Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Dodgeball....In or Out?

One of the most recent debates in the physical education setting is about the "classic" game of dodgeball. Although played in years past, many teachers and administrators feel that the game is too violent to be allowed in P.E. classes anymore, and I agree. However, I also feel that there are alternatives that would allow dodgeball to be played in the physical education program.

When I was attending high school, all the classes were partner taught. There was one class of females and one class of males each period, with each class having a designated teacher. When winter hit and classes could no longer use outdoor facilities, classes were forced to be joined in he gym. At this point in the year, each teacher would choose an activity, and students were allowed to choose which activity they would like participate in. For example, one teacher may use the smaller gym down the hall for a kickboxing and step aerobics class while the other teacher used the larger gym for floor hockey. Both activities require a great deal of movement, but they are different in characteristic. This choice allowed students to decide what activity they would feel more comfortable participating in. This could be one alternative for dodgeball in classes by allowing the students who want to play, play and allowing an alternative to those who do not. Also, creating modifications as to how long a person sits out could be made. Once hit, a student may have to go to the side of the gym and perform 10 jumping jacks before returning to play. This keeps them active and allows them to get right back into the game.

I know that this type of situation is not always available to all schools, but it could be one way to keep this game in physical education without the worry of bullying or violence.

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