Many German sports classes play dodgeball. But now a Canadian research team has sharply criticized the game: It is a tool of "oppression", "dehumanizing" and "equating to legalized bullying". We present better alternatives.
"Dodgeball is synonymous with legalized bullying," educationalist Joy Butler told Canadian broadcaster CBC. As reported, Butler and her team surveyed students ages 12 to 15 generally about physical education. They heard one complaint again and again: Many students hated dodgeball. Some students interviewed even found the game to be "oppressive" and "dehumanizing".
At Dodgeball, two teams try to throw each other off until all opponents are hit. Butler and her team now doubt the educational benefits of the game: According to the researchers, dodgeball teaches children that it is okay to hurt others. "In physical education, teachers should help students control their aggressions … rather than express themselves through anger," Butler said.
Discussion about dodgeball: teaching for life or bullying?
The statements of the research team caused discussions. The President of the German Teaching Association, Heinz-Peter Meidinger, told the that you cannot remove all unpleasant things from school. Otherwise you could not prepare the children to survive in their later professional and living lives.
Frankfurt teacher Cihangir Abale sees it differently. He told the picture: “The stronger use this game to distinguish themselves – and the teachers cannot intervene in time. I don’t think this game prepares the children for society because it suggests that there is no room for the weak. ”
Dodgeball alternatives: Cooperative games for physical education
The Canadian study questions whether Völkerball is suitable for physical education. It’s good that there are many alternatives for physical education that are about working together – not against each other.
Spike ball resembles classic volleyball. The field of the trend sport does not consist of two halves. Instead it is circular with a round net in the middle and the teams are allowed to move freely on all sides. In spikeball, the players try to put the ball on the net so that the opposing team cannot play it back. To do this, they have to work together. The opposing team must not be held back or hindered. You can read the exact rules.
Before you buy a spikeball set, however, you should note that the devices are not made of sustainable material. The balls are made of PVC, for example, which is difficult to degrade and brings more with it.
In this video you can see how Spikeball is played:
Also at volleyball it’s not about dropping or wiping the enemy. Instead, the teams have to work together to score points.
Tip: So that individual children do not feel excluded, sports teachers should not let the children “choose” the teams from two students. Instead, teachers can simply count the teams by assigning numbers to the children.
You can also take physical education for Team building games use. During the exercises, the children have to solve tasks by working together and coordinating each other.
An example of this would be the game "The Bock": In this exercise, a trestle is set up in the gym and the floor is therefore lined with mats. The children must now try to place as many of them on the box as possible. Players on the floor may support the children on the goat.
You can find more cooperative games in this video:
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