Donkey ball arrives Saturday, Jan. 6
Posted on: Jan 2, 2018
For some, tossing a basketball through a hoop is enough of a challenge without doing so from an obstinate, four-footed platform with a mind of its own.
That’s why donkey basketball tends to be so entertaining, and why the All Night Grad Party group is bringing a donkey basketball tournament back after a wildly successful appearance about four years ago.
“Last time we had it in the old high school gym. The place was packed. You could barely move,” said Delano Elementary School Principal Darren Schuler, who is helping to organize this year’s event.
This year’s event will take place in the more spacious Tiger Activity Center at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 6. The tournament will include four teams and three total games. Teams will include a group of senior boys, a group of senior girls, a team of elementary teachers and a team of high school-middle school teachers. A championship contest will be held between the winners of the first two games, and the whole event should take about an hour and a half.
Schuler declined to describe the rigorous system of tryouts, cuts and training that elementary staff members were undergoing to ensure victory, but said that even the most thorough preparation only goes so far.
“It’s humorous because some of the donkeys have attitudes of their own,” he said. “Some of these staff members think they’re star basketball players, but it really doesn’t matter. If your donkey isn’t moving you can’t do much.”
Though talent may not avail much, excitement is another matter. That’s why the elementary staff has recruited coaches and cheerleaders in addition to players.
“That really helps get those donkeys moving, that enthusiasm,” said Schuler.
The donkeys wear rubber shoes that prevent damage to gym floors, and a swift team of cleaners will be standing by to deal with any donkey by-products during the course of play.
Seeing the show
Dairyland Donkey Ball of Wisconsin is the company behind the event, and bills the games as “wilder than a rodeo, funnier than a circus.”
Tickets will be sold in advance for $7, and they are $10 at the door. Preschool-age children get in free. Tickets can be purchased at various Delano sports events, or from the DHS activities office during school hours.
Free donkey rides will be provided at intermission for children age 12 and under for the first 100 advance ticket sales received, and advance orders must be made no later than Friday, Dec. 22.
On the night of the games spectators can purchase a walking taco dinner in the high school cafeteria from 6 to 7:30 p.m., and concessions will also be available. Ticket sales will begin at 6 p.m., and advance sale tickets will be available for pickup between 6 and 7 p.m.
The event will also include a certain amount of proper ceremony. The national anthem will be sung, and “Voice of the Tigers” Joe Vieau will serve as the PA announcer.
“It’s really fun,” said Schuler. “It’s a different event that you don’t see real often, but staff has been willing to participate and it goes for a really good cause, keeping kids safe on graduation night.”