Now, you guys remember DODGE BALL, right? The game where you desperately tried to escape being hit with this largish red rubber ball that actually hurt when it hit you??? It was fun, right? It usually came right between tug-of-war (when you got actual rope burns on your hands) and climbing all the way up that rope net thing (a "sport" only soldiers have to do now).
So, you can imagine what hubby said when our kids admitted to not having a clue what Dodge Ball was, "YOU GUYS DON'T KNOW WHAT DODGE BALL IS??? WHAT DO YOU KNOW???" (I am not even kidding.) Then to me quietly (well, not really because he doesn't know how to be quiet), "What the hell do they teach these kids in public school now-a-days?"
After a lot of necessary bruising while hubby and I schooled the kids on dodge ball something even more alarming was brought to my attention. Kids are not playing Kick Ball anymore.
I find this shocking and frankly, I am appalled.
Going back (don't worry I'll go quickly) to my elementary school years when the Gym Coach looked like Janet Reno, kick ball was a game I could excel at. Well, maybe excel is a bit generous. Let's just say I could play it. I have few to none athletic abilities and I pretty much hate all sports (which is why I ran track in high school - I learned to run somewhat quickly to escape being hit with a dodge ball - or any ball - by kids who were much more athletic than I was). But, Kick Ball? Now, there was a game I could actually play. The ball is big so less danger of 1. Getting hurt seriously - large bruises, but less black eyes, 2. Not missing it when it is coming right toward you, 3. The rules are the same or close to the same as baseball (which, seriously, even a Sport Moron like me can keep up with baseball).
Since I have few memories of crying and throwing up when we played kick ball in Gym, I have decided to make it my personal mission to teach my kids how to play kick ball. This comes right on the heels of teaching them to play Two Square (I won't even go into how they didn't know how to play THAT???). The craziness that has ensued is far too much to be able to relate here, so I have made you a short list that I call:
Kick Ball - The Train Wreck
1. My kids have never been involved in organized sports and learning the rules of sport. No organized sports here - except BMX where the goal is pretty simple: finish without dying. The actual rules are too complicated for me and someone is usually there to tell you what to do when you are not dead so no one new really has to learn all the rules. You can tell they've never had to learn sport rules when you try to TEACH THEM RULES OF A SPORT. It's a bit like herding cats.
2. My kids have no concept of bases. This is difficult because sometimes STILL (even though we have talked about "running the bases") they will run after each other, ball in hand, all the way to the neighbor's house in an attempt to get the other person out. I guess "making it to First Base" is a lost concept on my kids. And I don't know if I am happy or frightened.
3. I am often laughing so hard I have to sit down at my "designated area" (since we don't have enough people to man every post which only adds to the general confusion which is our game). When I do this the kids scream, "MOM! STAND UP! ARE YOU OKAY? WHY ARE YOU CRYING? Wait. ARE YOU LAUGHING? MOM, ARE YOU LAUGHING AT US???"
4. My kids really have trouble with the concept of ghost players. Now, again: Remember ghost runners??? This was a loved concept from my childhood and apparently this is not being taught in public education??? What the heck? The first time I called, "Okay. Ghost runner." My kids looked at me like I was CRAZY TRAIN.
5. Since my kids don't play organized sports (I am assuming this is the reason - couldn't be because they are just bossy and rude.) they have no concept of a team sport. There is no huddling, strategizing, or passing the ball. This often results in one player running to get the ball and then proceeding to chase the runner around the neighborhood. This while all of my kids are screaming at whoever that they are playing wrong. And as I said in #3 THIS results in me having to sit down and laugh. Then my kids start screaming at me.
6. The mosquitoes are as big as cats where we live right now. If you are wondering what this has to do with kick ball, don't worry it will be crystal clear in a second. Last night during our game this happened several times: We would all seem to be semi-understanding the play and the roller would roll/bounce (a seemingly simple concept none of them have quite mastered is: rolling the ball) the ball to the kicker. The kicker would then suddenly see a mosquito and begin to swat at it (none of us could, of course, see the mosquito). This would result in everyone else beginning to laugh at that person (because they looked kinda like a CRAZY PERSON). Then the person who was swatting at said mosquito would scream, "WHAT??? What are you laughing at? I am trying to KILL A MOSQUITO." Meanwhile someone would scream, "STRIKE 1." To which the kicker would scream, "NO FAIR! I WASN'T READY! I WAS TRYING TO KILL A MOSQUITO." Then #3.
My conclusion? This is what I have so far:
1. P.E. is not even remotely close to the Gym I grew up with.
2. I am slightly relieved, but wonder a little about what they are missing.
3. This change in the nature of P.E. could be the root cause of bullying, teen pregnancy, and drop-outs. KIDDING.....kind of.
4. I maintain the utmost respect for P.E. teachers everywhere and I think possibly my kids' could be the reason they are not attempting to teach team sports in school.
5. I might die soon of an injury sustained while teaching my kids all the
6. If I die, I will die laughing.
That's all. If you are depressed, come over and play a game of kick ball with us and the mosquitoes tonight. It promises to bring you out of your funk.