I have no problem with the life lessons that dodgeball teaches children. And I don't care much for pop psychology that says we shouldn't let our children compete. But, there is another danger from dodgeball that is not talked about much. I loved playing the game myself until 6th grade, when one of my classmates was blinded by a dodgeball.
We played with all sizes, but the small ones were the best. Our school's best basketball player was already tall, and with his long arms, he could really wind up the small ones and let loose. Unfortunately, one of his throws caught another star athlete, a pretty big guy himself, square in the face. The impact "exploded" his eye, and he lost all sight in that eye.
Our school eventually banned dodgeball, but not until after it had to pick up all the medical bills and was threatened with a lawsuit. To the blinded boy's credit, he and his parents refused to actually sue the school unless they continued to allow dodgeball.
I always enjoyed the game, but in hindsight I believe it was far too dangerous for us to be playing, at least the way we did it. Perhaps there is a safer way to play it, but I'm not aware of any.
Perhaps there is a safer way to play it, but I'm not aware of any.
Make safety goggles available (not mandatory) for those children whose parents desire them.
Eye-loss problem solved.
posted on 06/24/2002 10:57:08 AM PDT
What kind of ball blinded the kid? Obviously, there needs to be limits, but the overall concept of a game that requires an equal amount of offensive and defensive tactics is a good one.
In my elementary school in the Dark Ages of the 1950's dodgeball was a staple. Common sense, however, prevailed: rather largish balls (like the ones used for 'four square') were used, the smallest maybe 10-12" in diameter and by general agreement of the kids, heads were off-target - hit someone in the head and it didn't count. Nobody wanted to be known as a bad sport who didn't follow the rules we'd all agreed on.
It never ceases to amaze me how many things were handled with common sense and discretion in my youth that now require reams of rules and rigid stupidity.
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