Annual BEWIC Sports Days a hit

Some teams express frustration over excessively competitive and intense players

Queen’s students face off during innertube waterpolo match.
Queen’s students face off during innertube waterpolo match.
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BEWIC teams battle for buckets during rugby-basketball.
BEWIC teams battle for buckets during rugby-basketball.
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Innertube waterpolo competitors thrash towards the goal.
Innertube waterpolo competitors thrash towards the goal.
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BEWIC teammates ponder strategies during broomball game.
BEWIC teammates ponder strategies during broomball game.
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Competing teams were about more than cute slogans during BEWIC Sports Days.
Competing teams were about more than cute slogans during BEWIC Sports Days.
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Defenders counter offensive attacks from BEWIC foes during broomball.
Defenders counter offensive attacks from BEWIC foes during broomball.
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This past weekend heralded the return of the annual Queen’s BEWIC sports tournament. Duane Parliament, the intramural coordinator, said he was extremely pleased with the 2006 edition of the tournament.

Open to Queen’s students of all athletic calibre, the weekend featured the standard 32 teams, with 1,100 registered participants. Each team competed in four sports: broomball, volleyball, rugby-basketball, and inner-tube water polo. Taking place over a frantic two days, the tournament is the only event at Queen’s that commandeers the University’s entire sports centre.

This year featured teams made up of faculties, friends, and co-workers, and involved students from first year to the post-graduate level. The tournament purposefully uses combination sports to level the playing field, creating a competitive atmosphere that can be enjoyed by varsity athletes and casual participants alike.

The teams were graded on both athletic performance and the sportsmanship they exhibited towards officials and opponents. The convenor’s opinion of a team’s spirit accounts for half of their sportsmanship score, and the officials and other teams combine to determine the remaining points. Ashley Williams, PhysEd ’06 and co-convenor of the tournament, said the participating teams displayed great energy and carried on the tradition of hard, fair play that has been established in years past.

First-time player Mike Kagan, Arts ’05, and BEWIC veteran Victoria Martin-Evans, Arts ’06, both said that they enjoyed this year’s tournament.

Both Williams and Parliament said they were particularly pleased with the sportsmanship they observed throughout the tournament. Unlike previous years where students have been ejected from the tournament for fighting or have arrived “unable to perform,” 2006 saw a tournament that was played with a generally high level of sportsmanship.

Also, Parliament noted that the tournament was without any serious injuries, though there were surprising defaults from perennial contenders, ConEd and Athletes in Action (AIA), who misread their schedules. Nevertheless, the dreaded 7:45AM Saturday morning games that make up the bulk of defaults in the tournament were strongly attended, with only seven defaults—a marked decrease from previous years.

The competition this year was dominated by the PhysEd faculty, which consistently supplies a team from each of the four undergraduate years. PhysEd teams captured the top three spots in the competitive and overall standings, with teams from ConEd and “Off in the Shower” being the only non-Phys Ed teams to register a top-three finish in the spirit category. The PhysEd ’06 team, PHEony, captured the overall championship for an unprecedented second consecutive year, placing first overall in both innertube water polo and volleyball, with second and third-place finishes in the other two sports.

When interviewed about the tournament, participants’ responses were almost entirely positive. However, there were complaints about some of the more competitive teams in the tournament, specifically the PhysEd teams and AIA. Several competitors felt that there was a bias towards the PhysEd teams in particular. Matt Harper, ArtSci ’06, said he feels that “they take it too seriously, and they chirp all the time.”

PHEony team leaders Courtney Alexander and Amy Lanthier (both PhysEd ’06) countered that the tournament is meant to be competitive, and that PhysEd teams, especially theirs, were targeted by other teams.

“They generally come at us with the same intensity,” Lanthier said.

They pointed to a volleyball match against ConEd where they received a zero out of five in spirit points after a significant beating. Alexander and Lanthier identified AIA and ConEd as two squads that generally exhibit the same intensity, but pointed out that PhysEd receives the brunt of criticism for their competitive nature due to the faculty they represent.

Also, some spectators noticed that when two PhysEd teams came into competition with one another, the play was some of the fiercest of the tournament, but there were absolutely no hard feelings afterwards.

When asked about accusations of overly serious and dirty play, AIA member Lisa Hider, ConEd’06 said she doesn’t think there is anything wrong with her team’s style of play.

“AIA is made up of competitive athletes, we play 100 per cent, and if it is perceived as rough play, that’s unfortunate,” she said.

Mike Thorburn was able to make it to all of his team’s early games, despite maintaining his demanding social schedule at night.

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