How to Keep Dodgeball Safe
Updated September 22, 2017
Dodgeball is a classic kids game that's over a century old. Although it's fun exercise and highly competitive, dodgeball can also be very dangerous. Keeping dodgeball safe is essential to protecting players from injury and promoting the sport's image as a safe way to have fun and stay active.
Separate players by age, size or skill level before starting the match. Larger, more aggressive players can terrorize and seriously injure younger players who aren't quite as fierce.
Make sure the dodgeball itself is malleable and lightweight. Volleyballs, soccerballs and even rubber playground balls (also known as "four square" balls) can hurt players when thrown with velocity.
Encourage the throwing player to aim for the dodgers' bodies, not their heads. Seeing someone get popped in the face with a ball can be funny, but it's not worth the risk of physical and emotional injury.
Keep a close eye over the game and pull any overly aggressive players aside. Let them know that they're playing too rough, and warn them that you'll pull them out of the game if their behavior continues.
Reward kids with a high-five or by saying "Nice shot!" when they make an accurate but moderately paced throw. Dodgeball should improve children's hand-eye coordination without encouraging aggression.
Have your kids wear appropriate footwear during the game. Standard tennis shoes or sneakers work fine.
Allow children to step out of the game if they feel frightened.
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