Realism in filmmaking is an important attribute, something that the greats all have aspired to and made a hallmark of their work.
Mike Leigh, Ken Loach, Michael Mann, they've all used realistic settings, events and people to add authenticity to their stories. We can now add Adam Sandler to that list, as he really did hurl dodgeballs at children during that scene in Billy Madison. As Sandler described to Conan O'Brien last night, Billy Madison was one of Sandler's first films and meant that there was much more creative control.
Creative control, in this instance, meaning hitting kids in the face with basketballs. In any case, Sandler explained that it didn't really go over with the children's parents, but that he did it anyway.
Here's Sandler's explanation...
And here's the scene in question. O'DOYLE RULES.
Via YouTube / Team Coco