It seems that “old school recess” is a trend that’s catching on around the country. Basically it’s a group of adults who get together frequently and play the same games we all played as kids: dodgeball, floor hockey, Duck Duck Goose, kickball, and so forth. It’s being heralded as a Good Thing because (as we all know) the majority of adults in this country have weight problems or just generally don’t get enough physical activity.

It’s funny to read about these because I think back a couple of years when I organized a dodgeball game with a group of friends at church. We all sort of laughed and decided it would be hilarious to play dodgeball for a night. About a dozen guys showed up, and we ended up having such a good time we decided to do it the following week. Week after week the games continued, but other people heard about it and started coming. At one point we had around thirty people coming to play every week. Since we were on a full-sized basketball court, there was plenty of room, but when you have twenty or so balls flying around at high speed, things get interesting.

A few months ago I was standing on the sidelines of an ultimate tournament wearing one of my Google shirts (which they gave me for free for my help on a project). Some guy came up to me and asked if I worked for Google; I told him I didn’t but he went on to explain that he was asking because his company team was going to play against the Google team in the next week’s Boulder kickball league. I had no idea there was a kickball league in Boulder, but it must be a hoot.

With all the craziness in elementary schools these days– where kids aren’t allowed to play tag or climb on the monkey bars or run around too much because someone might get hurt– I wonder what this rising generation will do for exercise. Sure, they play soccer and lacrosse and so forth, which is great, but in many ways it’s those goofball games like Red Rover that define what it is to be a kid.

Speaking of Red Rover, in college I was in charge of organizing some activities for a workshop and I decided it would be fun to play Duck Duck Goose and Red Rover. The former went really well (we had about thirty people, which made for a big circle to chase around) but the latter ended up being sort of a disaster. A few turns of “Red Rover, Red Rover, send so-and-so right over” went just fine, until we screamed for Amy Hansen to come over and she ended up getting clotheslined something fierce. As I recall, she was just about knocked unconscious and ended up with neck problems for a week.

On that note, the article I just read had this quote in it:

We vetoed a plan to play Red Rover because we felt pulling shoulders out of bodies at 35 or 40 years of age is not a good thing.

Amen to that. But bring on the dodgeball! I need to get that going again…