Welcome again to JJNN for Wednesday August 20th, 2008. Today we will be taking about one of my favorite games.
This week I am working with a lot of elementary school students. I am part of a summer English "camp" where the students have to put on an English play. It is really good fun, and an old guy like me really gets to feel young working closely with elementary school kids. I find myself thinking back to my own elementary school days.
Back when I was in elementary school we used to play a lot of different games after lunch. The one that I liked the best was kickball. It always felt good to kick at the ball as hard as I could (even though half the time I would miss). I think I was always the catcher, but I didn't care because I was having a good time.
My second favorite game was dodge ball. After elementary school I never really played dodge ball, but that all changed when I got to Japan. When I got to Japan I started teaching jr. high school students and elementary school students. It was actually really rare for me to teach elementary school students, so I really never played anything besides basketball and volleyball with the kids. When I came to Nagaoka 4 years ago I started teaching in an Elementary school at least once a week, It was at this time when I ran into dodge ball once again.
I was actually very happy to see a game that I knew well. Japanese kids play all sorts of games that made no sense to me, so I was glad to see dodge ball again. I figured that I knew the ins and outs of dodge ball so I joined a game without even thinking that there might be different rules to dodge ball in Japan. I mean, what could be different? It's called dodge ball. All a person has to really do is dodge a ball, right? Well actually, the rules are slightly different if a person couldn't dodge the ball. I didn't think about this until years later, but the rules are sort of like the ones used in the old NES game called super dodge ball. Here is a taste of what the game super dodge ball was like:
Notice that there are people that are on the outside of the court. In Japanese dodge ball when a person gets hit by the ball they have to go stand on the outside of the opponent's court. That way a person on your team can throw you the ball and you can try to hit your opponent from the other side of the court. In most of the games I play (different from the NES game) if a person in the outer court hits their opponent they can go back to their court. This means that even if you are hit you can get back into the game. This leads to very long and interesting games of dodge ball.
I assume that most of the people that read my blog are past the age where they actually play dodge ball. That's too bad. I don't think that anyone should be too old for dodge ball. I challenge everyone out there to a game of dodge ball! If you find yourself in Japan make your way up to Nagaoka and I will take you on! I bet you good money I will kick your ass! (I have been practicing with the kids). WHAT SAYEST THOU, NAVE!?
Any way, it is now time for the word of the day. Today's word is ドッジボール(どっじぼおる). It is pronounced dojjibooru and means dodgeball. You know, even now I am not sure of dodgeball is one word or two.
That's it for today. See you next time at JJNN.