Powder puff: A sport with serious bite

Don’t be fooled by the delicate name; participants will vouch that this sport brings serious competition and more than a few bruises.

Those who play know exactly what I’m talking about, and those who don’t are about to become educated on one of Laurier’s most anticipated non-varsity winter sports.

I’m talking, of course, about the annual Laurier Letterman Powder Puff tournament.

For readers who consider themselves comedians and have just made an unoriginal joke to their buddy sitting next to them, I’m going to warn you that this sport is not something taken lightly at Laurier.

Imagine some of your most athletic female friends, classmates and teammates.

Now, I want you to imagine them playing a twelve-on-twelve football game against other equally intense athletes. Add a full offensive and defensive line, open hand blocking and girls who have some aggression to let loose, and you have yourself a highly competitive and entertaining game.

All while playing in the snow.

Each year, Laurier sees about ten registered teams consisting of about 20 to 30 players. Many of Laurier’s women’s varsity teams also migrate to powder puff on their off-season as players from the university’s women’s rugby, soccer and lacrosse teams have been found on powder puff rosters.

Additionally, Laurier plays host to two powder puff tournaments every year: the first is a Laurier-only tournament, while the second is for all of Ontario University Athletics (OUA) teams.

This means that powder puff teams from all over the province (McMaster, Queen’s, Western, Waterloo, York and Toronto, just to name a few) come to play on our turf for a shot at becoming the next OUA powder puff champions. Last year’s defending champions hailed from Queen’s, defeating a team from the University of Waterloo, 24-3 to clinch the title.

Starting to sound a little more serious?

Not only are they braving the frosty weather, powder puff players are also coached and cultivated by some of both Laurier’s and the OUA’s most talented varsity men’s football players.

These girls are learning the very same plays, skills, tactics and moves that you are used to seeing and drunkenly cheering for in the stands at homecoming.

Moreover, the tournament also gives back to the community. The 2008 tournament confirmed having raised approximately $7,150 for the Breast Cancer Society of Canada.

Powder puff introduces a unique twist to the world of athletics, and has been widely regarded by participants as one of the best weekends during a person’s university experience.

This year’s powder puff Laurier-only tournament will be held on Jan. 27th and 28th. The OUA tournament will be on Feb. 10th and 11th.

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