The Controversy of Dodgeball: Which States Have Banned It?

Dodgeball, a classic game enjoyed by many during childhood recess, has sparked heated debates over its potential risks and negative consequences. While some argue that it promotes physical activity and social interaction, others claim that it can lead to bullying or even injuries. As a result, certain states have taken steps to ban dodgeball in schools as a precautionary measure. In this blog post, we will explore which states have implemented such bans.

Understanding the Reasons for Bans

It is essential to understand why some states decided to prohibit dodgeball in their educational institutions. The main concerns raised include the potential for increased aggression among players, targeting or exclusion of less athletic individuals leading to psychological harm, and the risk of physical injuries associated with high-intensity gameplay.

States That Have Banned Dodgeball in Schools:


Oregon became one of the pioneers when it banned dodgeball from public schools back in 2009. The state’s decision was primarily driven by concerns over children being targeted based on their physical abilities or other factors like appearance or popularity.

The ban aimed to foster inclusivity and promote alternatives that encourage cooperative play rather than competition solely focused on eliminating opponents.

Texas (Specifically Austin)

In 2019, Austin Independent School District made headlines when they prohibited dodgeball within their school system. This move was prompted by similar concerns about student safety and emotional well-being as expressed in Oregon’s ban.

While not statewide like Oregon’s ruling, this local-level implementation demonstrates how individual districts can take action independently regarding activities deemed potentially harmful or exclusionary.

Please note that these bans are specific to certain school systems rather than applying statewide across Texas entirely.

Debate Surrounding Dodgeball Bans

Supporters of the Bans

Advocates for banning dodgeball argue that it can create an environment where students are singled out based on physical prowess and may face humiliation or bullying from their peers. They emphasize the need to prioritize inclusivity, ensuring every child feels safe and accepted during physical education classes.

Moreover, these supporters assert that alternative games can promote teamwork, cooperation, and overall healthier competition among students.

Critics of the Bans

Critics view these bans as overly cautious measures that limit children’s exposure to healthy competition and potential life lessons. They argue that by shielding children from adversity or competitive situations early on, society could be hindering their ability to handle challenges later in life.

Additionally, critics contend that dodgeball teaches resilience while providing an opportunity for exercise and honing motor skills. By removing this game from schools altogether, they claim we are depriving children of valuable experiences.

The Importance of Physical Education Alternatives

While dodgeball has faced scrutiny in certain states’ educational systems due to its perceived negative aspects, promoting suitable alternatives becomes crucial for maintaining active lifestyles among school-aged children.

Encouraging sports like soccer, basketball with modified rules emphasizing cooperation rather than elimination is one such example. These activities provide opportunities for physical exercise while fostering camaraderie among participants without singling out individuals based on athletic abilities alone.


In conclusion, the debate surrounding whether dodgeball should be banned in schools remains ongoing. Oregon became an influential state when it implemented a ban back in 2009 due to concerns about exclusionary practices and potential harm caused by aggressive gameplay. While Texas (specifically Austin) also saw a local-level ban more recently emphasizing similar issues with student safety within their district’s schools.
Both sides have valid arguments regarding the benefits and drawbacks associated with this popular childhood game. Striking a balance between fostering inclusivity and providing valuable experiences through physical education is crucial. Exploring alternative activities that encourage cooperation and teamwork can be a stepping stone in achieving this goal while keeping children active and engaged during school hours.