Friday, March 29, 2013

Dodgeball banned at New Hampshire school district

A New Hampshire school district has banned the playground sport of dodgeball over concerns about violence and bullying.

The local school board in Windham, N.H. voted 4-1 last week to remove ball-throwing game and nine other "human target" activities after a committee of physical education teachers studied the issue after a middle-school parent complained his child was bullied during a dodgeball game.

The committee recommending eliminating dodgeball — regionally known as bombardment to many including Homer Simpson — along with prison ball and slaughter during school hours.

"We spend a lot of time making sure our kids are violence free," Windham superintendent Dr. Henry LaBranche said. "Here we have games where we use children as targets. That seems to be counter to what we are trying to accomplish with our anti-bullying campaign."

School Board member Dennis Senibaldi cast the sole vote against the nanny state ban.

"We have rules that are set in place to deal with bullying," he said. "We don't need to ban an entire round of games just to enforce those rules."

The National Association for Sport and Physical Education said there are any number of reasons to drop dodgeball.

"It's an elimination game," said Andrew Mead, program manager at NASPE. "Games like dodgeball and tag don't keep kids involved and physically active. They objectify slower students who don't catch as well."

Senibaldi offered an interesting solution.

"We could just do it on a point system," he said. "So, no one gets knocked out right away."

What's next?  Tag without touching?  Oh, they already have shadow tag.

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