The University of Alberta is preparing once more to reclaim the Guinness World Record for the largest dodgeball game, which it has broken annually for the past two years.
The record, which the U of A broke in February 2010 with 1,198 participants and again in February 2011 with 2,012, has sparked international competition and has since been broken by institutions such as Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of California, Irvine, which recently broke the U of A’s 2011 record by attracting 4,488 participants to a game.
“At this point, the numbers are just going up,” said Colten Yamagishi, SU Vice President (Student Life), who is in charge of challenging the record with the next massive dodgeball game at the U of A.
Yamagishi feels certain that the university can keep up its winning streak and take back its title as record-holder, despite UC Irvine’s new record being more than twice the number of participants that attended the U of A’s last dodgeball game in February.
“We’ve never been 100 per cent sure before if we were going to get the numbers we needed or not, but that’s never stopped us. We’re really excited.”
Yamagishi is undaunted by the new record, and his optimism is not unfounded. The last dodgeball game that the U of A produced ended up with twice as many participants as its previous record, and Yamagishi said he would not be surprised if he can make the magic happen one more time.
“Nobody expected that we would be able to just double it out of nowhere,” said Yamagishi. “So why not double it again?”
“It’s going to be like the ‘Return of the U of A.’”
The Star Wars reference is no mistake: Yamagishi said he is thinking of adding a Star Wars theme to the next dodgeball event, which is scheduled for after christmas break on Friday, February 3, in the Butterdome.
“That’s one of my biggest goals for this year, to make sure that we do bring the record back home,” said Yamagishi. “I want to break the record, because it’s one of the few times I feel like our campus is truly working together, like everybody’s shooting for one overarching goal.”
Now that the date and time has been set for the new game, Yamagishi says all that is really left is to get the word out to the students.
“Since we know the date and have everything set up already, it’s really important that all the professors circulate this. Hopefully they can let their students out of class that day or bring them down to the gym.”
Yamagishi is also encouraging students to clear their schedules and book off time for the game.
“Whether we break the record or not, it’s really important to have these kind of events just to bring out students,” said Yamagishi. “Even if we bring out 3,000 students, that’s a crazy amount of student engagement. Just to see that many students get together on campus, that doesn’t really happen for anything else. I think it’s just really nice to have kind of a capstone event for the year.”