Blacklight Dodgeball kicks off Color Me Rowan Weekend 2017

Glowing balls line the court as a game of Blacklight Dodgeball is about to begin. -Staff Photo/Andrew Turco

Dodgeball, the classic schoolyard sport of intense teamwork and physicality.

While typically seen in gym class or on the playground, Rowan’s Student University Programmers (SUP) partnered with the Rec Center to kick off Color Me Rowan Weekend 2017 with a twist on the traditional game – Blacklight Dodgeball.

With over 300 students checked in and 20 teams participating, according to SUP, the stage was set for a night of high energy and competition.

The tournament was organized in a double elimination bracket system, allowing teams that lost early on the chance to still have some more fun out on the courts.

“All of our events are special in their own way,” said Maddie Elliott, director of special events for SUP.

“They each require plenty of time to plan and a great deal of attention to detail,” Elliot continued. “Just like all of our events, we want to make sure that the students who participate have the best experience possible.” 

As the night progressed, many teams rose the ranks to ascend to victory, but for every victor, another team was sent to the losers’ bracket, and eventually back home.

Participants were given glow sticks to sport during the games. -Staff Photo/Andrew Turco

“We’re a whole team of freshmen so it was hard so we tried to include everyone,” said secondary health and physical education major Joe Frascella. “So we’re going up against teams that have six solid players and we just had twelve of our friends who know they’re not the most athletic, but we had fun doing it so that’s alright.”

Certain teams represented organizations on campus, such as the Chamberlain Student Center and Campus Activities (SCCA).

Senior civil engineering major Luke Butler works as a building manager for the SCCA and noted the novelty of this particular event.

“I’ve never done anything like this before and I really wasn’t quite sure what to expect but it just adds a whole other element, this contrast between the light and dark,” Butler said, noting the difficulties he had playing in the darkened gym alongside his SCCA team members.

“Honestly, in a normal dodgeball game, it feels like the dodgeball is coming at you in a split second,” Butler added. “Now it’s even faster. It just elevates the pace of the game.”

At the end of the night, victory belonged to one team only – The Dodgefathers.

Students play dodgeball on the darkened Rec Center basketball courts. -Staff Photo/Andrew Turco

Hunter Barbieri, a freshman exploratory studies major, reflected on his team’s victory at the end of the night.

“We did extremely well. We were really just working very well as a team even though we didn’t know each other before this,” Barbieri said, exhausted from a long night of dodgeball. “We were undefeated so we really just dominated and played our game. It was a very long night but we really worked hard and it’s great to finally win this.”

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