For a small group of BYU students, Saturday mornings no longer means waking up for the early morning cartoons. The field is calling them to play a new game that combines the best of many sports
That game is called gatorball.
Brought to the states by a host of returned missionaries who served in Estonia, gatorball combines aspects of soccer, handball and Aussie football while using lacrosse goals and a size-three soccer ball.
“It’s a game that nearly anyone can play,” Moore said. “And that means I can be with all my friends and just have a good time, while also playing a great game.”
The game is simple. The ball can be carried or passed to another teammate until the player holding the ball is touched by an opposing athlete. When touched with two hands, players have to drop the ball and either kick it into the hands of another teammate or take it down the field with their feet.
Marcus Moore, a returned missionary who served in Estonia, heads a group of players in Provo that meets every Saturday at Timpview High School to play the game. He says the game is easy to pick up and fun to play.
“Get the ball in the goal using hands, feet or head,” Moore said. “You can make passes, but once you’ve been two-hand touched, the ball has to be dropped.”
The biggest draw to the game among BYU students is it does not have too many set boundaries. In gatorball, the field does not have an in- or out-of-bounds area and the size of the field can be adjusted to the amount of people playing. For many students, it’s a way for them to unwind over the weekend and have fun with friends.
Ben Denos, who graduated from BYU this last December with a degree in mechanical engineering, said he enjoys the atmosphere gatorball brings.
“I look forward to gatorball each week because it helps me to get outside and play hard,” Denos said. “At the same time, because it is as much game as sport, we try not to take it too seriously. I think we do a good job [of] keeping it fun and friendly so that everyone feels welcome.”
Nicole Brown, a junior from Tracy, Calif., majoring in nursing, said she loves gatorball for its many social and athletic aspects.
“Gatorball is perfect for a sports fanatic like me because it’s all my favorite sports combined. [I get] great exercise and all kinds of people can play it,” Brown said. “Honestly, is there anything better?”
For Michael Gremillion, a junior from Sandy majoring in business management, playing gatorball is the ultimate weekend activity with friends.
“There’s so much to love about gatorball,” Gremillion said. “I love playing gatorball because it’s a really fun combination of different sports activities, and it’s a good excuse to get together with my friends and play outside — even in the snow.”
For weekly invites to the game or information regarding upcoming events, join the gatorball group on Facebook.