Duelling after dark

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By Badri Murali

After sunset, the swords were drawn – Oakham Lounge became a battlefield. Pirates, robots, ninjas and knights suited up in armour composed of cardboard, tape, and string. Both the brave and the fearful prepared for the fight ahead.

On Tuesday night, members of Ryerson’s Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF) gathered for their first activity of the year – a cardboard tube duel.

The IVCF is a Christian group of creative and diverse undergraduate students on campus. Bethany Van Lingen, president of IVCF, said that the inspiration for the night’s activity resulted from a Google search for “obscure sports.”

“[We] thought it would be something really fun,” said Van Lingen. “Also, it would be a good activity to get some of the stress out of students because the first few weeks of September can be intense, especially for first years still adjusting.”

Van Lingen says that by putting on these types of events throughout the semester, IVCF hopes to build up a community.

So, how do the duels work?

Each person faces his or her opponent in a three minute round. Armour is optional, but each participant requires a cardboard tube. Players are only allowed to use their tubes to hit each the other person. Stabbing and lunging are not allowed, and hitting people in the face is heavily frowned upon.

At the end of the duel, the referee inspects each cardboard tube and the one with the least damage wins. But if the tube breaks during the battle, that person automatically loses.

As the duels began, participants became more energized. During the bouts, shoes came off, cries travelled through the room, and in true Canadian fashion, a lot of apologizing took place.

After an hour of dueling, a winner was eventually crowned. In a hard-hitting showdown, Daniel Lahn came out as the ultimate victor.

“[This win] felt sweaty, sticky and of great honour,” said Lahn. “Yes, the [tubes and armour] were made of cardboard and tin foil, but also pride.”

So what advice does Lahn have for those eager to get involved in this radical new sport?

“Let the [opponent] hit you more, but make sure you hit back harder. Start strong, and finish strong,” Lahn said.



  1. Thank you so much for coming! It was great to have you there. Great article! I’ve shared it with our members.

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