UM gears up for another year of SportsFest

The popular video game Rock Band is one of several new competitions in the 2009 edition of SportsFest, which will be held from Feb. 6-8.

In addition to a Rock Band tournament, SportsFest will feature a new tennis game with a clocked serve speed, the popular home run derby and a modified obstacle course, which picked up a new sponsor in Red Bull energy drink.

SportsFest is the annual springtime event that pits students in the five residence halls, apartments, University Village and commuters against one another. Contests range from the typical – flag football, basketball and soccer – to the atypical – bocce, couch potato trivia and horseshoes.

The tradition dates back to 1986, when Hecht challenged Stanford to an athletic competition and won. Since then, the rest of the campus has joined the fray, generating the campus-wide buzz.

“SportsFest kind of gets everyone involved,” junior Emily Bouck said. “Everyone has a good time.”

New events such as Rock Band are voted in every year by the SportsFest Committee.

“They go over last year’s events. They pick what they want in again, and then they look at the schedule, go back and forth and decide what best fits the schedule and what the best sports would be,” said Tom Soria, who oversees intramurals and special events at the Wellness Center.

Soria said that SportsFest’s main goal is to help bring the campus together, particularly those who live in different residences.

“I think the most important aspect is the relationship it builds between residences,” Soria said. “Once you’re there, you’ll see people and say ‘Oh, I’ve seen them, I just didn’t know who they were,’ and then you know them.”

For more information about SportsFest rules and events, go to