Student vs. student inflatable savagery: UBC’s Faculty Cup

UBC, with its 50,000 students and 11 faculties, can feel like a big place with not a whole lot of spirit. The AMS looked to change that by pitting 11 faculties against each other in a social-media-fueled, Hunger Games-esque athletic tournament called the Faculty Cup -- a faculty vs. faculty sports tournament.

This event, run last year by UBC Rec, is a quasi-annual event that has evolved this year. Organized through a joint effort by the Faculty Cup Committee and the AMS' Student Life and Communications Committee, this year the Cup looked to reach a wider and more diverse population at UBC through the addition of free programming, including a wellness fair as well as an active living festival.

After the food truck festival and the wellness fair, the tournament began. In its first round, faculties competed against each other in the ridiculous games of sitting volleyball and dodgeball. Then the competition moved to War Memorial Gym and the third competition, the tug-o-war, took place.

Sitting volleyball has eight players on each team sitting on a small volleyball courts with lowered nets. The ball is allowed to bounce once before being returned and serves are thrown in.

Points were awarded to the winners of these matchup as well as for various acts of self promotion on social media and faculty participation in the various fairs and activities that took place earlier in the day. The points were tallied up and the top two teams to emerge from battle competed in the adrenaline soaked game of archery tag.

Archery tag is basically paintball with bows and arrows. Real bows and arrows. The arrows have giant foam marshmallows as tips. A team wins a round of archery tag by eliminating every player from the opposing team, or by shooting 10 foam targets.

An exciting dodgeball matchup between the Faculty of Science and Sauder revealed the true colours of the two faculties. Sauder, employing a free-market strategy of every man and woman for themselves, were readily defeated by the more meticulous and organized Science team. These gallant blue warriors used their superior scientific minds to devise an unbeatable strategy. They stockpiled balls, waiting to fire them at their foes in a single volley. This strategy overwhelmed the Smithian Sauderites, allowing Science an easy but well-deserved victory.

Another tournament highlight was a close matchup between Engineering and Arts in sitting volleyball, with the Engineers coming out on top. With more advanced communication and teamwork, even Arts’ selfie-taking could not help them.

This sport of bruised knees, bloodied elbows and butt-hopping lacked the excitement of standing up volleyball, but more than made up for it in awkward dives and laughs.

“It’s lots of fun showing faculty pride,” said Engineer participant Sarah Powers.

Kin ruled supreme in the tug-o-war round, but their late challenge could not make up for the calculated performances of Science, and the raw, lumberjack power of Forestry in the previous two rounds. The battle to decide this conflict of 11 armies would be the best of three rounds of archery tag between Science and Forestry.

The final started with reserve, both teams rarely ducking out from behind inflatable cover. The Foresters struck first, knocking down several targets. Science retaliated ruthlessly, slaying two of the Foresters. The Foresters continued to aim for targets, Science for people. In the end, the Foresters emerged victorious after knocking down all of their targets.

Science started the second round strong by knocking down two targets with a single shot. Go physics! But it was not enough -- a combination of tree magic and lumberjack sawdust overpowered the Scientists and Forestry, in their dark green uniforms and face paint lifted the huge, golden trophy.

“This is a start of a revival of the event. We are trying to push the envelope with it and we have plans to make it even bigger next year. We hope that for the first time in a long time it will stay for more than a year or two,” said Alex Remtulla, head of the Cup's organization this year.

Tanner Bokor, AMS President, was excited for the future of the event and hopes to see more of it. “This is pretty amazing, it’s really great to see actual student engagement for once and see people out there having school pride. I think it’s fantastic that all these different groups decided to put something in term two because that’s something we haven't really seen before on this campus.”

The festivities concluded with an afterparty at The Academic Public House.