A dodgeball game of epic proportions

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U of A breaks record for world’s largest dodgeball game with 2,012 students

Andrew Jeffrey
The Gateway (University of Alberta)

EDMONTON (CUP) — With a total of 2,012 participants, the University of Alberta struck back on Feb. 4 and regained the Guinness World Record for the largest dodgeball game ever – a record they originally set one year ago.

Last year, the U of A set the record with 1,198 participants. That record stood until last September when the University of California-Irvine set a new record with 1,745 players.

However, under the eyes of an official judge from Guinness flown in for the event, the U of A was easily able to regain the record Friday afternoon.

“We did it, we got our goal, said Rory Tighe, a students’ union vice-president and organizer of the game. “We had people in the stands watching and everybody left with a big smile on their face.

“The national pride and school spirit definitely came out and the whole community was here, so it worked out perfectly.”

Edmonton mayor Stephen Mandel and U of A president Indira Samarasekera were both in attendance, along with various members of the community and U of A alumni. The game was preceded by a rendition of “O Canada” by Edmonton Oilers anthem singer Paul Lorieau.

After the opening ceremonies, an epic clash between Team Green and Team Gold commenced, with students, alumni, and staff creating a red sky of 1,006 dodgeballs flying back and forth across the floor as the crowd cheered them on.

After 44 minutes and 17 seconds, Team Gold came out victorious, outlasting their green opponents and winning for the second year in a row.

The game was an exhilarating experience for all involved and Tighe believes it’s something that shows off the great U of A community.

The game was also a victory for Canada, as the competing-record attempts seem to have led to an international feud of sorts between the U of A and UC-Irvine. The advertising campaign at the California school motivated students to play because they “couldn’t let those Canadians have the record.”

“To be honest, I was surprised how fast it caught on and that other schools and institutions were trying to break it,” said Tighe. “Other schools have tried a few times to break the record and UC-Irvine finally succeeded. Yet, within months we’re smash[ing] that. I’d like to see their retort after this.”

The U of A’s latest victory in this feud seems largely due to the following that dodgeball has gained on campus over the past few years. But Tighe sees the event as more than just a simple game of dodgeball.

“It’s more about the community spirit,” he said. “It’s just that we haven’t found anything else that people have responded this well to.”

These games may turn into an annual event due to the incredible popularity, and some participants are still hoping that another school will respond to their defeat and continue the feud.

“We thought [2,012] was definitely an achievable number … and it also doesn’t blow out the record as much as we possibly could, which would maybe encourage a bit of competition – giving the Americans a bone,” Tighe said.

We can only wait and see how UC-Irvine and the rest of the world reacts to the U of A’s accomplishment. As one member of the Gold Team, Lucas Stone, stated after the game: “The ball’s in your court now, Irvine.”

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