Tweeeeeeet! The shrill of a student referee’s starting whistle is instantly drowned out by the boisterous hooting and hollering of fans packed into Alumni Gym. On the basketball court, eight players from each end line sprint toward center court, madly grab up balls and begin savagely hurling them at one another with intent to harm. This is, after all, dodge ball — Hamilton College style — and it is no longer a game for grade-schoolers.
Dodge ball has hit the Hamilton student body hard. Tonight, 28 teams of eight players each are competing in the first all-campus Dodge Ball Tournament, sponsored by Hamilton Greek societies. Teams include Greeks, non-Greeks and Hamilton staff members as well, all of whom also have been challenged to dress in crazy costumes. The winning team and the best-dressed squad will each receive a gift card to a local restaurant.
Tonight’s game of pain infliction also has a serious aim. Proceeds from entry fees, T-shirts and concessions will be donated to the Mikey Czech Foundation, which supports medical research for pediatric brain tumors. “People don’t recognize the philanthropic aspect” of Hamilton’s Greek societies, says Morgan Williams, a senior in Alpha Theta Chi. Williams and fellow ATX senior Kriti Dave organized the tournament and are thrilled by the response. “We came and the gym was packed,” Dave says.
At night’s end, a team of Chi Psi brothers that was defeated early but played in funky farmer garb wins the best-dressed award. And in the tourney final, a squad of men’s varsity soccer players pummels a team of men’s hockey players. As the soccer players revel in their triumph, Williams and Dave revel in the $2,200 raised by the event. Indulging the inner elementary schooler in all of us proves to be both fun and profitable.