Dodgeball Is A Form Of Bullying?

Researchers out of British Columbia say it's 'legalized bullying'

Lynne Hayes-Freeland
June 05, 2019 - 1:57 pm

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(Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - Dodgeball is a form of bullying. That’s according to a group of Canadian researchers.

Claire Robson, an adjunct professor at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia tells KDKA Radio’s Lynne Hayes-Freeland “the more you think about it, the more you question its place in the curriculum.”

Robson adds that “using other people as a form of target is a questionable practice, particularly when we’re also concerned about a culture of bullying, we’re looking at the Me Too movement and we feel that dodgeball contributes to a culture in which bullying is being seen as okay.”

Robson says they are not  anti-sports or anti-competition but that there are better activities the students can be playing.

The study shows that kids who are seen as different tend to be the targets.

Robson says minority children are targets as well as, “kids who are not so well coordinated, kids who have a different body profile, shy kids, girls tend to be used as targets in the game.”

The researchers are not calling for a ban of the gym activity but would like school officials will at least think about why they play the game.

“The skills that can be learned in dodgeball, accurate throwing, throwing with force, dodging, moving, engaging in fun, physical activities can be achieved in so many other different ways,” said Robson. “Why play this sport which is the only game in which the body is used as a target? There aren’t any other sports in which this happens.”

Robson says their researched also showed an emotional impact on the children as well.

“Kids said they felt victimized, it wasn’t enjoyable for them . . . why play dodgeball? There’s no need for it,” said Robson.