Picture this: you’re in school and the bell has rung, signaling the start of P.E. class. You walk into the gym and see a line of red rubber balls in the middle of the floor, which can only mean one thing: dodgeball. Can you still feel the rubbery surface and hear the familiar “thwack” as you attempt to catch the ball and stay in the game?
Recently, parents, teachers and students at Biltmore Preparatory Academy got to do just that and participate in the school’s first-ever dodgeball tournament put on by the school’s Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO).
The event was one of the PTO’s biannual community-building events, which include a dance and an outdoor activity. For Valentine’s Day the school held a Sweetheart Dance and decided a good old-fashioned game of dodgeball would make the perfect companion event.
The dodgeball tournament took the place of previous Nerf gun “battles,” which were discontinued after parents expressed concerns. The dodgeball tournament and the Sweetheart Dance came out of a brainstorming session with the PTO and Principal Stephanie DeMar.
“It promotes physical activity. Seeing everyone laugh and have fun was the best,” said incoming Vice Principal Abigail Broderick.
For those that need a painless reminder, dodgeball is a fast-paced game requiring quick reflexes and athleticism – and if those two skills fail, tough skin comes in handy. Other than that, the name of the game says everything you need to know to play.
“The tournament was such a great way to bring the Biltmore Prep community together,” DeMar said.
For this tournament, the student teams were divided into age groups: kindergarten to 2nd grade, 3rd to 4th grade and 5th to 8th grade students. With the teams crafted, the students got to take on their parents twice and a team of teachers once. There were no official scores at the end, but there were some fierce battles...
“The best part was competing against my mom, other parents and teachers,” said fifth-grader Gael Rosales. This feeling was echoed by fellow fifth grader Jayson Kubica, who added, “I liked that the kids got to go up against their parents and teachers.”
Some outdoor fun is just what the teachers ordered at the end of a long week of AZ Merit testing in April.
“It allowed the students, parents and faculty the opportunity to spend some time together outside of homework, pick up and drop off,” said PTO Secretary Katie Hesselmann.
“I was counting down the days to dodgeball. My favorite part was getting lots of parents and teachers out,” first grader Declan Hesselmann said.
Kindergartner Luca Rosales said the best part of the day was, “throwing dodgeballs at my mom and eating tacos.”
Biltmore not only has the success of the first dodgeball tournament to celebrate, but also the completion of its brand-new gymnasium that will be ready for use by the next school year. In the coming weeks, construction will start on a new multi-purpose room and middle school building.