Powderpuff tensions lead to competitive rally

March 30, 2017 — by Ryan Kim and Neil Rao

Piling into a moshpit in the Large Gym, the senior boys erupted with celebration at the end of their Powderpuff cheer on March 24.

The rally ended happily but teachers and administrators expressed concerns about students colliding head first and possibly receiving concussions or even worse during ultra competitive games.

Rally commissioner junior Allison Borch attributed this animosity to the competitive nature of Spring Fling.

“When it comes to Powderpuff and games, we get competitive because we want to beat each other,” Borch said. “It amps everyone up and makes things more fun.”

Several games like Steal the Bacon and Powerball caused concerns because students easily could have gotten hurt. In Steal the Bacon, one student from each grade fought for a ball in the center of the gym; in Powerball, a pair of students from two grades battled to throw a ball in a trash can.

Principal Paul Robinson acknowledged the need to balance the fun of the games with safety by making games more based on skills rather than solely on fighting and tackling other students.

But according to Robinson, even with these changes to rally games, rallies would still be competitive because of inherent rivalry among classes.

“Rallies create class competition, and there’s definitely the physical competition going on too,” Robinson said. “With juniors and seniors, there’s a lot of competition because they’re upperclassmen and physically bigger than the younger kids.”

Nevertheless, rally commission asserted that everything was under control during the games despite the bumps and bruises the 36 competitors sustained. Because of the commission’s past experience with these potentially dangerous games, they said they had learned how to handle the situation.

“Whenever things get out of hand, we have to step in, but that didn't really happen at the rally,” Borch said. “‘Steal the Bacon’ became a little more than friendly competition. Students started getting pretty aggressive, but the competitiveness was manageable.”

Other than the games, the rest of the rally proceeded according to plan. Fun and relatively noncompetitive activities, like the Powderpuff cheers, impressed the audience, especially the winning junior cheer, which was choreographed by junior Nicholas Di. Despite the audio breaking off during performances, the classes showed dedication and organization in their dances.

“There were some technical issues with the sound system, but everyone powered through,” sophomore class treasurer Roshan Verma said. “We may not have had many stunts, but I think we embraced the spirit of Powderpuff.”

 

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