The subtle sound of whistling dodgeballs could be heard Tuesday night in the Moby Arena Auxiliary Gym.
It was the only warning of incoming strikes that the embattled players would get, as the blacklights that surrounded the makeshift dodgeball courts made sight nearly impossible.
Combined with the intermittent blasts of referee’s whistles and cheering spectators who filled the stands, the player’s faculties could only be described as considerably limited.
“I just wanna raise hell,” said freshman open-option student Grant Smith. “Throw as many balls as possible. That’s my strategy.”
Smith’s friend and teammate, freshman equine sciences major Ford Renfro, nodded in agreement as he discreetly tucked an extra dodgeball into the back of his shirt.
“We just want to ‘merc’ as many faces as possible,” Renfro said, referring to gaming slang meaning to hurt or kill someone in a game. “Hopefully we get a shatter in there. I broke my shoulder back in November though, so I’m really more of a decoy.”
The Association for Student Activities Program sponsored the event to encourage fun, while promoting physical activity.
Kelly D’Aniell, special events coordinator for ASAP, said that she believes physical activity was the primary goal of the night.
“In America, in general, I believe we have a problem with physical inactivity, so we thought we would put on a great sport that everyone enjoys,” Aniell said.
Over 300 people and 26 teams signed up to play in the gymnasium, which was divided into three courts.
Smith and Renfro participated as part of the “G Wing Killa’s,” a team that seemed to have no problems with the blacklights, as they went on to win four of their five games.
Intramural sports referee Tyler Ausherman said the blacklight experience was unlike anything he had previously experienced.
“This is definitely more crazy,” Ausherman said. “I’ve done dodgeball before when it’s in the racquetball court, and you don’t have to worry about a lot of other stuff then. We’ve got kids yelling at each other here.”
During one of the games in which Ausherman refereed, a judgment call led to a shouting match between teams, which was headed by Renfro.
“Get that cheater out or I’ll get him out,” Renfro said in a threatening way to Ausherman, who quickly resumed the game.
The night culminated in a massive dodgeball game in which all present were allowed to participate. The two teams, whose numbers ballooned to 50 players, launched dodgeballs to and fro, resulting in a chaos that seemingly could not be refereed or regulated.
Staff writer Tyler Okland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.