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October 3rd, 2000


I think that the childhood gym class game that left its players most prone to injury would have to be that stress-filled dodgeball-on-crack known as “Bombardment.”

Though I couldn’t find “official” rules anywhere, the way I remember it is as such: players would split into two teams (usually through the agonizing popularity contest of picking teams). One team would get a number of red kickballs and the goal was to “peg” (yet another game requiring “pegging”) someone from the other team. Once you were pegged, you were out. If you happened to catch the ball that was thrown at you, the thrower was out. With enough kids, an honor system of sorts was required since there was no way that a gym teacher could keep up with a half-dozen flying kickballs.

The game continued until one team had no remaining players. Often, if the teams were unusually lopsided, it might end up with four on one situation — this was often where the star Bombardment player would show his/her skills, dodging a number of throws at the same time.

I enjoyed this game a lot as a kid, apparently (there are a number of tapes of me as a first grader trying to get my younger sister to say the word), but looking back, this, like many other gym games, really left the door open for injuries. One thing I will say, though, is that the teacher of the class immediately following Bombardment was usually quite happy — everyone was too sore and worn out to be disruptive.

A few Bombardment links…

  • A piece of Bombardment fiction (or perhaps a recall of childhood)
  • The Artful Dodger,” a great remembrance piece about the non-jock that was the King of gym class Bombardment.

Posted in Childhood Memories

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