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Revolutionary Dodgeball

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Here’s a new way to play dodgeball.  
Submitted by Scott Joens, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Grades 4-6.


While the game of dodgeball has not been in favor with many Physical Education teachers due to its semi-violent nature (using students as “moving targets”), here is a dodgeball game for your consideration. First of all, we use soft nerf balls and other measures to ensure safety. Secondly, this game was developed as an alternative to the traditional dodgeball activity. We hope you and your students enjoy it.

One of our fifth grade classes was presented with this problem: “In the traditional game of dodgeball, some students get lots of practice throwing the ball and some students just “hang out” in the back and don”t get any practice. How can we change this?” Jason Fiala and Ben Beeson, two students in the class, came up with the game “Revolutionary Dodgeball.”

Equipment: 6-10 large nerf balls

Players: 10-16 players per team

How We Play It: Jason and Ben explained to the class that during the Revolutionary War, the American Colonies and the British troops would fire at each other from somewhat close range. If a soldier was injured or unable to keep firing, then a soldier from the line behind them would come up and take their place.

Two teams were selected and lined up as shown. Each of the players in the first line had a partner who lined up behind them. The players in the front lines were given a soft nerf ball. If they were hit or dropped a ball when trying to catch it, they traded places with their partner. The players in the back lines retrieved the balls for their partners. We played several rounds lasting 2-3 minutes each. After the game was over we talked about the strategies the players used. Is it possible that the soldiers in the Revolutionary War used the same strategies? I hope you can use this!

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