It caught my interest the other day when I read that some elementary schools around the country are abandoning the childhood game we cherished every day at PE -- Dodge Ball! Throwing the big red rubber ball as hard as you can trying to tag people and making them stand behind to create a revolving circle of throwing and dodging all for some merry fun on the basketball courts for twenty minutes to break from the classroom for even just a little bit. The argument is that dodgeball breeds violence in children which is understandable, but also at age 10 who was really thinking about hurting people instead of just feeding our competitive edge on the playground. While violent, dodge ball is virtually harmless. I found this so interesting because I learned a lot of things playing dodge ball with my classmates.
First, it got my butt out of that seat. It encourages running and aerobic exercise. Dodge ball courts are about 60 feet long! Kids are forced to run that several times just to dodge the ball not to mention throwing strategies. The running also comes in sprints, or bursts of energy, which burn calories and increases the functions of your cardiovascular systems for when you get older.
Second, it teaches agility and balance. The pure act of dodging the ball breed agility to stay light on your feet ready to move at any point in time. Some forms of dodge ball have more than one ball, which also helps kids begin to beware of their surroundings and be ready for anything.
Fourth, the hand-eye coordination necessary for dodge ball is astounding. Throwing the ball and running from the ball both involve enormous amounts of hand-eye coordination. It also sets the ground for complex math and problem solving. When these kids take into account where their classmate standing and where they will move once the ball is thrown and how to make the ball hit them while they are on the move.
Clearly, dodge ball can be very beneficial to our upcoming youth, and it should not be banned from childhood playgrounds. Another point of interest is HITS will begin holding dodge ball games in the gym on the weekends for the upcoming Spring Semester! So be sure to join in and enhance your strength and endurance with a friendly game of dodgeball!!