IHC Sports: Week 1

By Aaron Gan (14S05A), Lea Tan (14S06B), Tan Jun Xiang (14S06C)

Photos by the Photographic Society

This week marked the opening of the annual Inter-House Sports Competitions, with no shortage of exciting matches and intense competition. The event saw members from all five houses duking it out in a bevy of matches to win points for their houses. Wondering how your house fared? Raffles Press provides a summary of this week’s matches here!

Day 1

TENNIS

IHC sports kicked off on Tuesday with Tennis, in highly-charged series of matches. To the unacquainted, tennis might look as easy as other racquet sports, but first-timers on the cool Tuesday afternoon were in for an unfortunate shock. Competition was remarkably male-dominated, to the point that most girls didn’t – or couldn’t – make contact with even one ball. Raffles Tennis evened out the playing field by organizing mixed doubles instead,  but a few points ended up with the girl standing in the court spectating while her partner chased down each ball on both sides of the court.

130813_IHC Tennis_MockYuanNing-23

All eyes were on BB with a former school player, and HH as the traditional boys champion. Both houses did not disappoint, clinching almost all their ties and drawing against each other. MT and MR were consistent throughout, though their players sometimes showed signs of frustration and desperation. As the matches continued, BW was left trailing in last position.

The level of sportsmanship from some houses deserves mention. One common strategy adopted by some of the better players was to target the girls of the opposing team to score points. Commendably though, a few such as HH’s Adriel Nee slowed the pace of their shots when directed to girls. The games were not without controversy either as tennis captain Basir Koh unofficially disqualified BB’s Aaron Gan from a few rounds of tennis for supposedly winning too many points.

The final set of matches was marked by almost all houses letting their hair down and sending some reserve players just so everyone could join in the fun. BB even negotiated with the umpire to allow everyone from the house’s team to rotate and play in that last match.

It remains to be seen, however, how exactly Raffles Tennis tabulated the results, seeing as winners and losers alike were equally clueless. A first it was supposedly BB who were champions, then in an abrupt turnaround MR was declared the winners from their previously fourth place. BB house captain Kunal Katarya was not pleased, especially after he made a crazy Instavideo celebrating the ‘victory’.

1st: MR

2nd: BB

3rd: HH

4th: MT

5th: BW

BASKETBALL (Played on the same day)

While we were unfortunately unable to cover the event, the house placings are as follows:

1st: MR

2nd: HH

3rd: BB

4th: MT

5th: BW

Day 2

ARCHERY

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Over at the Marymount Field, Archery was one of the hotly contested sports of the day. The team from MT dominated the competition right from the start, employing superior marksmanship to establish a clear lead over the other houses. MR, BB and HH fought fiercely among themselves, but none was able to accrue a significant advantage. The three houses ended up tied for second place, leaving BW trailing in last position.

For the tiebreaker, 9 balloons were pinned onto the scoreboard, with the three houses competing to pop the most number of balloons. What appeared to be a relatively simple task turned out to be deceptively difficult, as MR was the only house to even pop one balloon. This left BB and HH consigned to the 3rd and 4th positions respectively, with BW at the bottom of the house rankings.

1st: MT

2nd: MR

3rd: BB

4th: HH

5th: BW

TRACK AND FIELD

Heats for 400m, 200m and 100m races as well as 800m (girls) and 1500m (boys) finals took place on Wednesday, together with Long Jump (Girls) and Javelin (boys). Further coverage will be provided for the finals and remaining events which take place next Wednesday.

SHOOTING (Played on the same day)

While we were unfortunately unable to cover the event, the house placings are as follows:

1st: MT

2nd: BW

3rd: MR

4th: HH

5th: BB

Day 3

GOALTIMATE FRISBEE

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This year, Raffles Ultimate eschewed the usual game of Ultimate Frisbee for a lesser-known variation – Goaltimate. A portmanteau of Goal and Ultimate, Goaltimate was played out in similar fashion to Ultimate Frisbee, except that participants had to score by flicking the disc into a goalpost rather than passing it to a teammate in the endzone.

As the games got underway, the discrepancy between the guys competition and the girls competition became increasingly obvious. For the most part, the girls were less experienced and focused more on having fun. Over at the other side of the field, the guys were almost the exact opposite, fighting tooth and nail for each and every pass. At times, play had to be stopped as a few players flouted the rules or employed excessive force in an overzealous attempt to intercept the disc.

Among the guys teams, BW and HH were widely expected to dominate based on their earlier performances at Take 5 Ultimate Frisbee, and they did not disappoint. BW guys in particular, had a spectacular run as they did not drop a single match against the other four houses, edging out HH in a rousing finals match.

For the girls, the team from BB was the clear leader of the pack, dominating all their games with scorelines such as 8-0. The difference in skill level was such that Raffles Ultimate decided to cancel the girls’ finals altogether as it was obvious at the point that BB would win.

Guys

1st – BW

2nd – HH

3rd – MT

4th – MR

5th – BB

Girls

1st – BB

2nd – BW

3rd – MR

4th – HH

5th – MT

House placings for tag rugby, which was played on the same day, are yet to be released.

Day 4

JUDO

Boys and girls stood on two sides of the dojo at the RI Gymnasium, surrounded by curious spectators as they tried out and donned their judo gis. No one really knew what to expect. All they knew was how the game would proceed: There would be an attacking house and a defending house, with the latter “locked” together at one end of the dojo. The attacking team had to pry their opponents apart and drag them across the central yellow mats and onto the blue area at the opposite end of the court. Once a defending opponent had his/her whole body across the blue-yellow line, he/she would be out and the attacking house scores a point. Each round would be three minutes long, or stop when all of the defending team had been taken out.

The games and cheers began, with strategies tested, locked limbs forcibly pried apart, and players of the defense team dragged thrashing across the mats to the other side of the courts, sometimes striking out deftly to topple their attacker and race back to their teammates on the safe side of the dojo. When the defending team could not be pried apart, attackers chose to bodily and painstakingly push the whole team across the mats, which managed to work out at times. Onlookers could be seen laughing as the bulkiest surviving members of the attacking wrapped themselves around teammates and could not be budged. BW boys were shorthanded with only four players instead of five, while BB cheered as the girls’ team took the lead, often taking out all members of the opponent team and staying strong against attack.

However, the games were abruptly cut short with the arrival of the Judo teacher-IC Mr. Kok, who felt that game play was way too dangerous for the game to go on. The gi, he explained to disappointed participants, was to be worn for safety. Participants were only supposed to grab the gi lapels, sleeves, pants and belt during tussles, but he was worried that serious injuries might occur due to the highly competitive nature of the games. “I have to protect you, I have to protect my Judokas, and I have to protect Council. I apologise for stopping the games early, and I thank you for your participation.” As of now it is unclear if house placings and points will be included for IHC Judo, but what we do know is that IHC Judo was a fun and immensely memorable event, and hearty thanks go out to Raffles Judo and CCAD for all their hard work!

House placings for Judo are unavailable as the event was stopped halfway through the competition

SOCCER GIRLS

1st – MR

2nd – HH

3rd – BW

4th – BB

5th – MT

It was an eventful week for all five houses, with each house experiencing their own series of highs and lows. As the dust settles after each intense IHC though, do bear in mind the very purpose of IHC: to bring together five houses as one Raffles. Even as you play your heart out on the field or cheer on a fellow compatriot, don’t forget to let loose once in a while. Because honestly, what’s important is not which House wins or loses, but rather the great times and memories you have that will linger on for years to come.

Stay tuned for next week’s IHC coverage!

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