I found several recent news stories very disturbing. Not the government shut-down or the usual fare. These left me with a deep sense of loss, loss of innocence and judgement.
On October 8th, a middle school on Long Island banned footballs, soccer balls, baseballs, doing cartwheels and playing tag on the playground at recess for safety reasons. Then on the 10th, the local news reported that a Nashua middle school had banned tag over concerns of potential injuries.
Unless you live in a cave, you must have seen the post that circulates every so often on FaceBook or in emails. It walks through what childhood was like 40 years ago, and brings up issues such as bike helmets, pick-up ball games and practices like “you came home when the street lights came on or your mother rang a cow bell.” Being of that generation, I am genuinely worried that we are raising children who don’t have the opportunity to learn actions and consequences; to think ahead and see the possibilities in a situation.
Baseballs are hard. Get hit in crotch and you will keel over and think you want to die, but you won’t. Don’t do cartwheels on the gravel and keep and eye on your fellow cartwheelers. Tag gives you an opportunity to let that cute boy know you are alive and can run fast.
Another news story from Kentucky stated that all post-game handshakes were now banned. You remember, that tradition of each team lining up after the game, regardless if it was Little League or high school, and walking down the line congratulating and acknowledging each other. Good sportsmanship, right? I can only quote this article in total disbelief.
“While it is an obvious sign of sportsmanship and civility, many incidents have occurred … where fights and physical conflicts have broken out,” according to the Commissioner’s Directive that went to schools on Tuesday. “Unfortunately, the adrenaline and effort required to participate in the sport sometimes seems to deplete the supply of judgment available to participants.”