Thursday, February 08, 2007

U Maine Sig Eps Plan Dodgeball Tournament for Charity

Ready, set, dodgeball
Collegiate update on a middle school tradition

Tony Reaves

When Alexander Tuck and his brothers in Sigma Phi Epsilon decided to hold a fundraising dodgeball tournament, they kept their expectations modest. Tuck sent word out hoping for 20 five-person teams. Over the next two weeks, the fraternity saw a flurry of interest, surpassing their 20-team goal.

To keep the double-elimination format, Tuck said, "We have to cap it at 40." The team count is rapidly approaching that number, according to Tuck, who estimated there were about 10 slots left for interested teams.

Teams will compete head-to-head and the winning team will move up the tournament ladder. Tuck said SigEp were influenced by "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story," the 2004 comedy starring Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn. In the spirit of the movie, Tuck said, "We're encouraging matching team costumes." He said he knows of a few teams who plan to wear costumes for the event.

The tournament raises money for Alternative Spring Break, a student organization that sends volunteers to far-off places where they are needed. Tuck said a couple of his SigEp brothers were involved with ASB and "it sounded like a good idea."As an incentive for teams to sign up, SigEp put up $250 for a grand prize, which won't come out of the money raised by the $5-per-person entry fee. If 40 teams compete, the donation to ASB will total $1,000.

Tuck said no team would have more than one SigEp brother, a rule he instituted so there's no favoritism. Aside from several teams with SigEp members, several other fraternities and sororities have signed up to compete, as well as student organizations like the Maine Channel.

The Maine Channel will also be filming the event.The game is this Sunday at noon in the Field House. Any group of five with $25 between them can get into the tournament as long as there are spots open, and Tuck will replace teams that haven't paid yet with any team offering the entrance fee money upfront. Spectators are encouraged. With an expected seven balls per game, the action could get hectic. Anyone interested in competing can contact Alexander Tuck on FirstClass.