Friday, November 25, 2011

Banning balls a bozo brainstorm

It never ceases to amaze me just how goofy this country is becoming.
Direct from the you-have-got-to-be-freaking-kidding-me file comes the story of an elementary school in eastern Canada.
In the interest of safety, children are no longer allowed to bring soccer balls to school. Why, because a parent got hit in the head and suffered a ‘concussion.’ Really? From a soccer ball?
Welcome to the land of the wimps. Perhaps the ‘victim’ was mistaking a head ache for a concussion.
How hard can an elementary school student kick the ball anyway? I doubt hard enough to cause any real damage.
But the ever brilliant school leaders took immediate action and banned all soccer balls from the school field. They also banned footballs, volleyballs and even tennis balls due to the safety risk they posed to the students. What kind of a safety risk does a tennis ball present? If someone throws it at you as hard as they can, you might end up with a small, round red mark. I am speaking from experience here actually because that is one of the games we used to play in elementary school
Students are allowed to bring sponge, or other soft balls to play with. Have you ever tried to play soccer with a sponge? No you have not. No one has, because it is a stupid idea.
Kids are full of energy and they want to play, and if a soccer ball gets them outside and moving, then I say bring it on.
It is just another example of over-the-top safety fear mongers overreacting to a likely minor incident.
I am sure many of the people reading this remember the good ol’ days where we could actually play during lunch break. Why on occasion we would even – gasp – rough house with each other.
We would wrestle each other on the grass. We would play tackle football without any equipment. Did people get bumps and bruises? You bet they did, but it was all part of being a kid.
We used to climb trees too, and anyone who has climbed enough trees knows that eventually you will fall out of the tree. And when that inevitably did happen, did the school officials run out and cut down every tree on the playground? Of course not. They made sure the student did not suffer and serious injury and sent them on their way. At most, they would have announced we were no longer allowed to climb the trees (which we typically ignored of course).
It was a rare day when I did not have some sort of abrasion, cut or bruise. Likewise for all of my friends and guess what - we all survived our childhood. Every single one of us managed to reach adulthood despite a youth filled with such hazardous activities as soccer.
Do serious accidents happen? On occasion yes, and it is tragic when they do, but come on folks banning soccer balls and tennis balls – that seems a little much. Accidents can happen pretty much anywhere at anytime.
What are they going to do next? Cover the entire school yard with foam and give all the children full body armor to wear every single moment of the day.
In Grade 7 a friend of mine (yes, I actually had friends) walked into the edge of a door that was opening. It was a fluke accident and a matter of perfect timing of him walking and the door opening. It could happen to anyone at any time. Did they take out all the doors? Of course not. They just made sure he was OK and life went on.
Oh, by the way, he also survived the horrendously dangerous childhood of contact sports and opening doors.
I am all for keeping kids safe, but let’s keep it within the realm of sanity. Several of the parents are upset over the ball ban, as well they should be, and also feel kids should be allowed to be kids and play, even if it does mean the occasional minor injury.

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