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Left out in the cold

Editor’s Note: This is a satirical article.

Someone dropped the ball when it came to bookings at the Dalplex, Studley and Sexton gymnasiums. This oversight will force some Dalhousie University Tigers teams off-campus for the time being. However, they won’t be inside another gym.

Dal’s basketball and volleyball teams will be based at nearby LeMarchant-St. Thomas Elementary School for at least the remainder of the year. Not inside the school, but at their outdoor courts.

The sudden move is a result of what Dal called “an unexpected, sudden and gross overbooking” of all three of their facilities until exactly March 13, 2021.

When contacted, Terry Robie, the Tigers’ facility scheduler, couldn’t provide an exact cause of the overbooking.

The Dalhousie Tigers’ basketball and volleyball teams will play at LeMarchant-St. Thomas Elementary School’s outdoor basketball court for the foreseeable future. (Photo by Luke Dyment)

“You know, there are tons of people and groups who need Dal’s facilities,” Robie said, mentioning how student activities are starting up again with fewer COVID-19 restrictions. “I know the Part-time Student Society needs to continue their five-night-a-week washer toss tournaments, and the Dalplex was the only place available. Legions and community halls are still closed, so those aren’t options.”

Adjusting to off-campus play

The affected teams remained baffled as to how Dal completely forgot their home courts were at Dalplex, or why washer toss and competitive hula-hooping were able to push them out.

“This isn’t only disrespectful, it’s disgusting,” women’s basketball player Leah Markie said. “Like, how do you screw that up? We represent the school for crying out loud and we aren’t even allowed to play there anymore. What now? Is everyone really going to go cheer on the Branch 152 bingo team every Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Dalplex?”

LeMarchant-St. Thomas narrowly won a small competition between a few south end Halifax schools for the rights to host Dal this year. Other schools in the running included Gorsebrook Junior High School, Inglis Street Elementary School and even a seemingly sarcastic bid from Saint Mary’s University (SMU) that offered Dal the opportunity “to practice in the parking lot next to [their] rink.”

“It’s pretty discouraging that none of the bids even offered time in their indoor gyms. Zero,” Markie said. “At least we won’t be playing at SMU. I would much rather play outside at-30 C than at SMU.”

At an assembly of about 400 students, LeMarchant-St. Thomas principal Gail Thorne defended the school’s decision to make Dal play outside, citing efforts to enforce COVID-19 precautions.

“You can’t crowd any more people into this building, especially when the risk is so high with so many children,” she explained to two sets of packed bleachers at the assembly.

Some players are looking at the bright side of such a shocking situation.

“At least we don’t have to pay nearly as much in athletic fees,” said men’s volleyball player Igor Hughes. He added electricity and air conditioning costs won’t be an issue outside.

“No one is really ever using these courts except when the kids have recess. That means we can go all day if we want,” Hughes said. “Also it’s getting cooler out so there’s no need to worry about overheating like in the warm gym.”

When asked about other cost factors that come with playing in winter weather, Hughes muttered, “Snowploughs. Oh shit. Those can be pricey, can’t they?”


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