NEW YORK – The most controversial playground game in America — dodgeball — appears headed to TV.
Game show producers are pitching a variation on the get-even kid sport called Ultimate Dodgeball in which "responsible adults" vie for money by pelting each other with rubber balls, according to industry trade reports.
The idea for the proposed 13-episode weekly series arose from a celebrity dodgeball tournament held to raise money for charity in Los Angeles last month.
"Once we heard Jeff Probst talk about how badly he wanted to beat the Friends team because they had beat him in the ratings, we realized we could be a new version of Battle of the Network Stars," producer Barry Poznick told Variety.
In the game, which has several variations, teams whip rubber balls at each other. If the ball is caught the thrower is out. If the ball bounces off its intended victim, the targeted player is out.
MTV is considered to be a likely contender to land the show since the company that's producing the show has an existing non-exclusive deal with the cable network.
At first glance a televised game of dodgeball may not seem like a ratings bonanza, but the game has become something of a flashpoint with parents in recent years and has been banned in many school districts across the U.S.
It's also turned into a raging controversy that's been contested on the pages of newspapers, national news magazines, TV news and debate shows.