Seadogs win European handball championship

The Seadogs are Dalhousie’s Co-ed Intramural European Handball champions. They won the title on the weekend tournament.

By Keili Bartlett

The Seadogs are Dalhousie’s Co-ed Intramural European Handball champions.

But most people don’t know what European handball is, much less follow it. There were no fans in the gym for any of the three games in the finals.

European handball is a fast-paced game, similar to soccer, except that players can’t touch the ball with their feet. Instead, they dribble the small, almost volleyball-sized ball, and can only run with it for three steps before having to pass or shoot. A black area called the “key” surrounds the net. Players on neither team can step inside the key while they hold the ball.

Handball is occasionally taught in junior high schools in Nova Scotia, but rarely takes up more than one gym class.

Undefeated team a no-show

The Seadogs and Bobie, who played against each other during the final game of the championships on Sunday, caught a lucky break when DalMed, the first-ranked team of the league, didn’t show up.

DalMed was scheduled to play the first game of the playoffs on March 24th, against Bobie, the fourth-ranked team of the league. But after an undefeated winning streak of seven games, DalMed skipped the finals altogether.

They were eliminated. As a result, Bobie, their would-have-been competitors, went to the final match automatically.

Jarett Richardson, who plays for Bobie, said he was pretty disappointed about the forfeit. “It happens to us every week. It’s pretty low-commitment. We just continue to show up.”

Richardson said this was the fourth or fifth forfeit his team has faced this season.

“This season is a lot worse than last season,” said Taylor Quinn, the handball referee. “I’d say the average week we have at least one forfeit, usually. The rough winter weather has been a factor. I’m very surprised that DalMed didn’t show for the semi-finals today.”

Action in the semi-finals

The second game of the day was between the Seadogs and the Multiple Scoregasms, and was played as scheduled.

After an almost non-stop game, the Seadogs came out on top, winning 15-9. The Multiple Scoregasms had been fighting to score the whole game, occasionally coming close to overtaking the scoreboard, but it was always just out of reach.

Finally, the finals

Then the Seadogs and Bobie took the court for the final; The second-ranked team in the league versus the fourth.

The ball was thrown high in the air, marking the beginning of the game. A player from each team jumped to pass it to their team, but the ball fell between the two of them. Nobody had touched it.

As both players realized what had happened, everyone in the Studley Gym laughed.

After its initial fumble, the game picked up a rapid pace. Both teams scored a point within the first minute of the game, but again, the Seadogs triumphed with a score of 13-9.

A friendly game

After the championship game, William Burt, who plays for the Seadogs, said that he was thrilled that DalMed had forfeited.

“We play them sometimes and it gets very rough, so to play a team like the Bobie team we just played, that was really friendly. A true, recreational intramural type of game was refreshing and fantastic.”

“The finals were really exciting,” said Quinn. “The teams that were in the finals, Bobie and the Seadogs, both really enjoy it and they have a lot of fun playing intramurals, which I think is the most important thing. They’re competitive, but they’re fun. It was just great to see two teams that always had a smile on their faces playing for the championship.”

Second King’s Cup a success

Two teams faced off on the ice, competing for the glory of holding the King’s Cup. The winners? Alexandra Hall.

By Keili Bartlett

Sam Legere, captain of the Alexandra Hall team, with "WAR" on his jersey. (Keili Bartlett photo)

Two teams faced off on the ice, competing for the glory of holding the King’s Cup. The trophy is made out of a Garrison pitcher mounted on a wooden base.

A small, but rambunctious crowd gathered to cheer on their preferred residence’s team, calling for fights the entire game.

Alexandra Hall held the lead for most of the game, leaving the Bays scrambling to catch up.

In a last effort to win the game, the Bays’ pulled their goalie, adding an extra player with two minutes left on the clock. The move lost them the game.

Alexandra Hall won the second annual King’s Cup 4-2 on March 15th, closing the intramural hockey season at the University of King’s College.

“That’s the hardest hockey game I think I’ve played in a long time,” said Sam Legere, captain of Alexandra Hall.

The game was packed with action.

“We had fights, broken sticks, penalties, breakaways – the whole shebang,” said Christian Pollard, the Bays’ team captain.

“It was a full show.”

Fan cheers as Jake "Salty" Saltzman and Sam Legere are led to the penalty box following a fight. (Keili Bartlett photo)

“I feel great,” said Legere, who fought Jake ‘Salty’ Saltzman in the first period.

