Players Breanna Downey and Rochelle Hoffman
Players Breanna Downey (right) and Rochelle Hoffman recline on a bed of dodgeballs after being ousted from UCI's world-record game.

Who needs a football team when you can claim the world’s biggest dodgeball game?

That’s what took place Wednesday afternoon at UC Irvine, with 1,745 student participants breaking a world record held by the University of Alberta.

UCI sophomore Sam Shaw spent much of spring quarter last year handing out flyers and meeting with campus officials to rally support for the game. Lacking the funds to host the event himself, he partnered with Associated Students of UCI.

“I didn’t have much credibility on my own, but ASUCI gave me the support I needed to make my vision come true,” Shaw says.

Guinness World Records adjudicator Kimberly Partrick was on hand to certify the results, counting players as they made their way through turnstiles at the Bren Events Center and subtracting those who departed early.

“I’m blown away by the turnout and everyone’s school spirit – and how even Peter the Anteater got involved,” she says. “This has been one of the most fun world record attempts I’ve ever attended.”

“This blew the previous record out of the water,” Partrick adds. The Canadian university’s game in February boasted 1,198 participants.

Anteaters can check out the Guinness World Records website Monday, Sept. 27, to see UCI’s official entry.

Sophomore Anna Tran was happy she participated despite her initial fear of getting hit by flying dodgeballs.

“It was so exciting just to be part of an event like this that brings so much school spirit,” she says. “Once you start playing, you really just focus on hitting people on the other team.”

One of UCI’s Welcome Week festivities, the game took place during the inaugural Blue & Gold Spirit Rally.