If it’s coming, the News is ready.
On Friday night, Dean of Student Affairs Marichal Gentry sent an email to college masters, deans, and freshman counselors reminding them that the famed Yale tradition known as “Bladderball” is prohibited. His email arrived just hours before one “Peter Piper” sent a number of students (email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com) the following message:
Bladderball is coming.
The game, which involves mobs of students divided along residential college lines bouncing a giant ball around campus, traditionally takes place during the weekend of the Yale-Dartmouth football game. It was banned in 1978 by A. Bartlett Giamatti, then the president of the University, on account of student injuries, but mysteriously reemerged in 2009 to student delight.
In his email, Gentry emphasized the dangers Bladderball presents to the student body. He expressed concern about the way in which the riotous game moved onto streets bordering Old Campus two years ago, as students “tugged, chased, and attempted to take possession of this enormous elastic ball.”
“The rules concerning Bladderball have not changed—it is a banned activity,” Gentry said.
Gentry asked those who “see or hear about any unusual activity” this weekend to report it to the Yale Police Department.
Bring it, y’all.
UPDATED: 2:06 p.m. In an email to Jonathan Edwards students on Saturday morning, Master Penelope Laurans and Dean Kyle Farley asserted their outright opposition to Bladderball. They reiterated the same safety concerns mentioned in Gentry’s email and asked students to instead focus on other ways to show JE spirt, such as intramural success.
“No. No No No No No No NO! OK, we’re not a school where people riot and overturn cars and do infinitely moron-like and out-of-control stupid things,” Laurans and Farley wrote in the email. “BUT this is banned for one reason: people could get hurt.”
And if you played Bladderball back in 2009, Laurans and Farley are onto you. In Saturday’s email the two observed how, in a video of Bladderball’s triumphant reemergence, “the cry of JE Sux resounds here and there throughout the tape.”