Sunday, February 8, 2009

Down with DODGEBALL?!?

"America has gone softer than butter". This quote was in a recent sports illustrated issue in regards to the recent controversy regarding dodgeball in PE programs. In the recent years dodgeball has somehow become one of the most controversal games in PE programs across the country. There are multiple reason behind this debate; some with quite a bit of substance to them. However, after reading the arguments put forth by Neil Williams the chairman of the Health and Physical Education Department, I could not disagree more! While I may possess a certain biased toward dodge ball being that I see it played regularly, with almost no behavioral or emotional issues. I am going to do my best to rebute Williams arguments from a professional stand point.
For the past eight months I have worked at the William George Agency for Children Services as the recreation coordinator. Since this time, I have seen dodgeball played regularly at least twice a week. During our dodgeball programs, we encounter far less fights or bad sportsmanship than we do during our many other programs. What's more, is that Williams argues that dodgeball excludes many kids either because they are intimidated by that game or because once they are out all they can do is sit and watch. These problems can be easily remedied by simply playing a variation of the traditional game. For example, by playing a game in which each catch results in your entire team coming back in the game cut down on the time students are on the side line drastically. Also, to increase the use of teamwork in the game a version called "medic" can be played in which one person is nominated by each team to be "medic" and this person can tag people to get them back in. In this version, I have noticed that teammates are likely to work together to protect their medic and keep their identity a secret.

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