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Dodgeball Alternative

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My editor tells me I have to remove a dodgeball reference from a story I am working on, because dodgeball is now banned at most schools. Fair enough. But is there another game like dodgeball still being played in gym class, where a character could be under threat of a ball being thrown at him at high velocity? It would be ideal if his best strategy would be to hide behind someone else.

Thanks for your help!

Elizabeth
#1 - April 19, 2011, 06:12 PM
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Would Four Square work?
#2 - April 19, 2011, 06:27 PM
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Well, my kids' school has dodgeball and the kids love it!
What about basketball? I got pegged by balls often enough in PE from kids that couldn't throw a basketball - I'm sure you could have it be malicious, too. Or maybe handball? (my kids' school does a unit on that) Or volleball? Miss a spike and it comes right down on your head.
#3 - April 19, 2011, 06:34 PM
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They play dodgeball at my son's middle school too. Personally, when I was in school, any ball coming toward me was something to dodge. I found dodging particularly useful in volleyball. :eyeballs:
#4 - April 19, 2011, 06:58 PM
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Kickball, maybe?
#5 - April 19, 2011, 07:09 PM
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I'm not sure whether this falls under the "dodgeball" category, but we played a game called "Knock 'Em Over" at my school in the 2000s. There were two teams (each allotted half the court) and you had to keep to your team's space. There were about six large (foam?) balls that you lobbed across the court, trying to knock down the opposing team's goal (a precarious structure of wooden blocks).

It was risky to defend your own team's blocks, since being hit with a ball knocked you temporarily out of the game. The balls were soft (so it was very safe) but no one wanted to be knocked out of the game. It would certainly help to hide behind a teammate if you didn't mind being labelled a coward.
#6 - April 19, 2011, 08:33 PM
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They play pin guard at my kids' school.  That might work.  Technically they're supposed to roll the ball at the pins (like bowling) but they are guarding with their bodies.  If the teacher was turned away, someone could throw it . . . I don't know the exact plot of your book, of course.



 
#7 - April 20, 2011, 04:17 AM
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I think kickball would work.  Someone could pretend to throw the ball to the base to get someone out and actually throw it at the person if you want someone hit by the ball.

Or someone could do a great kick and someone not paying attention would be smacked hard. 

We played kickball all the time and back then no one paid any attention to what we were doing out on the playground.  bwahaahaa
#8 - April 20, 2011, 09:22 AM
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FWIW, my kids' school still has dodge ball also.
#9 - April 20, 2011, 10:32 AM

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At my daughter's school her class plays 'asteroids in space.' There is a write-up on how to play on this site http://www.ehow.com/list_6608549_p_e_-activities-elementary-school.html
It sounds quite calm the way it is written up but if you see it in action, it isn't!! :)
#10 - April 20, 2011, 10:43 AM

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I was thinking volleyball, too! But I think it depends in part on the age of your characters.

(And not to argue with your editor, but even if it's not officially allowed in gym class anymore, dodgeball can make an excellent thematic incident in a story for kids--I'm thinking of a brilliant episode of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," where a game of dodgeball was used to illustrate a character's cruelty.)
#11 - April 20, 2011, 11:51 AM

FWIW, my kids' school still has dodge ball also.

Ditto. Elementary school.
#12 - April 20, 2011, 11:53 AM
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Can't comment on whether dodge ball still exists, but I wanted to suggest another alternative from when I was a kid (and maybe it's still around?). We used to play Snake Ball, which is basically dodge ball, except you're not lined up against a wall but given free rein around the gym. A person who's hit with a ball becomes a snake and must sit down in place (and remain seated). Anyone they touch also becomes a snake. The last person standing wins. It can quite violent and dangerous still, though.

#13 - April 21, 2011, 01:59 AM
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I am so amazed that we all survived these games. 

I read recently that a Police Athletic League may have to shut down their summer program because of new laws requiring a certified first aide/nurse on duty at all times, that many of the games like dodge ball (our dodge ball was played in a large square where you had to run around the square avoiding those who were outside the square who had already been hit - if the made a good hit they could rotate back into the game) were no longer going to be allowed.  Thus many of the underprivileged kids and youth they kept safe and off the streets during the summer were in danger of losing their summer camps.

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#14 - April 21, 2011, 04:11 PM
You must do the things you think you cannot do.  Eleanor Roosevelt

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Can't comment on whether dodge ball still exists, but I wanted to suggest another alternative from when I was a kid (and maybe it's still around?). We used to play Snake Ball, which is basically dodge ball, except you're not lined up against a wall but given free rein around the gym. A person who's hit with a ball becomes a snake and must sit down in place (and remain seated). Anyone they touch also becomes a snake. The last person standing wins. It can quite violent and dangerous still, though.

