Dodgeball

Dodgeball

Dodgeball, as you surely recall, is one of those games of youth that you either loved or loathed. For the athletically superior, it was a chance to prove some semblance of macho superiority. For others, it was little more than an hour of getting mercilessly pummeled by flying rubber projectiles. Either way, it’s one of those experiences that you don’t soon forget. Let’s take a look back at this sadistic little part of physical education that left such a lasting impression on many of us.

The rules of Dodgeball are pretty simple. Two teams take sides and throw big rubber balls at each other. If you are hit by one (or many) of the balls, your participation in the battle ends and you get to take a seat on the sidelines. You are also out of the game if one of your opponents catches a ball that you threw – therefore enticing you to throw with all of your might in the hopes of overpowering your target’s defenses. If you had decent catching skills, you could stay alive for quite a while – unless your opponents were plentiful and in possession of all the balls. It’s relatively easy to catch one at a time, but there was no good defense for a well-armed firing squad.

Dodgeball certainly wasn’t for everyone, and yet, gym class generally required your participation so you had little choice in the matter. If you weren’t particularly aggressive as a child, it probably wasn’t one of your favorite activities. First you had to endure the ritual of sides being chosen, which was traumatic in itself. Then, you got to run around like a human target in a shooting gallery, just hoping that someone would put you out of your misery, swiftly and as painlessly as possible. But whether you relished or despised the game of dodgeball, we all found a way to survive and perhaps that was the lesson of the game all along.

What are your memories of playing Dodgeball? Were you an invincible warrior or would you have preferred to skip the whole thing? Share your thoughts with us in our comments section as we pay tribute to the childhood rite of passage where only the strong survived.

4 Responses to “Dodgeball”

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  1. Jennifer harris says:

    I played Dodgeball as a child in school.

  2. Gina says:

    I remember not from my personal years, but from The Simpsons, when Principal Skinner awarded Lisa a globe of Mars, and she said something like, “Hey, this is just a dodgeball with Mars written on it!” I forget what episode that was from.

    • Emily says:

      I don’t remember that episode, but I do remember “Moaning Lisa,” where Lisa is in the middle of the gym, with the rest of her class throwing balls at her, and then the teacher asks her why she wasn’t attempting to dodge the balls, and she said she was “too sad.”

  3. Drahken says:

    We had dodgeball in jr high, but it was different from what’s usually depicted. There were only 2 balls, each team had half the gym & weren’t allowed to cross the line, and the skilled players tended to get targetted more/first to get them out of the way.
    It was nearly impossible for either team to win though, because a single catch brought all of that team’s players back onto the field. The damned game would just go on & on until the bell rang. (Which was exactly why the teacher used it, so he could just take a nap or something.)
    I mostly just leaned against the wall at the back, until the rest of my team was tagged out or until the bell rang. Once in a while though, I actually paced back & forth right next to the line, virtually daring the other team to tag me, just so that I could go sit on the bench. That tactic wasn’t very effective though, since some jerk would always catch the ball soon after I finally got bumped off, forcing us all back out on the field again.

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