Children's Games-For Adults Only?

JOPERD--The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, September 2001 | Go to article overview

Children's Games-For Adults Only?


Lately, many 20-to-30-somethings, unsatisfied with simply recollecting the games of their childhood, have taken to reenacting them. For instance, during the latest national debate on dodgeball, one could watch adults hurling red rubber balls at each other on the evening news as passionate proponents of the game's validity.

It was perhaps inevitable, then, that something like the National Amateur Dodgeball Association (NADA) would form in response to this nostalgia for the playground game. NADA is based in Illinois and organizes major dodgeball tournaments there, with several adult and youth divisions. Founded in July 2000, the association has already held several events in the Chicago area attracting hundreds of participants of all ages, including both indoor and outdoor "world championships." While Bill DePue and Rick Hanetho, the co-directors of NADA, have nothing against the chaotic nature of traditional dodgeball, they do require participants in their tournaments to adhere to strict rules that ensure fair play and safety. For example, rubber-coated foam balls are used to minimize the pain of getting pegged, and the dreaded head-shot is illegal. NADA's brand of multiple-ball dodgeball thus preserves some of the mayhem for both kids and adults without getting out of control; most tournament matches have referees, and no part icipants have been injured during the organization's short existence (for more information on NADA, visit their web site: www. …

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