A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, our very own Welfare Officer, Shaun Stanley hit a guy in the face with a dodgeball. Don’t worry, the guy’s fine. But that’s not all, our very own MUSA Monga Editor, Andrew Peter Lim also hit a guy during one of the earlier matches, though this time around, it was where the sun doesn’t shine. That guy’s fine too, I hope. Him and the many others who got hit in the same area. The Star Wars Dodgeball Competition between the Schools of Engineering, Pharmacy & Medicine was definitely an event not to be missed!
Organized by each school’s respective representatives, this competition took place at the indoor futsal court on the 23rd of March. The 66 participants were randomly divided into 11 different groups consisting of 6 group members each, during the registration at 6pm. The groups were named after several characters in the movie. For example, there were The Chewbaccas, The Stormtroopers, The C3POs, The First Order, The Galactic Empire, The Bobba Fetts, The R2D2s, The Skywalkers, The Jedi Order, The BB-8s and lastly, The Darth Vaders.
Once everyone had been sorted into their assigned groups, they were given 10 minutes to break the ice and to get to know their new team members. A demonstration of how the dodgeball game worked and what its rules were followed shortly. Essentially, each game only lasts for 10 minutes. A player from each team is chosen to be the Jedi who acts as a healer (to the team members who couldn’t dodge the ball in time and got hit so they had to sit) and carries around a lightsaber (no fans it wasn’t a real lightsaber, it was a sausage balloon, the kind you make animal balloons out of).
The goal of the game? To hit the opposing team’s Jedi.
The Jedi starts the game by standing in their hula hoop ‘circle of force’ which acts as a barrier. When inside, the Jedi cannot be hit. However, if the Jedi is standing outside and is hit, the entire team loses. At the last minute, no healing can be performed but the Jedi are able to throw the dodgeballs as well (hooray for payback). The winner of the match is determined by counting the number of members left ‘alive’.
You’d think that the rules mentioned above sounds pretty reasonable, but no ladies and gentlemen, it gets even more complicated. The team will receive a penalty for each time the Jedi heals without both his feet out of the circle or if he throws his lightsaber to the fallen team member. They would also get a penalty if the fallen team member gets up without being healed or if the balloon lightsaber bursts. Other than that, all the normal dodgeball game rules applied (who knew there was more to just throwing and dodging balls, not this subcom).
Everyone was feeling quite excited when the matches finally started. They pretty much had the same thought in mind, “Do – or do not. There is no try,” if you call yourself a fan, you ought to know who said that. And do they did, or try they did not. Some, if not most, of the participants discovered a new found flexibility that they did not have before this when they were dodging the various power throws by the opposing team. Others were not as lucky and probably got hit more times than they could count. But as Obi-Wan Kenobi said, “In my experience, there is no such thing as luck.”
The matches became even more competitive as the night progressed. The crowds went wild watching their friends dodge and attack with fervor. Some cheered and applauded their friends when one of their many ‘power throws’ hit the intended target while some boo-ed and teased their friend for missing the target. Though, it would’ve been a good opening for said friend to fire back with one of the movie quotes, “I find your lack of faith disturbing”.
Alas, even though every group tried their utmost best, not everyone made it to the semi-finals and the final round. Those who did were The Boba Fetts, The Jedi Order, The R2D2s and The Chewbaccas (who for some unknown reason are known and want to be known as The Cucumbers?). However, the force was strongest with The Chewbaccas aka The Cucumbers that night. The runner up was The Boba Fetts followed by the Jedi Order.
When asked, The Chewbaccas said that they had a great time and that it was very intense. Whereas Team Boba Fetts wanted “Nobody ever remembered the second man on the moon,” to be their group quote for this article. However, the group with the best response was The Jedi Order who said “This is the first time we’re all playing. We’re really happy and proud to have complete newbies playing and to get third place out of eleven teams. We feel like true Jedi.” Of course, others would deny and say that group C3PO had the best response, “We came here for the pizzas.”
The BB8s were also really sporting and said it was a fun event and that they were able to mingle around more with the “perfect crowd”. During the shared meal, Groups Boba Fetts and First Order agreed that everyone was happy, tired and hungry. They said they had an amazing time dodging balls, both literally and figuratively. Ken from the School of Pharmacy also mentioned that he was glad to be part of this event, as he was given the opportunity to know more people from other courses. Ming Han, also from the School of Pharmacy, agreed with Ken, adding further that it was a good game and that it was awesome because there was free food.
Overall, it was an eye-opening experience and a wonderful idea for all the students to mingle together. Despite the fierce competition, everyone still came out on top by working together and having fun, which, if you think about it, is all that really mattered. The free food and drinks provided was just a bonus. The event ended around 10pm with a prize giving ceremony and a group shot of all the remaining players. A huge thank you to the organizers for planning such a joyful experience and a shoutout to everyone for attending this spectacular event. Remember … the Force will be with you, always.
Words by Stephanie Leng
Photos by Keith Fong & Rhea Levina Nurdin