Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Dodgeball (or dodge ball) is the name of a traditional elementary school game, taught in physical education classes, but also popular in informal settings, often played by schoolchildren on a playground. There are many variations of the game, but all involve some players trying to avoid being hit by a ball, that other players are throwing at them.
Players are usually split into teams, though sometimes play individually. A number (although sometimes only one) of medium-sized rubber balls (the same sort used in four square) are placed in a central location. The objective of each player is to hit an opponent so as to eliminate him or her from the game. The game ends when one player (or team) remains.
In some variants, catching the ball enacts a reversal; if the target catches (rather than dodges) the ball, the thrower is eliminated. In other variations a catch (in addition to eliminating the thrower) also allows another player from the catching team to re-enter. In all versions, a player who steps from his square to the enemy team's square is also eliminated.
One rule variant specifies that players who are hit, instead of stepping off the court, sit down where they are hit. If any of these players should later catch a ball thrown by the opposing team, the opposing thrower is out (and must sit down) and the player who caught the ball is back in.
Several variations of dodgeball include Pin-Dodge, Dr. Dodgeball, King's Court, King sting, and Prison Ball.
Pin-Dodge is played like standard dodgeball, except that each team has four wooden pins (like bowling pins, but narrower and more easily knocked over) at the back of their side of the court. If a team's pin gets knocked over, either by accident or by a ball thrown by the other team, all players on the other team return to play. Once knocked over, a pin must stay down. The game ends when all of a team's players are eliminated, or (more often) when all of a team's pins are knocked over.
Dr. Dodgeball involves a leader in each team who tries to avoid getting hit. When players are hit, they fall on the ground and waits for "Dr. Dodgeball" to come and save them. When Dr. Dodgeball saves the fallen players, they can get up and play again. The game ends when Dr. Dodgeball is hit.
King's Court also involves a leader. If the leader is hit, the game is over.
Prisonball, Nationball, King's Court (Canada), or Crossfire is played much like dodgeball, but when a player is hit, he gets put in "prison" behind the opposing team. To get out of prison, he must hit the opposing team from behind. This puts a lot more pressure on the teams as they can be sandwiched between enemies. In all except Prisonball though, "prisoners" remain behind the opposing team until the game is over.
Space Dodgeball is set up like so:(X=Team 1|A=Team 2|O=Balls).
A O X O A X O A X A X O A X O A O X
It is played with both teams on one half of a Basketball Court. You can be attacked from any direction. Besides that, the rules are the same as regular dodgeball.
Dodgeball, when it emerged, was touted as the "nerd's sport". Since players normally were not part of a team, no player had to endure the teasing that would fall upon a player accused of "causing the team to lose". As well, the game was seen as having a light-hearted and self-deprecatory nature and, therefore, more amenable to non-athletic students.
Ironically, dodgeball has come under attack for failing to meet the needs of precisely those students. Opponents of dodgeball have argued that the game provides, for bullies, the excuse to abuse unathletic and unpopular students, by throwing the ball hard enough to cause injury. The aim of the variant King sting is to throw the ball at others as hard as possible.
After a series of publicized dodgeball injuries in the late 1990s and early 2000s, many schools have removed the game from their physical-education requirements, and some have even banned the game entirely. On November 18, 2002, the state of New Jersey banned the game from public schools. New York followed suit shortly after.
Many other schools, however, have taken a more moderate approach, allowing dodgeball by using soft foam balls instead of harder rubber balls.
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