IFC to host softball tournament for sexual assault awareness and charity


The Interfraternity Council will hold its Spring Slam tournament at River Valley Park on Sunday. Courtesy of Pexels.

The Interfraternity Council (IFC) will hold its Spring Slam softball tournament Sunday to raise awareness about sexual assault and raise money for charity.

The tournament will take place at 10 a.m. Sunday at River Valley Park just off East 13th Street. The event is estimated to end at 4 p.m. but will go on until one team is left standing.

With April being sexual assault awareness month, the focus of the day will be on the issue of sexual assault.

“The more we can raise awareness with everybody, I think [we’ll have a] better and safer college campus for everyone,” said John Mortimer, IFC vice president of risk prevention and a junior studying business economics.

Sunday will mark the second year Spring Slam has existed. The IFC held the event last year and raised $2,000 for Assault Care Center Extending Shelter & Support (ACCESS).

Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) won the first tournament. This year, teams will battle it out once again for ACCESS and to win $250 for any philanthropy or charity of their choice.

The chance to raise money for a good cause while taking down fellow classmates adds an extra level of competitiveness to the tournament, according to Tom Nitsch, IFC vice president of philanthropy and a sophomore studying business economics.

“When it’s above yourself, it’s something different entirely,” Nitsch said. “When you’re playing for $250 for yourself, it’s a bit different. When you’re playing for $250 to support an outstanding cause, it kinda gets these guys super excited in the best way possible.”

Mark Rapp, the former IFC vice president of risk prevention and last year’s event organizer, stressed how competitive guys can get when facing rival chapters. Rapp said everyone wants to win because the event supports a good cause, but everyone also wants to be the chapter that stands on top of the rest.

“Literally no matter who wins, everyone wins, because it’s going to an outstanding cause,” Nitsch said.

Spring Slam will be a single-elimination tournament composed of 9-12 person teams. All games will be three innings long, with extra innings granted as needed.

Teams will end up playing around four to five games, depending on how many teams participate.

“Softball’s fun; it’s really engaging for a lot of the guys,” Rapp, a senior studying marketing, said. “You get to see lots of chapters come out and compete. It’s also benefiting the community, too.”

The entry fee for each team is $75, which can be split between players to minimize the amount each person must pay. The tournament is also open to the public, and the event organizers encourage the community to go support the teams.

“Even if you don’t play, you’re welcome to come out and watch,” Nitsch said. “We encourage spectators.”

There are six baseball diamonds at River Valley Park, so multiple games will play out simultaneously.

Nitsch said free parking and concessions will be available throughout the day, so community involvement should be easy for those who are interested.

Nitsch also said the tournament itself is also open to anyone. Last year’s event included teams who were not affiliated with the greek community, and some of this year’s teams are also not a fraternity.

As the event gets bigger, the IFC wants it to be more than a greek philanthropy event; they want it to be a community event.

“We want to help everyone see how important this is,” Nitsch said. “We want the sorority community, the fraternity community, just normal students; we really wanna just give them the opportunity to go out there and have a good time.”

Although Spring Slam is in its early years, the organizers already have big plans for the future. They not only want the community to welcome the event with open arms, but they also want it to be something people look forward to.

“It’s important for us to do it right and do it as best as we can,” Mortimer said. “Since it’s one of the first years of this, we can build up a good reputation for the event so it’s anticipated in future years and it’s something that everybody is excited about before we even announce it.”

As the event gets bigger throughout time, Nitsch said the excitement surrounding the event should grow. He also hopes the added eyes will bring more attention to sexual assault awareness and prevention.

“It’s just gonna be a ton of fun, and it goes to a great cause,” Mortimer said.

Teams looking to still play in the tournament can register online on the Student Organization Marketplace website.