How did any of us survive our school days?

A group of researchers in Canada says the game “dodgeball” shouldn’t be played in schools, arguing that it’s not only “oppressive,” but also “miseducative.”

The researchers discussed their findings, saying some students use dodgeball to dehumanize and harm their peers, in a recent presentation at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Vancouver, Canada.

“When you’re setting up the environment for students to learn, and you introduce the idea that it’s OK to slam the ball at whomever you like, even if it’s with a soft ball, the intention is there,” University of British Columbia professor Joy Butler told The Washington Post. “[Physical education class] should be an arena where teachers are helping [students] control their aggression and move on instead of expressing themselves through anger.”

The researchers interviewed middle school-aged students broader questions about physical education class. Researchers repeatedly heard that certain students hated dodgeball, The Post reported.

The fact that some kids enjoy dodgeball doesn’t save it, according to an abstract for the presentation. Dodgeball is “miseducative” because it “reinforces the five faces of oppression,” which are exploitation, marginalization, powerlessness, cultural imperialism and violence, the abstract said.

And of course students are never, ever going to experience these things in Real Life. The wussification of the population continues apace.


  1. McGehee »

    10 June 2019 · 9:59 pm

    There are monsters in the human race because humans are primates, and given a chance and sufficient motivation primates will eat people’s faces off.

    The best thing you can do for kids is, while you’re teaching them not to eat each other’s faces off, also teach them what to do when somebody else tries to eat their faces off.

    Nobody is going to eat your face off if you’re relentlessly pounding them in the face with a ball from a safe distance.

  2. Roger Green »

    11 June 2019 · 4:26 am

    I sucked at sports and so I rather hated dodgeball. I remember getting hit a lot, while I rarely reaching my target.

  3. nightfly »

    11 June 2019 · 6:19 am

    It’s astonishing to me that people still think eliminating competition (and winning and losing) from childhood is going to make for happier and better-adjusted adults. The empirical evidence alone is all against the theory. Our lives are increasingly run by bitter overgrown kids who never learned to cope with failure when the stakes were lowest, and now can’t handle it when adults want to do things their own way. We get the same tantrums and whining, only it’s not my five-year-old, it’s someone who’s got the authority to fine me if I won’t comply, or who can pass a law to make me a criminal for doing, saying, thinking what has always been done, said, and thought.

  4. fillyjonk »

    11 June 2019 · 1:11 pm

    I doubt banning dodgeball would fix anything much.

    I will say though I would be in favor of banning dodgeball *played with fully-inflated regulation volleyballs* and it was done during the “sports dead week” when I was in high school. I am still amazed no one came out of that with a broken nose. Though I guess you learned fast to protect the important bits. (My strategy was to either make an “easy throw” someone could catch, and so get out early on, or take a hit on the side of my hip or arm and get out….)

    Dodgeball with those softer red playground balls I’d be OK with.

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