Erie will be hosting a big dodgeball tournament tomorrow. The best dodgeball players from the Eastern United States will participate.
Just the mention of dodgeball brings back good and bad memories to people who played the game in gym class. However, the game has changed over the years in some schools.
Allison Livelsberger is the Phys Ed teacher at Erie Rise Leadership Academy Charter School. She has a Master's degree in Adaptive Phys Ed. She studied how to change the rules of established Phys Ed games for the betterment of her students. She allows her students to play dodgeball. The kids love it.
"It's not in our curriculum but it is something the kids really enjoy. So yes, we do play it if it's earned. Earned time play.”
Some school districts banned dodgeball years ago because some students felt bullied. The bullies could not resist breaking some rules. You don't aim at someone's face and you don’t aim at other vulnerable areas of the body. Mrs. Livelsberger believes a good teacher would not let that happen.
"I think it's a great opportunity to teach kids how to play nicely with each other because there is a possibility of getting hurt if you're not treating the game with respect."
Mrs. Livelsberger also teaches kids to focus on team defense in case one player does get picked on. Players can block an oncoming ball with their own ball. She also has rules that allow players to come back to the game after they're eliminated so they don't have to spend most of the class just watching.
The USA Dodgeball Premier Tour will take place Saturday, March 19 from 8am to 7pm at Erie Bank Sports Park. Admission is free.