For many, dodgeball was a fun, although sometimes painful, way to pass time during P.E. class in high school.
But for students in New Hampshire’s Windham school district, the game is a thing of the past.
In a 4-1 vote last week, the Windham School Board decided to remove dodgeball and nine other games from the school district's physical education curriculum. Prison ball, Slaughter, and Bombardment were among the other removed games.
According to Windham School Superintendant Dr. Henry LaBlanche, the games were encouraging the wrong type of athletic competition between children.
"We spend a lot of time making sure our kids are violence free," he 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.”
The only school board member to vote against the measure was Dennis Senibaldi.
“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 supports the school district’s ruling. Andrew Mead, a program manager at NASPE, says there are plenty of good reasons for schools to transition away from elimination games during physical education classes.
"It's an elimination game. Games like dodgeball and tag don't keep kids involved and physically active. They objectify slower students who don't catch as well,” he said.
Windham is far from the first school district to ban the play of dodgeball during P.E. classes. As this 2001 New York Times story shows, many schools across the country have taken similar measures.