“What is sport? Sport answers this question by another question: who is best?”
– Roland Barthes
Dodgeball is a game of elimination. It pits children against each other with the common goal of pegging one another out. Roles shift between the aggressor and the dodger. In a post-game interview, we asked 12-year-old Max and his friend Owen if they would describe themselves as competitive. They immediately answered yes, emphasizing their responses with a “very, very, competitive” from Owen, followed by the one-upmanship “very, very, very competitive” from Max. The most compelling footage however, comes from the interview’s outtakes – moments when the boys were unaware of their actions. Although the bench was seven-feet long, they instinctively sat crushed together. There was non-stop fidgeting. Balls were twirled, bounced, spun, punched, hugged, stepped on, kicked and used as a pillow. The footage captured the physicality of their friendship, from intimate moments when one playfully put the other in a headlock, to focused concentration when they tried to beat each other at dodgeball, to moments of disappointment – a missed shot and when one of them finally gets pegged out. There can only be one winner in dodgeball.