Oooh, we played a similar game called "Octopus." When you were tagged, you had to stand in place and wave your arms around to try and tag your opponents. I think we also had a variant called "Scarecrow" (or something like that) where you could unfreeze an ally by crawling between their legs!

We also had "Pony Express," where one team lined the sides of a pathway, holding about half a dozen balls, and tried to pelt the runners from the other team. If you were a runner, you had to dash along the pathway and deliver your baton without being hit by a ball.

This thread is bringing back memories.  :biggrin:
#15 - April 21, 2011, 05:27 PM
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* Tɧe HµSɧ (2015)
* Aℊeηt NøмAⅾ series (2017)

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These are really helpful suggestions! Thank you so much!

 :thankyou

Elizabeth
#16 - April 21, 2011, 06:48 PM
FIVE SHORT SECONDS
SAYA AT SPEED
RULES OF THE GAME
TEST CASES
TWISTER RESISTERS
CRASH COURSE
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I was also a volleyball dodger. I couldn't stand to have those things coming at me and they are HARD. Ouch!

You might be able to make up your own game for your story. When I was in PE, the philosophy seemed to be that the teachers would make up their own games that would teach ball handling skills, but without actually playing real sports like baseball, soccer, etc. I think the rationale was to somehow level the playing field (so to speak) so that kids who knew the rules of say, basketball, and maybe even played on the basketball team, would not have an advantage over kids who didn't play. The only real outcome of this philosophy was that people like me, who didn't play any sport, didn't end up learning the rules to anything.
#17 - April 23, 2011, 05:45 AM
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I am a third grade teacher and I found this post while googling dodgeball alternatives for my class since it is indeed banned at my school. I think we are going to play steal the flag instead. Hope you worked things out in your book.

Best,
Stacy
#18 - March 23, 2012, 10:05 AM
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Thanks! I ended up inventing a game that worked just as well! :thankyou
#19 - March 23, 2012, 10:35 AM
FIVE SHORT SECONDS
SAYA AT SPEED
RULES OF THE GAME
TEST CASES
TWISTER RESISTERS
CRASH COURSE
Heinemann, Fall 2013

Yes, kickball would for sure work. My daughter had a red cheek for two days after being smacked by that red ball.
#20 - March 23, 2012, 10:46 AM
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There's dodgeball here, too, up until grade 10 P.E. classes.
#21 - March 23, 2012, 10:57 AM

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It did not matter if I was playing dodgeball, volleyball, tetherball, or basketball. My head was a natural magnet. I was hit numerous times. Was I doomed because my junior high basketball jersey had the number 13 on it and was at least three sizes too big? 

Of course not, I just couldn't anticipate the throws and had crappy vision. I did love to play though I risked brain injury every time a round object flew in the air.

My husband related to me his own childhood horror story about dodgeball.  He had a sadistic coach that loved to throw the ball hard and fast at the boys in his gym class. My hub was terrorized. He was the smallest kid.  The coach said he was 'toughening them up'. Good grief!

I think making up a game is a good idea with your own rules if you can't use dodgeball.
#22 - March 23, 2012, 11:40 AM

Another zombie thread revived! But I'll add my .02. When I was in fifth grade (in 1968) a girl in my class got a concussion while playing dodgeball. It's a barbaric game.
#23 - March 23, 2012, 11:45 AM

And I forgot to mention, there's still dodgeball here in TN too.
#24 - March 23, 2012, 12:16 PM
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In California we played two particularly vicious games called "heads up 7-up" and "bombardier" - cant remember rules just OUCH.

They were not endorsed by the school, but we played them anyway.

Also tether ball  & volleyball can draw blood. Don't ask how I know!
#25 - March 23, 2012, 12:31 PM
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Volleyball.
#26 - March 23, 2012, 02:32 PM

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The schools around here switched from red rubbers balls for dodgeball to foam balls that couldn't hurt a five-year-old (exception emotinally).

My kids invented a version of four square called idiotball. More or less, it promoted cheating. You could hold the ball for up to six seconds and miss the square and yell 'Line!' - i.e. you could act like an idiot.

There have been a number of head hits playing one-touch with soccer balls against the school wall, and playing blackmail too.
#27 - March 23, 2012, 05:32 PM

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We ended up playing Capture the Captain instead. One person one each team had a tissue in their pocket and was the captain. No one knew who the captain was and if they chose the wrong person, they were out. You could also pass the tissue. It was kind of like a living version of stratego, but without the bombs.
#28 - April 12, 2012, 05:42 PM
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Basketball. If your protag is a girl, it will work perfectly. My girls both play HS basketball and I can tell you, it is a contact sport.
#29 - April 19, 2012, 01:47 PM

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