Today’s Field Days are not like the ones we remember

When you are making your list of Things That Have Been Ruined, be sure to have “grade school Field Days” on your list. Might want to make it fairly near the top.

The late April/early May corridor is always riddled with Field Days – for the love of God, don’t try to drive on a street anywhere near one – and if you haven’t picked up on the seismic shift that has taken place, then you obviously don’t have any children. Or grandchildren.

And the future is not bright. At the rate we are going, Field Day for your great grandchildren will consist solely of face painting and sno-cone eating. (We are dangerously close right now.)

One of my men recently had his first Field Day and I asked his mother how he enjoyed it. “Kinda hacked there wasn’t any competition,” she said.

That’s my guy!

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see the Pizza Box Relay Challenge being an Olympic event any time soon.

Speaking of Olympics, that’s basically the idea of Field Day. Well, at least it was the idea.

Line ‘em up! See who can run the fastest, jump the highest/farthest, and throw in a feat of strength and/or dexterity. You want to mix in a ball throw? Have at it! We got time! Better yet, we have ribbons for the winners!

Look, I get it – some kids aren’t cut out for that. Coming in last in the 40-yard dash isn’t exactly their idea of fun. But nobody is mandating that they line up and run.

For those who want to compete, let them compete. For those who want to at least give it a try (I was embarrassingly bad at chin-ups), come on and give it a shot. For those who just want to enjoy the day off from school, we got stuff for you too.

That’s a nice concept, but that’s about as far as it goes.

If you want to know who can get it done when it comes running to the hula hoop, changing into clown pants, doing three swings of the hoop and then racing back to tag a teammate with a Frisbee, go ahead and leave open a Friday in April or May next year.

I know it’s not a basic tenet of our educational system, but I have always held to the belief that in every grade level, everyone should know who is the fastest kid. Everybody knows who the smartest kid is, so what’s the diff?

Instead, we are getting all these made-up events that are masquerading as competition. Oh look, Timmy is trying to run around the cone without dropping the egg and then he’ll hand it off to Janie!

Next time you see a stopwatch or a measuring tape, let me know.

I’d love to be at a Field Day planning meeting one time, just to hear how they come up with some of the events. First on the agenda, obviously, is “what color T-shirt each class will be wearing?”

Next would be to determine who is going to call and reserve the table for 40 at Superior Grill.

It’s right after that when I would raise my hand and suggest “How about three rounds of boxing?” 

End of meeting. At least for me.

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