This year Palo Alto High School’s Associated Student Body is instituting a number of changes to the traditional staple of Spirit Week games. Former activities including Jar Wars and sumo wrestling, that were used as part of Spirit Week 2012, have been removed in favor of games from National Broadcasting Company’s “Minute to Win It” competition such as Banana Bump and Bucket Head.
The sumo wrestling competition was a traditional Spirit Week event at Paly, which involved representatives from each grade wrestling each other while wearing sumo suits. Last year, safety concerns were raised after a student received a concussion while participating. While at the time ASB mentioned changing some of the rules of sumo wrestling, this year, the activity has been entirely scrapped.
Junior Co-Spirit Commissioner Maya Ben-Efraim believes the change will keep Spirit Week safe while keeping the games exciting.
“Spirit Week should be something fun and exciting,” Ben-Efraim said. “It shouldn’t be anything violent or potentially harmful to students.”
Another activity that is now gone from the Spirit Week lineup is Jar Wars. Jar Wars pitted classes against each other in a battle to see who could raise the most money. Classes could put dollars in other classes’ jars to hurt their point total, and put pennies in their own jar to help their total.
“Jar Wars is literally buying your Spirit Week points by putting your money in jars and therefore it is illegal,” Ben-Efraim said, “Spirit Week is not associated with money at all – I mean, Spirit Week is about your spirit, so you shouldn’t be able to buy your Spirit Week points.”
One of the main activities added this year was Minute to Win It, which involves short games played for one minute. The games were taken from NBC’s TV show, “Minute to Win It,” and were tweaked to work with Paly rallies.
Students reacted differently to the Banana Bump activity that was part of the today’s lunch rally.
“It was probably the most interesting we’ve had,” junior Ariana Tindall said. “I didn’t understand what they were originally trying to do; they hung a banana between their legs and there was this orange on the floor, just thrusting with their hips to get the banana to hit the orange, it was weird.”
“They struggled a lot, but it was funny to watch,” junior Hannah Nguyen said. “It felt good when she crossed the finish line.”
Other new games include Buckethead, Hut, Hut, Hike, and Carrying Capacity. For more information on the activities check ASB’s master list, and for video and coverage of the events, keep checking The Paly Voice’s Spirit Week 2013 section.