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Professor Wants to Ban Dodgeball From Schools Because It Is ‘Dehumanizing’

Mark Andrew

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  • A Canadian research team wants to ban dodgeball from schools.
  • The game has been labeled as “dehumanizing” as it encourages stronger students to express their anger by targeting weaker classmates.

Remember how we used to play dodgeball when we were younger? As kids, we either loved the game or hated it intensely – there wasn’t any middle ground.

If you are among those who didn’t like dodgeball, you will be glad to know that a group of researchers from Canada are actually taking your side. According to them, the game actually promotes violence and can even be considered ‘”dehumanizing” to some of its players.

As University of British Columbia pedagogy professor Joy Butler puts it:

“When you’re setting up the environment for students to learn, and you introduce the idea that it’s okay to slam the ball at whomever you like, even if it’s with a soft ball, the intention is there.”

The research team interviewed middle school students and discovered that students who are more ‘athletic and authoritative’ than others tend to develop habits when playing dodgeball – such as ganging up certain students.

The team sport involves two teams who will aim to eliminate their opponents by throwing balls at them while doing their best to avoid getting hit as well.


“People say [dodgeball] is being used as an outlet for aggression or catharsis,” the professor said. “I suspect that this is where they’re learning that.”

According to Buttler, physical education classes, to be effective, should be a tool for teachers to help their students manage anger instead of encouraging them to letting their temper out, often at the expense of their weaker classmates.

Butler further suggested that there should be a balance in the PE teachers’ curriculum, especially for those who may not be as good in dodgeball.

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