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OK, it’s recess time. There’s a substitute teacher and you’re ready for a good game of dodgeball!

Good luck. Dodgeball itself is getting clobbered these days, in school districts from Maine to Maryland and Texas to Utah. Why? Because in the eyes of some, this venerable game in which two groups of kids hurl big rubber balls at each other, this staple of gym class for generations, is too violent. It uses “human targets,” and it’s hard on the self-esteem of those who are hit and eliminated and sent to the sidelines.

So what’s next? Is track too tough for the slow? Hopscotch harsh on the uncoordinated? In this post-Columbine world, a lot of people say the games children play determine the people they’ll be. The dodgeball dilemma, the serious business of child’s play.
(Hosted by Nina Totenberg)


Rick Reilly, columnist, Sports Illustrated

MaryEllen Schaper, physical education teacher, Hollis, Maine

David Villandry, physical education teacher, Cambridge, MA

Robert Coles, professor of education, Harvard University

Diane Levin, professor of education, Wheelock College, and author, “Remote Control Childhood.”