The most hallowed of sports: Ice walking


NICK SANDIFER | Evergreen cartoonist

Campus gets dangerous when you add a few layers of snow and ice – some even consider it to be at the level of monster chases and varsity sports.

TYLER LAFERRIERE, Evergreen columnist

Palms sweating, jaw clenched, you take your first strides onto the field. You are your own team, in competition against every other player in the arena. There are no rules, except surviving unscathed. Competition is not direct; the other players serve only as potential obstacles and hindrances should they fail to complete the game.

The reward is simple: get to the sanctuary without harming yourself. The icy fields are treacherous, and no amount of foot gear or padding can protect a player from assuredly painful contact with the field. There are no penalties for failing to keep balance, only shame. Other players cannot help you, for accepting help will cause you to accrue more shame points.

Shame points are earned in several ways. First, one earns them by succumbing to the slickness of the field. Second, one earns more by having another player see the fall. Third, one gains still more points by having another player acknowledge the fall by the prescribed words, “Are you okay?” Fourth, if another player helps you, this counts as a penalty, only reset by the setting of the sun and close of the day.

Make it to the sanctuary of the indoors without being victimized by the ice and you win. The path may change, depending on the round of the game and the trajectory of destination. However, shame points carry over from round to round. Matches are daily; shame points do not carry over between matches.

You know the rules; you know how to play the game. Now ask yourself: are you ready to confront the treacherous wastes of winter Pullman?

Tyler Laferriere is a graduate student pursuing his master’s in economics from Phoenix, Arizona. He can be contacted at