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The Day RIT Made History

Jacob Sachs on Monday, 09 May 2011. Posted in Student Life

On May 1, Phi Kappa Psi and Dodgeball Club at RIT successfully hosted an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest game of dodgeball ever played. 2,136 players, split into two teams, Orange and Brown, got decked out in t-shirts and headbands, fired up and ready to go. With over 1000 players on each side, the two teams stared down one another, with 650 dodgeballs sitting between them, waiting to be hurled.

For the record to be successful, everyone had to stay in the area of the game, within the Gordon Field House, even after they were eliminated, to be counted for the record. The previous record, 2,012, was set by the University of Alberta in Canada this past February.

The event organizers counted, 1, 2, 3! Then came the sound of multiple air horns from the referees in the middle and then the charge began to pick up all of the 650 dodgeballs and start throwing them at the opponent.

Over an hour later, the last player of the Brown team was finally eliminated and the Orange team had won with more than 15 people remaining on their side.

My personal experience of the event was playing for the brown team and once I was hit, I grabbed my red jersey and refereed for the remainder of the game. That was a great time, other than getting hit in the head probably more than ten times with a dodgeball.

That evening and into the next day, we sent in all of the documentation of the event we had, including the list of names of the players, photos, videos, and other evidence of the event as the representative from Guinness was not able to make it because of a cancelled flight in New Jersey. Tuesday afternoon, I received a notification from our event coordinator that it was official: RIT had set the Guinness World Record for the largest game of dodgeball ever played in history. Here is a transcript of the email we received:

‘The largest game of dodgeball was played by 2,136 participants and was organized by Phi Kappa Psi at Rochester Institute of Technology and Dodgeball Club at the Rochester Institute of Technology (all USA) at the Rochester Institute of Technology Gordon Field House, in Rochester, New York, USA, on 1 May 2011.’

When I read that, I could not have been happier to be a part of helping plan that event. Our countless hours over the previous six months of hard work had paid off. A shout out goes to Shaun Kumar and Ross Kahn of Phi Kappa Psi and Michael Piggott of Dodgeball Club for bringing this event together.

To get an idea of how large this game really was, watch this video below.

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