This reminded me why junior high school could be alarming. It covers grades 7 through 9, roughly ages 12 through 14, years during which boys typically grow a lot, but at different rates. A man I know says that he turned out for freshman (9th grade) football at Gonzaga weighing just under 100 lb. During his first and only practice, a well-meaning coach took him aside, and told him that there were boys on opposing teams weighing nearly four times that, leaving him to infer for himself the possible results of a collision. Now, I was never one of the smaller boys, but it was late in 8th grade when I started to get my height. A few other boys in my grade appeared to be the size of NFL linemen.. Considered at this distance--from the halls they dominated--probably they were sized only for high school football. Even so, they could have easily been half again my weight. Most were benign, but only most.
Earlier this year I saw a young woman signing a friend into our office building. The young man had on a tee shirt reading
DodgeballThis also brought junior high school to mind. The usual projectile in dodgeball is a volleyball, but at my junior high we played with what I later learned to be a "Chicago softball". This is a little larger than a regular softball, and a good deal softer: I understand that Mike Royko considered it decadent to see fielders wearing gloves for them. They deform noticeably on impact against a wall or a body, so that it is merely unpleasant to be hit with one, not dangerous. They have less wind resistance than a volleyball, and more mass; they are also more easily grasped to throw, ergo leave the hand at a higher speed and fly straighter. In the hands of a 180 lb. eighth grader, they are intimidating.
America's Twist on Stoning
Well, we survived, most of us anyway.