Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Should Dodgeball be in Physical Education??

                The question of the day is should dodge ball be in Physical Education? I want to make sure everyone understands we are talking about Physical Education in schools not at camps or clubs.  This is a huge debate in my Motor Development class; most of my class was for the game of dodge ball in our schools.  To be honest I was shocked and disappointed, my class consist of all physical education majors who should understand what we are trying to do as Physical Educators.  I want to start by asking a question, and I want you to think really hard and be honest with yourself.  "Why did you like dodge ball so much when you were growing up?" Your answer is probably, "Because I never got out and I was the dodge ball KING!!!"  I know as a student at Kent elementary school I loved dodge ball; I was so excited to play.  The reason I loved dodge ball so much was because I was usually one of the last one standing, I could throw a dodge ball very fast and my agility was lighting.  The reason most of my motor development class is for dodge ball in a physical education setting is exactly that, they are all fit and active, they were just like me one of the last ones standing in the game of dodge ball.  They think because they had a great experience playing this game; all the students will enjoy it.  Well, they are dead wrong!!! As a physical education teacher I want to change as many lives as I can, for the better.  I do not want any of my students looking back on their physical education experience and saying that teacher was mean, unfair and didn't care about us.  I want my students to look back and say, Mr. Mercado was the best teacher I had; I want them to remember me for the rest of their lives. Playing dodge ball is setting yourself up for failure, there is going to be a handful of students who love dodge ball but then the rest of your class is going to be miserable.  That can ruin their physical education experience and which might change their lives in a negative way.  That little boy who got hit in the face that day might never want to be around physical activities again.  The big picture here is, if one student might be negatively affected by this game then why play it?  Teaching dodging and teamwork can be done in many other ways than students throwing balls at each other.  Games like tag, dodge ball, duck duck goose are on the hall of shame for a reason.  The students who are "out" are the students who are not as physically fit as the others and therefore shouldn't be sitting out; they should be the ones practicing the skills they need to improve.  All my students improving on the skills they come into my class with is a huge goal of mine.  I don't care what skills you walk into my gym with, all I care about is what skills you walk out of my gym with.  If everyone got a little better by taking my class then I did my job correctly. Another reason I dislike dodge ball is there is no way to change the game.  If I set up an obstacle course and one of my students is scared of heights, I can change that part of the course so he/she feels comfortable in my lesson.  Now he/she is having fun that day and I know what we have to work on.  I can plan the rest of that week on heights and slowly work on that weakness.  If a student doesn't like being hit by balls and is scared there is no way to say no one hit each other, its dodge ball that’s the only point of the game.  Physical Educators have to always be on their toes, no matter what you have planned you're always going to have to switch stuff around for each class; this is part of being a good teacher. I hope everyone can read this post and fully understand why I strongly believe dodge ball should be banned from schools.  Thanks for your time!

-Albert A. Mercado

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