These Are a Few of Our Favorite Things...
This week, our intern, Kiany, tells us about her experience at the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana:
While members of the University of Notre Dame’s football and basketball teams might be the most well known athletes to campus outsiders, many students at the school participate in club or intramural sports. The Office of Recreational Sports (or RecSports) offers a variety of activities ranging from the goofy Broomball League, where you can watch teams slip and slide during late-night games, to the full-pads, 11-on-11 Interhall Football League, where dorm teams face off in an intense battle to make playoffs, which culminate in an exhilarating championship game played in the majestic Notre Dame Stadium.
One of the most anticipated events for many students is the annual Bookstore Basketball tournament that takes place in the spring semester. Started in 1972, this single-elimination tournament has become the largest outdoor 5-on-5 basketball tournament in the world with as many as 700 student, faculty, and staff teams participating every year. Proceeds from registration fees benefit the Jumpball charity in Jamaica that organizes basketball day camps for inner city youth.
The tournament includes a women’s bracket and an open bracket, made up of men’s, women’s, and co-ed teams. Students come up with funny and clever team names inspired by pop culture figures, news headlines, and running jokes on campus. Past team names have included:
We Make the Ladys Gaga
Pauly D Snooki’d My Situation
We Let Taylor Swift Finish
The Procrastinators…We’ll Play You Tomorrow
One year, a player who has been marked Judas, notoriously “betrayed” his team, The Apostles, by shooting the ball into the other team’s basket. It’s antics like this that make the early rounds of the open bracket so entertaining for both players and spectators. I also enjoyed seeing the crazy outfits teams wore on the court. Team “uniforms” usually consist of spandex apparel, knee-high socks, pinnies, and anything metallic or neon. Some of the most memorable team costumes I saw were kimonos, figure skating dresses, and the red and white striped shirts of a “Where’s Waldo?” team.
My favorite part of Bookstore Basketball is that it’s not only a fun campus tradition but also a reflection of the University’s overall commitment to service. This tournament is just one of several athletic events organized to raise money for charities and raise awareness about important social issues.
Insider tip: Even if basketball isn’t your thing, you can still get a lot out of participating in an event like Bookstore Basketball. I’m not much of a basketball player, but I had a blast the few times I decided to play with my friends. And if you’re just not into athletics in general, there are plenty of ways to incorporate your own interests into existing Notre Dame traditions or even start some new ones on campus to support the causes you are passionate about.
Photo by Matt Cashore via Notre Dame Magazine