Tuesday, May 08, 2001

I saw an article in the Sunday Post-Dispatch about a movement to ban dodgeball. Then Jon's blog pointed me to a commentary from National Review Online about the dodgeball "issue." I'd like to add my own comment to the NRO piece...YOU'VE GOT TO BE FREAKIN' KIDDIN' ME!!!. Look at some of the quotes from an article that appeared in the Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance entitled, "Is there a place for dodgeball in physical education?"

From Dennis Docheff, of the Department of Health and Human Performance at Concordia University in Mequon, Wis:

A person trying to record the positive attributes of dodgeball would end up with a very short list … In today's world, with so many things breeding violent behavior in children, there is no room for dodgeball anymore.

Let me see Mr. Docheff, I was never very good at math, especially story problems, but let me see if I can predict where you're going with this one. Something like: violence in schools - dodgeball = no more school shootings?

From Robert Kraft of the University of Delaware:

There shall be no human targets in a physical education class … How does elimination from games affect [children's] self-concept and feelings of membership within a group?

Hey, Robert what are you going to go after next, that violent and and despicable elimination game known as the Spelling Bee. I missed the word "aisle" in 4th grade and "committee" in fifth grade IN FRONT OF THE WHOLE SCHOOL....didn't destroy me. Nor did getting knocked out of dodgeball game.

A couple more gems...

From Professor Neil F. Williams of Eastern Connecticut State University:
Elimination games like Tag or Simon Says are essentially self-defeating, because the students who are least skilled and fit are usually the first to be caught.

Now Tag and Simon Says join the list of CRUEL elimination games....what world does this guy live in??

Finally a well-reasoned and even tempered comment from Paul Zientarski of Central High School in Naperville, Ill.:
Anybody who includes it as part of gym class "should be fired immediately."

Why stop at dodgeball, or why stop at elimination games? Why not do away with all competition in whatever form? As a matter of fact, my self-concept has been damaged and my feelings are hurt because of this aggressive movement to eliminate dodgeball from the playground. I feel like a human target of a well-orchestrated effort to punish me for wanting to play dodgeball. This kind of attack -- printing fancy articles in BIG journals, quoting SCARY experts with several degrees, etc. -- not only intimidates me and scares me, but it breeds violent behavior, doesn't it?

Sorry about the rant...I have little patience for lunacy like this. I hope that sensible school districts will be able to dodge this most recent ridiculous movement in our public schools.

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