Carlmont students prepare for Powder Puff 2013

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Carlmont students prepare for Powder Puff 2013

Sophomores practice for the upcoming Powder Puff tournament.

Sophomores practice for the upcoming Powder Puff tournament.

Sophomores practice for the upcoming Powder Puff tournament.

Sophomores practice for the upcoming Powder Puff tournament.

Josh Fagel, Staff Writer

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A traditional homecoming week activity at Carlmont escalates in intensity every year.

The activity is Powder Puff football, a competition in which female students in each grade compete against other grades in flag football matches. Powder Puff football has been a part of Carlmont’s Homecoming Week since 2006, and it attracts hundreds of student spectators every year.

According to Activities Director Jim Kelly, Powder Puff was originally “intended as a recreational, school spirit event.” But over the years, student athletes have taken this “recreational” activity more and more seriously.

Senior Melissa Wood, who broke her arm in the competition last year, stated that one of the main reasons for the escalated intensity is the embarrassment of losing to a younger grade.

Wood claimed that this “creates bitter tension between the grades and provides an incentive to work harder and play harder the following year.”

Coupled with practicing harder and devising smarter strategies, student athletes have also become more aggressive and competitive during matches.

“I remember my teammates ending up with ripped clothing. There was a lot of trash talking on the field, too,” said senior Kalila Kirk, reminiscing on last year’s competition.

To cope with the unprecedented aggressiveness, Kelly and Carlmont’s Associated Student Body (ASB) have created new regulations. For instance, fumbles are now dead balls as soon as they hit the ground. This prevents potential head-to-head collisions as student athletes fight over a loose ball.

Kelly also noted how, “as the referee of the games, [he] maintains the ability to ‘adapt’ rules in order to keep sportsmanship at a premium and competitiveness at a controllable level.” In addition, Kelly has warned coaches of Powder Puff teams that “if the games become dangerous or unsportsmanlike, [he] reserves the right to cancel the games for the current year and possibly in the future.”

“As long as the girls keep themselves in check and the refs make sure no one is getting unreasonably physical, then I think Powder Puff can remain a fun, healthy competitive event during homecoming week and won’t be taken away,” said Wood.

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