Sud Games replaces 26-year-old tradition

Off The Hook battles wind, site changes to host games

Featured Image: Teams compete in Sud Games on Friday, Sept. 23 in front of the Jane P. Batten Student Center. Ross Winner|Marlin Chronicle

A campus tradition since 1996, Virginia Wesleyan University’s annual Mud Games has remained a hot topic and long-awaited event since its start 26 years ago. The tradition presents a relay race with obstacle courses, tug-of-war challenges, dizzy-bat contests and egg-and-spoon races all through a slip and slide of mud. Any team of friends, club members, athletes, students or staff members can compete for a trophy prize. Every year, students and staff alike look forward to participating in Mud Games. 

This year, however, Mud Games looked different than before. Rather than racing through and being caked in mud, participants ran through foam and bubbles— Mud Games, therefore, turned into Sud Games. The Games took place on Friday, Sept. 23.

“It is an interesting change. I love Mud Games, but I do understand that they switched it for a reason,” junior Lauren Ford said.

That reason, suggested by facilities management, had to do with the build up of mud on Rose Lawn over the years. As a result of this build up, management found it difficult to access underground utilities. 

“We were asked to identify another place on campus for Mud Games, but we were limited in where we could do that,” Director of Student Activities Sarah Guzzo said. “Because the mud pit just is not pleasing to the eye, it wouldn’t look good.”

After being unsuccessful in finding a new location for Mud Games, Off the Hook, which leads the Games year after year, decided to go back to the drawing board. This is when the team came up with the idea of hosting a foam party. The idea then turned into Sud Games in order to keep the relay competition tradition of Mud Games alive.

“It was definitely shocking and something that we weren’t prepared for but it’s definitely understandable,” Guzzo said. “I think we’ll definitely be able to continue the spirit of the event. It will be just as fun if not more, because then it will turn into a foam party afterwards.”

Off the Hook set up six foam machines and offered participants goggles to avoid getting foam in their eyes. A DJ was also invited out to host the event.

“I think this was a good alternative to Mud Games and a great event put on by Off The Hook,” Ford said.

Unfortunately, the weather was not in the Games’ favor on the day of the event. Strong winds quickly blew the foam and bubbles away, turning it into “Sand Games” at the sand volleyball court. 

“It wasn’t like I was expecting because the weather said ‘no’ to Sud Games and blew the bubbles away, so it was changed to the Sand Games,” Ford said. “Off the Hook did a good job in transitioning when the weather tried to stop the event. I also wasn’t expecting it to be on the sand volleyball court, so we had an extra obstacle with the net.”

Despite the many challenges Off the Hook faced in the creation and organization of Sud Games, the event still had a large turnout and great reviews. Off the Hook looks forward to continuing the tradition in the future.

By Carey Seay