By Judah Heimlich ’12
It’s not just in the movies… but intramural dodgeball has started at Pacific Lutheran University and students are using it for more than a chance to throw objects at fellow students. College students are going through stressors such as homework, grades and the worry of paying tuition–and dodgeball seems to help ease the stress.
The Los Angeles Times reported that only 51.9 percent of first year students in college believe they have above average mental health. Along with that 39 percent of women and 19 percent of men who often feel overwhelmed.
Students in college would agree that staying on top of homework, work and paying bills is not an easy task. In 2008 the Ministry of Education of China took a survey on stress that said “20.23% of college students face mental disorders due to mental stresses,” as reported by Lei Zhang Hong Ji of Asian Social Science. While the students at PLU may not be in China this still provides an example of effect stress has on college students.
With incoming college students feeling stressed out schools like PLU are creating opportunities for students to relieve some of that stress with activities like dodgeball.
Dodge ball is a sport where teams of six people line up and prepare to run around to throw, dodge and catch flying foam balls. The sport can be violent due to the point of the game being to hit fellow students with the ball. Rules such as no throwing at the face are instituted for safety.
This is not your childhood dodgeball from elementary school days where there are loads of kids running around in chaos.
For students like juniors Taylor Astel and Thaddeus Golbeck dodgeball is a great study break and relaxer. Both Astel and Golbeck said they do as much as 15-20 hours of homework per week on top of classes and other duties. So with not much free time they choose to play dodgeball. Both have been playing on teams since freshman year, while Astel claims he has been playing since first grade.
“Dodgeball has always been my favorite sport and I don’t get many chances to play outside of intramurals,” said Astel, who is the captain of the team Backfield Power, “I play for fun great way to release stress”.
Golbeck also uses dodge ball as a study break. “It’s a good way to release tension after a frustrating day and it is a safe place to get your aggression out,” said Golbeck.
“Dodgeball is something I look forward to throughout the week and I try to get my homework done so I can have time to play,” said junior Jared Kavanaugh another player for team Backfield Power.
Freshman from the study reported by the Los Angeles times can look at these three juniors as examples of how stress can release can be found in things even as aggressive as dodgeball.
Dodgeball is just one of many intramural sports offered by PLU that can help bring students together for some fun stress relief. If you are not on a team you can still show up and support teams and players with dodgeball games being played in the Field House in Olsen on Monday and Wednesday nights starting at 8 p.m.
“Just remember the five D’s of dodgeball: ‘Dodge’, ‘Duck’, ‘Dip’, ‘Dive’, and…’Dodge,'” (Words of wisdom from Patches O’Houlihan from the movie Dodgeball ).
Categories: Student Life