PASS table football tournament hosted to lift student spirit

By Nicholas Iwuoha, Hawkeye Staff

During the first weeks of second semester, the students of James Wilson’s PASS class are hosting a school-wide table football tournament. With over 38 teams schoolwide, PASS classes will compete for donuts and a special, one of a kind 3D-printed trophy. 

The registration period is over, but those still wanting to enjoy it may be able to view the championship games via a Zoom link. Right now, an elimination tournament for PASS classes with multiple teams is being played. After this set of games is finished, the schoolwide games for prizes will begin.

Table football is a game that is played preferably on a 6-by-2 foot table. The goal of the game is to flick the trianbular football, made of a folded piece of paper, so that it hangs off the short edge of the table but does not fall off. Each team gets four flicks, and if their goal is successfully achieved, they are awarded six points. The team that scores gets to attempt an extra flick for another point. If the ball falls off any edge of the table, the other team gets a three-point field goal attempt. The game lasts for seven minutes, and the team with the highest score at the end of the allotted time wins. This versatile game can be played anywhere, as the only materials required are a table and paper to make the football. 

Wilson’s PASS class has spent the last six weeks producing handmade table footballs and field goals for the event. PASS teachers can pick these up from their boxes if they have students registered to compete. A table football slideshow is also available for anyone to view on the Advisory Canvas page.

They had social interaction while still being socially distant, so why not?”

— Mr. Wilson

The idea of having the tournament originated from students being bored during Wilson’s PASS class. The game was an easy way to occupy their time before going to their next classes. Wilson noticed the excitement over the game and suggested sharing the pastime with the rest of the school. 

“They were engaging in something that was analog, using their hands and senses,” Wilson said. “They had social interaction while still being socially distant, so why not?”

Over the next couple of weeks, the PASS students worked hard to make this vision come alive. They created over 60 table football and field goals with whatever extra time they could find, along with brainstorming and organizing how to advertise and hold the tournament. While the event’s only just begun, it’s been well-received thus far.

The whole event has been primarily student-led, with Wilson just helping out as the adviser for the PASS class. The procedure for creating a tournament is rigorous and takes a vast amount of planning, however the students from the class proudly stepped up to this task. 

“There is so much learning and growth that goes into managing an activity,” Wilson said. “I definitely am supporting students being leaders. It’s a lot of good work for them.”

Having students lead school events is not only good for the students leading them, but also benefits everybody around the school. It lets students know that they can work together to make noticeable changes at Terrace and bring the school together with games or clubs.

“If I can be in the position to support leaders in doing the stuff, then there’s much less work on my part,” Wilson said. “Those kids get a greater growth experience and then the cool events are happening, which is awesome.”

All in all, this tournament is about bringing back, little by little, a sense of community at this school.

“What makes high school such an experience is all of the traditions, and events, and experiences and social interactions,” Wilson said. “We have lost a tremendous amount of tradition. The school feels like a shell. Kids aren’t really sure how to engage in it mostly because y’all have done two years of remote.”

This table football tournament may be a very small event, but it’s a start. If more students start events and clubs, school could become more of a welcoming place, and it would make each day different and the weight of schoolwork more bearable.

“For high school to be the valuable experience that it should be, we need to rebuild. That is both a heavy burden and a beautiful opportunity,” Wilson said. “If this table football thing becomes a thing, then it can be one of those experiences. It can be one of those parts of our culture, and can be something that kids can feel like they’re part of, and we lack those right now.”