Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Hall of Shame Games

The list of games included in the Hall of Shame hit close to home for me. Games including dodgeball and kickball were all played in my physical education classes throughout my primary and secondary education. And to be completely honest, I enjoyed playing them, I had fun, but I never thought anything past that. Now that we have discussed the issues in class, my eyes have really opened up to the many things that are wrong with these activities. The main issue I have with dodgeball and kickball is the amount of standing around, both on and off the playing field. Players tend to stand around waiting for a ball to be thrown or kicked towards them, or they sit around on the bleachers after knocked out of dodgeball. But, these games do include throwing, kicking, accuracy, agility, and these can all be increased if we were to get creative and discover new and improved ways of playing.
One of the games I believe has some hope of salvation is kickball. In my high school we played a version of kickball called mat ball. In this style of kickball, there were panel mats or skill cushions placed as bases in the playing field. The players on offense could stop at these mats, and more than one person could be on them at any time. So if i was on first base, and the batter behind me kicked the ball right to the pitcher, I could stay on the mat instead of leaving and risk getting hit. This way, there is no limit as to who is on base. But, if even one toe comes of the mat, the player must run to the next mat. In kickball no more than 3 people could be on base, in mat ball, several students can be involved, and the order of base running can also be changed. So student may have to go to 2nd, then 3rd, 1st, and finally home to score, increasing the amount of running. On defense, there can be extra balls added. Surrounding the pitcher an additional 5 or 6 balls can be scattered. These balls can only be picked up and thrown if the original ball that is rolled towards the batter is contacted. This way, there is not just one ball rolling across the floor. Some players can focus on retrieving the original ball, while others pick up and throw the balls scattered around the pitcher. This version involves more people, and allows more action and movement. Players that do not wish to participate can watch each mat to see if a player steps off, or stand behind the pitcher and call whether the pitch is a strike or ball. To justify having my classes participate in mat ball, I would argue that the game incorporates NY Standard 1 and NASPE Standards 1 and 2. Hopefully this version of kickball would work better, and maybe, just maybe get the game off of the hall of shame list.  

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