Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Should Dodgeball Be Allowed in Physical Education Classes?

Many people argue that dodgeball should not be a part or even associated with physical education classes. Some believe that it is too rough and that the kids should not be used as targets. I disagree with this. I believe that there are other ways which can make dodgeball beneficial and fun for every student involved. Before you begin with the game of dodgeball, it is important that, as a teacher, you show and teach in progressions, the proper techniques of throwing. When these techniques are taught and the students know how to properly throw, then a game of dodgeball can be added to help enforce the proper technique to the students. This game can help them with hand eye coordination by trying to catch the ball in order to get the player on the opposite team out. It also works on hitting a moving target. The players on the opposite team are not always standing still, so throwing at a target could be a challenge for some students. 
Although dodgeball is a fun game, it can be very unsafe for students to play unless certain rules and precautions are implemented before the students are able to play. After all, it is your job as a physical eduction teacher to make sure that every single student is not only having fun, but is in a safe environment as well. There are many ways in which you as a teacher can make the game of dodgeball both fun and safe for your students. The first way is by using a ball that is soft and that cannot hurt anyone. These balls usually consist of soft foam and are a little smaller than a soccer ball. Another safety precaution that can be made is that the students may not hit anyone above the chest line. Everything must below the chest. A third way to both work on skill and to even out the playing field among the students, is to make every student throw with their non-dominant hand. Lastly, you can draw a line on each side of the as a safety zone, if the student is in that zone, they are not allowed to pick up and throw the ball at anyone and if they are hit in that zone, they are not out. A time limit should be set on how long students are allowed to stay in that zone, or you will get students who will just stand in there the whole game. 
Dodgeball is a fun classic game that dates back 1832 where it was played in Africa. It is a game that we can continue to play and teach children as long as it is in a controlled manner. It is a way to get everyone in the class to participate and get their heart rates up. Although many people do not agree with letting students play in physical education classes, I believe that as long as you, as a teacher, do your job and make it safe and fun for every student than it is a great way to get your students moving and active. 

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