You could carve out a place in history next weekend and find your way into the Guinness Book of World Records.
Gaston Day School’s National Honor Society and Beta Club students hope to host a world record round of knockout — an elimination-style basketball game — on Jan. 24, and raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The concept of the game is simple. Players form a long line and take one shot from the free throw line. If they make a basket, they stay alive and move to the back of the line, waiting to shoot again.
When shooters miss, they’re free to make a mad dash for the ball and take a follow-up shot — but they’ve got to be quick. If the next player in line hits a shot before the first shooter, the first shooter is bounced from the game.
630 to break the record
Wade Glaser, the track and field coach at Gaston Day, came up with the idea last fall to break a standing world record. He was looking for a way to challenge high achievers and jump start the school honor society’s activities.
“We wanted something that was going to garner a lot of interest,” Glaser said. “A world record has done that, I think.”
Students chose knockout because the game is both entertaining and because breaking the current record — 629 shooters — seemed attainable.
It’s a record that has raced upward in recent years, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Buick hosted a record-breaking event at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans in 2012. Most recently, fans of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets set the mark with 629 shooters on Oct. 26, 2014.
Students step up
The logistics of setting up a world record attempt have been daunting for the school’s students, Glaser said.
“We’re learning on the fly the hard way,” Glaser said. “We had to reach out to Guinness in September, and we’ve sort of navigated the paperwork process since then.”
While Glaser has handled the paperwork behind the scenes, he’s proud of the way his students have stepped up. They designed the T-shirts and logos, figured out the best way to pack that many people into the school’s gym and have taken over the event’s social media efforts.
“I think many of them have much more appreciation for the kinds of effort, the moving parts that go with an event like this,” Glaser said. “I had to push and prod to get them going at first, but eventually they’ve really taken ownership of this. It’s gratifying to see that.”
Can’t do it without you
The school will need help to reach the goal, Glaser said. Gaston Day has roughly 500 students, and many of those are elementary students who won’t be playing.
“The hardest part has been convincing people to come out and give a couple hours on a Saturday afternoon to do this,” Glaser said. “I feel like our registration is starting to pick up steam this week. I honestly think we’ll break this or come close, but we’re going to need the community to turn out to do it.”
WANT TO GO?
What: Gaston Day School’s attempt at a world record knockout game
Where: Gaston Day School gym, 2001 Gaston Day School road, Gastonia
When: 2 p.m. Jan. 24
Details: $3 minimum donation; $10 gets you a T-shirt (supplies are limited) and all proceeds benefit the Make-A-Wish foundation.