It’s that time of year again: the Powderpuff Game. It’s a time-honored tradition of sportsmanship and competition.
Why is it then that a popular rumor concerning Powderpuff is that it’s manipulated in the seniors’ favor?
“I think it may be rigged,” says junior Gabrielle Garza, who is a Powderpuff player this year. “The seniors seem to win every year.”
But after interviewing past referees, players and officials, it appears the truth of the matter is that Powderpuff is not rigged.
Health teacher Jeff Wright, who has had a large amount of experience with Powderpuff, often as the senior class adviser, does not see how the game could be rigged.
“I have refereed it,” Wright says. “I have been on the sideline. And I don’t think it’s rigged at all.”
But if that’s the case, what is the cause for the senior class’s frequent victories over the juniors?
After nine years of involvement with Powderpuff, often being a referee, history teacher Bill Schrier says that the senior class’s victory is due to having played the year before.
“They have the advantage of experience,” Schrier observes. “Juniors are always going to be first-timers, and not just the players, but the coaches too.”
Schrier adds that the seniors playing this year are also often motivated to avenge their loss the prior year.
Math teacher Juan Gomez, who has been athletic director, adviser to both junior and senior classes and a referee seconds the notion that the senior’s victory comes from experience the previous year, not from a rigged game.
“The classes that win are the ones that have talent on their team,” Gomez says. “The seniors have played on the team one entire year more. They know who’s speedy. They know who can throw. They know who can catch.”
Besides, seniors don’t always win.
“The juniors have won a couple of times,” Wright says.
Schrier also notes how there were two years in a row where there was a tie.
The likelihood that officials rig the game in the senior’s favor diminishes even further when you consider the limited time the officials have to plan.
“We only meet once beforehand,” Gomez says. “Our ultimate role is to be fair and to keep them safe. At no point is it rigged.”
Really, a team’s success all comes down to experience and planning.
“If you have one or two girls that are very fast and you figure out how to get the ball to them, that class will win 95 percent of the time,” Gomez says. “It’s whoever can figure out how to get the ball to the quickest player on their team.”
Placing the final nail in the coffin of this rumor, Schrier says, “I wouldn’t participate in something that’s rigged.”
– Sam Graves