Gaga and the Bully Pit

An article in yesterdays Dispatch brought forth a painful childhood memory, involving a gym class game called dodgeball. I hated it. I was constantly being hit in the face with the ball, because I couldnt see it coming. The new version of this pointless game is called Gaga, the name of a dodgeball-like game played in a low-walled enclosure called a pit where The object of the game is to swat a ball out of the air and hit another player with it below the waist, eliminating that player. Ten children play at a time at Edison,

but the game can accommodate dozens. It’s fast, but action stays low to the ground, says the article.

Oh yeah? Thats not the way I remember it. I can still feel the sting of the ball as it slammed into my face, and I can still hear the laughter of the kid who had hurled it at me, knowing I wouldnt be able to dodge it.

The article continues, However, a national group of physical-education experts denounces the game as dangerous. Schools have reported to the National Association for Sport and Physical Education that children have suffered head injuries and been bullied while playing. We call it the ‘bully pit,'” said Sheila Jones, physical-education supervisor

in LoudounCounty schools in Virginia, a district of more than 66,000 students. At

one school, she said, the game has led to eight head injuries in a year. It’s very

physical. Kids get hit, fall backwards; they get hit in the face.

No kidding! I could have told them that! Its not only physical. Its stupid. How such a mean and dangerous game survived all these years and developed into an even uglier game, Ill never know. If Gaga continues to be popular, it will be one more way that a child with less than perfect vision is going to be excluded.

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