind because the wheelchair kid cant do it no archery because it promotes cowboy and indians and that is racist. No fun of any type will be allowed, you will sit in the middle of the gym and not touch anoter person because you will get sued. The funny part of it is the people that complain about it, played it when they were in school. Guess they took to many balls to the head! This country is quicly becoming a bunch of sissy fags that cant hack anything. We are dumbing ourselves down so low we will eventually become the most usless nation on earth.
Link Posted: 5/3/2001 12:14:06 PM EDT
Dodge ball was one of my most favorite games in grade school. Where else could you take out your aggessions and nail the class bully in the head or in the nuts while the teacher looked on? I even remember the kids in 6th grade used to play a game called "smear the queer". I could never figure that one out though.
Link Posted: 5/3/2001 12:21:11 PM EDT
Hey, I was gonna post "Smear the Queer". Somedays it was "Tackle the Man with the Ball", or Dodgeball, sometimes we'd run in front of a brick wall while classmates tried to bean the guy running with red balls. A couple of times we used baseballs, till we got caught. No matter what the coach called it, we always called it Smear the Queer.
Link Posted: 5/3/2001 12:24:19 PM EDT
First, we called it Murderball. Second, why waste time targeting the weak and slow. Our strategy was to always target the stronger players first. After those that would smite you were eliminated, the weak and slow could be dispatched at you leisure. [xx(] On the comment re: making Gym class PC, I have a funny story. An aqaintence of mine is a gym teacher. He was directed to make a list of his "underachiving students". He did so and turned it in. Soon thereafter, he was called to the principals office. There seemed to be a problem. The "underachivers" on his list were not minority students the principal and counselers were looking for. He looked 'em in the eye and told them "Hey, I'm a gym teacher. My minority students excel, I can't help that my "underachivers" are white." While the principal and counselers stood there and stuttered, he went back to his class.
Link Posted: 5/3/2001 12:37:54 PM EDT
So why do I have the sudden urge to buy a bunch of those red rubber balls, deflate them, pack them in grease and bury them in a PVC tube. :-). If a parent can't let his kid fall down once in awhile, how is the kid ever going to learn to stand back up. Dodge-ball was one of my fav's as a kid. I'm with hipower - work on picking off the strong, the weak you can take your time with. :-).
Link Posted: 5/3/2001 2:41:01 PM EDT
The only value parent-advocates and peer-parents feel comfortable fighting for today is [b]safety[/b].
Link Posted: 5/3/2001 3:01:24 PM EDT
When I was a kid back in the mid 1960s we played traditional Dodgeball AND a "team" version called Prisoner Dodge. When you hit a member of the opposing team and that person failed to catch the ball, he or she was captured. You could free your teams prisoners somehow. I was kind of small and hated it when the big guys hit me with a flat (deflated) ball, but I played anyway. What weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeenies those Pinkboy New Yorkers are.
Link Posted: 5/5/2001 10:34:31 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/5/2001 10:38:09 AM EDT by prk]
We used to play a variation of dodgeball in gym class, with only one ball. A miss sent the thrower's team scrambling to the other end of the court, and the other team got the ball, but had to stop about 20 feet away from the end. No body ever got more than a bump and we all had a great time. The other game was not supervised, it was basically nonstop "get the ball to the other end by any means", no rules but boundaries. In several years there was 1 guy knocked out and 1 broken leg. Many ripped clothes and bruises. Lot's of fun The problem today is not enough conservatives in the school system, maybe compunded by people being too anxious to sue. Without an OK outlet for natural aggressive impulses, it's no wonder the schools have trouble. [red][size=4]P.R.K.
Link Posted: 5/6/2001 2:21:43 AM EDT
There's always the warball variation! We always used to eliminate the weak ones first. Only the strong survive. Some sort of Darwin natural selection thing or something.
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