Saturday, September 24, 2011

Let's Play some Dodgeball!

Dodgeball is a fun game that is great for conditioning, agility, arm strength, and hand-eye coordination. I think is crazy for people to say that this should not be played in physical education. Come on…. It gets kids moving around, using their psychomotor skills, using strategy, and improves ones competitive position.  Competition is part of life, and dodgeball certainly teaches kids to give it their all or they can simply quit and lose. Don’t we want to teach children to take advantage of being competitive and how that is a part of life? Oh of course- the elimination factor. As we evolve in the PE setting, we know that we can alter any sport, game, or activity to fit the needs and equality of all students. There can be a penalty for “getting out” such as a side activity in a “jail” so that the students want to come back in. They may need to catch a ball thrown by their other teammates from across the gymnasium to return to the main floor-which creates an awesome, intense competition and excitement when numbers are close. As for safety-I do not see a safety or injury factor to dodgeball. Maybe years and years ago when they did not have such a variety of balls to play with such as nerf balls and smaller foam balls. Injury is obviously a risk in all sports, exercise, and athletics. I honestly think people need to stop being such babies about this topic. To say that it is a dangerous activity is just unreasonable.
                There is absolutely a place for dodgeball in the physical education curriculum. It is how the activity it structured and modified that relates to our goals in overall fitness, athletics, and fun. There should always be a goal in mind when planning activities for students. The physical educator must ensure that students are learning about target heart rate, agility, throwing mechanics, catching skills, etc. while playing any game. When taught from this perspective, dodgeball becomes a valuable learning tool, not a lesson in humiliation.

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