Turnout for record snowball fight proves tepid

/ Source: The Associated Press

When a whistle blew Saturday afternoon, two teams of University of Wisconsin-Madison students pelted each other with snowballs, but the 45-minute battle won't be going down in history.

Freshman organizer Mike Basak had hoped the epic snowball fight would break a 2006 record set by 3,700 students at Michigan Technological University, but acknowledged Saturday that the turnout at his school was disappointing.

Basak guessed that 2,000 or more students showed up, but other observers put the total at hundreds of students, not thousands.

"It was definitely huge and it was a great event," he said.

In advance of the fight, more than 4,000 people had joined the event's Facebook group, and word continued to spread as rival dormitories got ready to rumble in the center of campus.

School officials also prepared, recruiting a student group of volunteer emergency medical technicians to be on the scene.

Basak said no one was hurt in the melee, although "there were a few bumps and scrapes."

Some skeptics had said chilly weather and a scheduled school basketball game would diminish an attempt at the record. Temperatures in Madison were only in single digits, and the powdery snow on campus was hard to pack.

Basak said organizers hoped to go for the record again later this winter or next winter.