Despite various areas to search, the history for the game of dodgeball is fairly strong mystery. Many people can remember learning the game in their schoolyard, but beyond that the history trail goes cold. The game is uniquely American, however, as European and Asian cultures don’t record the game among childhood experience much at all.
Basic Approach of the Game
Dodgeball in most communities consists of a very basic set of concepts. Two teams of equal number face off on a grid of two large boxes. The team members can move around as much as desired inside their own box, but they can’t leave the boundaries. A ball is thrown between the teams with the intent of hitting the opposite team player. If successful, the opposite player is kicked out of the grid and can’t play anymore.
The Return Shot
If the opposite player catches the ball or it goes out of bounds, then the opposite team becomes the thrower and reverses the aim and hit on the original team. The team that loses all of its players first loses. Variations of the game allow outside players to throw the ball in at existing un-hit players as well.
Hand Me Down History
Dodgeball has been played in most American schools at one grade level or another. It was commonly played at grade school levels, providing a quick activity game with very simple rules to follow. Gym classes in both middle school and high school levels used dodgeball as an aggressive workout as well, giving rise to the fiction of movies showing wimpy players getting pummeled by mean athletic players frequently.
Today’s schools have highly discouraged any children playing dodgeball on school grounds. While the game can be very physical it can also be injury prone, with many a child in the past getting caught in a crossfire and resulting in a nasty welt. Ironically, and a bit of thanks to Hollywood movies, the game has been reincarnated as an aggressive physical exercise regime for adults. In an increasing number of urban communities dodgeball has gained a loyal following of adults trained and intent on pegging each other out of the game grid.
Origin Theories Beyond Silliness
According to some humor blogs, dodgeball was invented by a caveman attempting to block the sun from being so hot. Along with the rest of such silliness, there are few “out in left field” theories about the game. None of these are by any fashion true, although they make for some humorous reading if you have the time.