Dodgeball Supremacy

Xiao Dai | New University

Today’s dodgeball game marks UCI’s third attempt at the world record against a familiar foe.

One year ago during Welcome Week 2011, students at UC Irvine reclaimed the Guinness World Record for the largest dodgeball game at the ARC fields.

Last year, 4,488 UCI students doubled the record set in 2010 when 1,745 individuals participated. A larger promotional campaign aiming to draw freshmen and transfer students and including free shirts was mainly responsible for the turnout.

Anteaters hardly had any time to enjoy the record, however. Within five months, the University of Alberta in Canada reclaimed the world record they had held since February 2010.

On Feb. 3, 2012, 4,979 Pandas and Golden Bears (yes, they have two mascots for women and men, respectively) gathered to take the record back.

Today, UCI students will be attempting to reclaim the record from the “U of A” for the second time in what is becoming a “cold war“ between the two schools over dodgeball.

In February 2010, the University of Alberta set the record with 1,745 students. The Rochester Institute of Technology jumped into the fray for one occasion by taking the record briefly in 2011 with 2,136 people.

UCI would then  retake the record during Welcome Week later that year, and Alberta would respond by February 2012 with their latest record-breaking attempt.

After UCI claimed the world record in 2011, University of Alberta students immediately began plans to schedule another attempt at reclaiming the world record.

Breaking the Alberta record of nearly 5,000 students would require a significant number of Anteaters to participate in the record event.

When comparing the size of the student bodies of both schools, Alberta appears to have a distinct advantage in numbers.

UC Irvine’s student body includes 27,000 undergraduate and graduate students while the University of Alberta has over 31,000 undergraduates alone and over 7,000 postgraduates.

Despite the numbers advantage, ASUCI hopes to draw even more students by promoting the event to the large numbers of new freshment and transfer students and giving out free items.

“I really hope that a lot of students come out,” said ASUCI President Traci Ishigo.

“This was a student-created and driven world record-breaking event.”

“It has a beauty of bringing a lot of different types of students together and raise school spirit.”

This year’s world record attempt for the largest dodgeball game will be taking place today at the ARC fields. Gates will openat 2 p.m. and the game will begin at 4 p.m.