“I lost [the King’s Cup] last year, the first year we did it. For it to come back at all, let alone us win it, was awesome.”

A change of venue

Like all the league’s games, this year’s Cup, was hosted at the Halifax Forum due to the demolition of the Dalhousie Memorial Arena.

The King’s Cup had previously been held on St. Patrick’s Day. This year it was played two days prior in hopes of getting more fans to the game since the Forum is further from campus.

“We kind of knew going into it that we weren’t going to get that many fans out,” said Pollard.

“I mean, you can get buses and whatnot, but it’s only going to compare so much to being a five-minute walk away. So, we figured instead of making it on St. Patty’s Day, when people aren’t going to be willing to go, waste 20 minutes walking or half an hour walking, we’d do it on the day before and just try to have a really big party.”

St. Patrick’s Day fun

Even though the game wasn’t played on St. Patrick’s Day, the spirit of drinking was still present.

Alexandra Hall celebrates their victory. (Keili Bartlett photo)

“Anything you do on St. Patrick’s Day, you can assume there will be some drinking, especially if there’s students involved. Personally, I’m a big fan,” Pollard said, laughing. “But that’s what you get for St. Patty’s Day. Again, as long as no one’s dying or getting hurt, I’m happy.”

In the second period, a referee got ‘iced’. The referee had to chug a Smirnoff Ice on one knee.

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Dylan McAteer, goalie for the Alexandra Hall team talks about the King’s Cup.

“The fact that he contributed like that and made it a real fan event, I just thought that was pretty awesome,” said Dylan McAteer, goalie of Alexandra Hall.

“I thought that was pretty awesome, although that probably goes against many of the waivers I’m sure I signed,” said Pollard, laughing.

“I was down with it. Anything that makes the King’s Cup a better time.”

Thesis competition winners present at TEDxNovaScotia

Jacob Cookey and Babak Razaghi won the chance to speak at a TEDx event at Dalhousie University.

By Keili Bartlett

Timing is everything. Especially when you only have three minutes.

Three Minute Thesis runner-up Babak Razaghi at TEDxNovascotia (Keili Bartlett photo).

That’s the idea behind Dalhousie University’s new Three Minute Thesis competition. Graduate students have three minutes to explain their thesis and research.

Jacob Cookey won the first Three Minute Thesis competition, for his research on the link between cannabis and schizophrenia. Babak Razaghi, who researched free radicals and the heart, was named runner-up and awarded the People’s Choice Award.

“It’s a good opportunity to introduce your research in easy words and also make it funny and exciting for new people to get involved,” Razaghi said, “I also had the chance to talk to more people, especially when they were interested to ask more specific questions.”

Aside from a $1,000 scholarship for Cookey and $750 for  Razaghi, both won a chance to speak at TEDxNovaScotia.

Thesis meets TEDx

On March 10, for the third time in a week, Cookey and Razaghi presented their theses and research, this time on a red, black and white TEDx stage in front of more than 300 people.

TEDxNovaScotia hosted by Dalhousie University March 10 (Keili Bartlett photo)

TEDx events are a lot like TEDTalks – where people get on stage and talk, usually based on a theme – and are organized by someone in the community.

“It turned out that the theme of TEDx this year had to do with education, said Katelynn Northam, who works in the Faculty of Graduate Studies at Dalhousie.

“The competition itself was really about interdisciplinary collaboration and just sort of thinking outside of the box, bringing research that often isn’t shared very widely to a wider audience, so it kind of fit in with the theme.”

Stephen Thomas, who nominated the host for TEDxNovaScotia, said he was glad to see Cookey and Razaghi speak.

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Katelynn Northam on the Three Minute Thesis competition at Dalhousie
Katelynn Northam on Three Minute Thesis

“I think that it’s also a really great forum to have them in the TEDTalks because of all the things that I find TEDTalks valuable for: Extremely intensive, in most times 15 or 17-minute talks on just such complicated issues.

“To boil that down in a way that is really relatable and is really understandable for most people is, of course, very true of TEDTalks.”

The Three Minute Thesis competition started in 2008 at the University of Queensland in Australia. In Canada, the University of British Columbia, Concordia University and Western University also host the competition.

Northam said Dalhousie will host the competition again.

“It was really well accepted by the entire community. Everyone got really excited about it.”