Knockout world record broken at Iowa State


Photo:Bryan Langfeldt/Iowa State Daily

Nick Wetzel, senior in chemical engineering, shoots the ball and saves his spot in knockout. Students participated in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for largest game of knockout Tuesday night at Hilton.

Frances Myers

Students and faculty broke a world record Tuesday night at Hilton Coliseum.

Braving the rain and snow in order to do their part, 360 students and staff attempted to break the world record for the greatest number of people to play the basketball game of knockout for the Guinness Book of World Records.

“Growing up I always read the Guinness Book of World Records,” said Ryan Lueck, senior in meteorology. “I just thought it would be really neat to be able to take part.”

“It’s great to be able to be involved in something that sounds fun and random,” said Kristin Schwier-Casey, freshman in kinesiology and health. “Who doesn’t want to be part of a world record?”

The idea to break the knockout record came to Brian Capesius, senior in mechanical engineering, in May. Stuck on the couch after having knee surgery, he had plenty of time to make plans for the upcoming year. One was planning what to do for VEISHEA Tournaments 2011.

“When the idea came to me, there was no such record,” Capesius said. “Since then there has been a record set by a high school, then George Washington University, and currently it’s being held by James Madison University.”

Capesius talked with Blake Woebbeking, senior in agricultural business, who was also working with him on VEISHEA Tournaments. Hilton Coliseum approved the contest and in mid-February they began having two meetings a week with the rest of the VEISHEA Executive Committee for about a month to plan the event.

“VEISHEA has a lot of traditions, such as the parade, but the VEISHEA Tournaments really don’t have any traditions,” Capesius said. “I thought this would be a great way to get students involved and since we’re having it before VEISHEA it would be a good way to raise some awareness.”

After planning the event the only thing they had left to do was gain publicity.

“A lot of people found out about this from Facebook,” Woebbeking said. “There was also a lot of word-of-mouth as well as us writing on a lot of chalkboards to get the information out.”

The Guinness Book of World Records has a strict and specific set of rules which must be followed.

“The list of rules was about two pages long in 10-point font,” Capesius said. “We broke up into smaller committees and the job of one of the committees was to figure out what these rules were.”

There were three main criteria that had to be provided for proof: live video footage, still photographs of the event and witness statements.

Capesius and Woebbeking said they plan on sending the video footage to ESPN as well.

“We want to send it to ESPN’s ‘SportsNation,'” Capesius said. “It would be great to get some publicity for something like this for Iowa State.”

One hour, 55 minutes and a broken record later, a winner was declared for the knockout tournament. Winning an autographed men’s basketball poster and being declared winner of the knockout world record was Dustin Gray, program coordinator for ISU Athletics and adviser of the Iowa State Basketball Association.

“It’s shocking that I won,” Gray said. “I think something like this means a lot to ISBA and Iowa State. It’s something that shows the good of the community and the students and faculty.”

“I’ve played basketball since I can remember,” said Dustin Hammers, freshman in family consumer science education and studies. “It’s really cool to say you were part of the breaking of a world record.”

“It’s a great opportunity,” said Allison Delker, freshman in animal science. “Obviously I’m not going to be playing basketball in the Olympics, so to say I was part of the breaking of a world record I feel is just as good to remember.”