Carter Shield competition gets under way

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After two successful taster sessions, the inter college Carter Shield competition is finally underway with colleges battling it out for the ‘home of sport title’. The competition kicked off with dodgeball, an event that most people are probably familiar with due to the famous film ‘Dodgeball’. Carter Shield rules for the event are pretty similar, they are three balls, six people on each team and the aim of the game is to hurl the balls at your opponents as hard and as fast as you can.

Dodgeball is probably the event that most epitomises the spirit of the Carter Shield as you really don’t need traditional sporting skills to be good at it! The event started well with all eight colleges able to put forward a full team. The standard format for Carter Shield events is for two groups to be chosen at random, with four colleges in each group. Each team play everyone in their group once and the top two go through to the semi-finals, which take place on the 7th December. For dodgeball, each game was the best of three legs, as it is a remarkably quick game. The games ran swiftly and it was often close, most games going 2-1 either way rather than straight 3-0 victories. Grizedale stood out as the team to beat, a very physical team, their players showed no mercy as they hurled the ball across court and they easily went through as top of their group. As runners up in the other group, Fylde face Grizedale in the semi finals, and with Fylde desperate to finally bring the ‘home of sport’ title back to the traditional ‘sporting’ college, they will not be a pushover for Grizedale. The other semi final sees Lonsdale against County, with County finishing top of their group they could be the favourites of the match – but to be honest dodgeball is a game that could go either way and is hard to call! Bowland will be no doubt disappointed that their campaign to keep hold of the Carter Shield got off to a bad start as they failed to qualify for the semi finals. There was some controversy in the first Carter Shield event, as dodgeball is a fast paced game it was obviously a difficult job for the sports reps to referee and there incidents as players being unhappy with the referee’s decisions; but such is the nature of dodgeball that when you are in the middle of the game it is hard for you personally to judge whether you have crossed the line, hit another player etc.

The next weekend saw the competition day for korfball, a slightly more obscure sport. The typical description is that it is a cross between basketball and netball, but it is slightly more complex that that with attackers and defenders split into two different halves and switching after every two goals. The main rule is that you cannot shoot if a defender is in touching distance of you with their arm raised, a rule that caused some frustration to those new to korfball and more used to basketball/netball. Once again every college had a team and the format followed the same as dodgeball. When Bowland, County, Fylde and Furness were all drawn in the same group it was clear it was going to be an interesting day. Fylde were definitely the team to beat on the day, with their team made up wholly of University korfball players for the first two games; they went through top of their group winning all three games and scoring the most goals by far. Fylde will face Lonsdale in the semi final but Fylde are clear favourites not only to get through to the semi final but to win the korfball event overall. Bowland will therefore be glad that they too made it through the group to the semi finals, despite lacking Fylde’s advantage of university players they played some good korfball and many people are already anticipating a Fylde vs. Bowland korfball final. Of course Grizedale will clearly disagree, they beat Pendle and Cartmel to finish top of the other group and will be keen to do well to get an early foothold in the race for the Carter Shield.

With two more events to go this term, women’s indoor football and volleyball, it is obviously too early to call. Finals day on the 7th December in the sports centre will be a much better indicator as we will by then know who has won the first four events. Furness will no doubt be disappointed with their start to the Carter Shield, as will Cartmel, but both teams no doubt have the ability to bounce back. Fylde, Grizedale and Lonsdale will all be pleased to be through to at least semi finals but with two more events to go before the finals day of this term, and a whole variety of events next year, the Carter Shield could go to anyone. If you are interested in playing for your college for the Carter Shield contact your sports reps through your college JCR.