For the first time in Cane Craze history, the two-day sports event that was to be held this past weekend was postponed because an insufficient number of teams signed up to participate.
“I’m very disappointed,” said Jason Carroll, assistant director of intramurals. “A lot of time and effort was put into planning this event, but I guess students just didn’t want to play this weekend.”
Cane Craze is an annual sports event organized by the Wellness Center in which teams composed of 20 people compete against each other in various sports and activities over a two-day period.
This year would have marked the ninth season of the event.
Jerry Prieto, supervisor at the Wellness Center and fifth-year student, said that by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov.19, the sign-up deadline for Cane Craze, only four teams had enlisted.
“After the deadline we had to take down all the old flyers and make and set up new ones extending the deadline until noon on Wednesday, hoping that more teams would sign up,” Prieto said.
But by noon on Wednesday only two more teams had enlisted, for a total of six teams, two short of the minimum required to hold a tournament.
“It is not feasible to hold the tournament with six teams,” said Carroll, explaining that six teams would not be able to cover the costs of staffing and organizing the event.
Carroll added that there is not an established limit for the number of teams that can enlist.
“Last year we had 13 teams sign up and we did more publicity this year,” he said.
Carroll explained that additional banners were hung up in the residential halls this year as opposed to advertising solely around the Wellness Center, as had been done in previous years.
Although the lack of participation did come as a surprise, Carroll attributed this to the fact that this year Cane Craze was scheduled in November.
“At this time of the year students are worn down, preparing for finals and getting ready for the semester to end,” he said.
Prieto agreed that the scheduling of the event might have been the problem.
“At the end of the semester freshmen have already formed their group of friends,” he said. “At the beginning of the semester they probably only know their roommates and the person next door, so they are more inclined to participate in events like Cane Craze. It’s a good way to meet people.”
Scheduling for Cane Craze was planned so that it would not coincide with football games or other events.
“We did a re-shuffling of the schedule this year, but when I was planning it, I thought this would be a good weekend for the event,” said Carroll.
Some students who participated in the event last year said that they would have done so this year had they been aware that the event was going to take place.
Junior Santiago Jaramillo, who headed the team LATAM in last year’s Cane Craze, said he would have participated in the event, but he did not receive any information about it in time to register.
“It seems to me that this event is mostly advertised to people on campus, in the residence halls,” he said. “I live off campus and did not hear about it, which is a shame because I had a lot of fun last year and would have liked to do it again.”
Organizers have decided to postpone Cane Craze until Mar. 1-2, exactly a month after Sports Fest.
“Hopefully Sports Fest will give us a good opportunity to promote the event,” Carroll said.
The activities include basketball, flag football, inner tube water polo, kickball, crazy soccer and volleyball. Board games and video game competitions are also included, as well as a mystery event that is unknown to the participants until the moment of the competition.
All full-time UM students, faculty and staff are eligible to participate. Each team is encouraged to have an equal number of men and women.
Andrea Alegria can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org