Strange Times: Artful Dodgeball

9 August 2019
Strange Times: Artful Dodgeball - Featured image


This article by James Bolt appeared in the August 2019 IPA Review

We live in divided times, but I always thought the one thing that could unite us all was our shared love of dodgeball. It demonstrates all that is life—the ecstasy, the agony, the drama, the tension, the joy and the anger. No matter your station in life, or your political beliefs or anything, everyone can unite for a common game with nothing to separate us… until the inevitable debate of whether or not the ball touched someone. (It did, David. We all saw it back in 2006. Come clean.)

But maybe I was wrong (about dodgeball, not David.)

The Washington Post reported on professors from three Canadian universities’ presentation to the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Vancouver in June stating that dodgeball is a tool of “oppression” that teaches students to “dehumanize and harm their peers”.

If there was any justice in this world, this presentation would have been marred by a barrage of red balls the likes of which the world has never seen.

But there wasn’t.

Their point is that for kids that don’t fit the traditional mould of a dodgeball athlete, dodgeball can stink.

But what they miss is that dodgeball is a mental game just as much as it is a physical one. As a former big kid myself, I knew I couldn’t match up with the jocks, so I had to use strategy: pick moments, form alliances, play a role. Be a cog in the machine, rather than an individual.

These are vital life lessons. And it’s why we can’t lose dodgeball. We can’t have a generation growing up without an arena to outthink the jocks for dodgeball glory.

Also, David, you know where to contact me. It’s time.

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