Dodge the ball: It’s just a game

Jimmy Pyles

Two teams divided by a line on the floor, each individual equipped with a rubber ball to throw at opposing members, the aim being to eliminate the other team’s players while trying not to be eliminated yourself – in other words, a grade-school game known only as dodgeball.

The game is slowly being taken out of schools across America, having most recently been banned from a New Hampshire school because parents and school officials were concerned about the game’s violent and bullying nature.

What it all comes down to is effort. Looking back on my elementary school years, most of the kids who got knocked out of the game first were the ones who just stood there and made no effort to stay in the game.

These kids are being targeted because they are standing still and not actually trying to play the game. If you don’t want to get hit, then dodge the ball – it’s in the name of the game. It’s not called “stand still and get hit in the face ball.”

I didn’t try in math, but I never asked my dad to take math out of schools because the math teacher would single me out for not doing my homework.

If a school board is going to take dodgeball out of the school, then those same schools should stop teaching students about WWI and WWII – those events are also violent. Hell, they might as well stop teaching students about Darwin’s theory of evolution because dodgeball is just that – survival of the fittest.

Pretty soon, limiting or removing all the fun games in school is going to stop kids from wanting to exercise.

Some students are just violent. Bullies are going to pick on other kids regardless of whether or not dodgeball is banned. Besides, it’s the teachers’ job to regulate the game and make sure students aren’t injured or ganged up on.

Getting rid of these games isn’t going to stop bullying. Students have been mean to each other since the beginning of school and will not stop until major changes are made – changes beyond just removing one simple game.

It’s hard for me to think of dodgeball as a form of bullying. When I played it in gym class, it wasn’t about hurting anyone else or singling them out because they’re different. It was about being the last person standing.

Taking this game out of school for the sake of the kids who are being targeted doesn’t help them. The kids being bullied will know this game is being banned only to protect them, and they will continue to expect this treatment growing up. Babying students in this way will only harm them in the long run.