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SCC sets a ‘knockout’ Guinness world record

Mel Flanagan | Wednesday, August 29, 2012

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

Last year’s Sophomore Class Council (SCC) kept this phrase in mind the past spring semester when they attempted to break the Guinness World Record for largest tournament of knockout basketball, a feat Keough Hall had fallen short of in the fall of 2011.

The SCC achieved their goal March 2 when 433 people participated in the tournament in the Joyce Athletic and Convocation Center (JACC). The results were recently certified by Guinness.

Junior Jake Frego, a member of last year’s SCC, said the council held the event to unite the sophomore class with a common goal.

“Last year, one of the objectives of the SCC athletic committee was to help our class to realize a noteworthy achievement, and to have a great deal of fun while doing so,” he said. “We wanted the achievement to bring together our classmates and offer them some sort of subsequent recognition.”

The council arranged with the men’s basketball team to hold the tournament immediately after the men’s last home game against Providence College.

Keough Hall rector Fr. Pete McCormick, who spearheaded the attempt in the fall, said the collaboration helped the SCC succeed where Keough had come short.

“They coordinated this whole event with men’s basketball and the community at large, and that was the reason we were able to make this happen,” he said.

After the players exited, McCormick said everyone in the stands was invited to go down to the court and join the tournament.

Frego said the participants included both students and members of the Notre Dame and South Bend communities.

Throughout the tournament, the council took steps to ensure Guinness would validate the attempt if they broke the record.

“We were required to inform Guinness of our record attempt and had to submit a very detailed description,” Frego said.

On the day of the record attempt, McCormick said every participant was asked to sign a waiver, and the event was recorded.

Guinness also required a counter who sat at the foul line to double-check that the names on the waivers were legitimate, and two witnesses not associated with the University to verify the event.

Despite the success of the event, McCormick said he does not anticipate an immediate attempt to exceed the record.

“For now there are no plans, but it’s one of those things that if some other school would try to break it or actually break it, then I would expect that we would try to regain that record,” he said.

The event proved to be an extraordinary achievement for the class, Frego said.

“We hoped to demonstrate that if Notre Dame students unite behind an effort, they can achieve something remarkable – even a Guinness World Record,” he said.