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Let's Play (Dodge) Ball at School, or Maybe Not

April 07, 2002

A few things I remember about dodge ball ("Critics Aim to Bounce Dodge Ball Off the Schoolyard," March 18):

* It was never an assigned sport but an optional activity.

* It was essentially an elementary school game played at recess rather than during gym class and was overseen by a yard monitor and not a "lazy physical education teacher."

* Contrary to the tone of the article that implies this game preyed on the not-so-physically inclined, dodge ball does not require the speed, strength and skill of baseball, basketball, etc. Therefore, it is the ideal medium for the skinny, slow, nerdy type to blast the schoolyard bully in the brisket.

This all sounds like just one more attempt by boomer parents--in addition to play dates, organized sports, etc.--to prove to one and all that their sons and daughters are not beyond their command.

EARL E. ALBERT

Temple City

*

I support the regulation of such a ridiculous game as dodge ball. When I was a kid, I sat in class trying to ignore the physical pains caused by being hit in the back or stomach by an overzealous larger child.

It didn't hurt my feelings, but constant pain was not conducive to learning, and it sure didn't teach me anything good about the way of the world. But it was a game that teachers forced me to play.

Those who support such a game would rather have the dog-eat-dog mentality remain the way of the world. Those who believe it is possible to change such things apparently have no rights.

Since when did bullying become a required course of study?

ROSEMARY PATTERSON

Los Angeles

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