Dalai 2013: Cured By the Game

By Kathryn Chaffee ‘16

Danish writer Karen von Blixen-Finecke, known by the pen name Isak Dinesen, once wrote, “The cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears, or the sea.”  Thus, I report: the majority of Webbies have recently been cured of all ills. 

These past few weeks, Webbies have experienced Dinesen’s trifecta of cures by means of a most beautiful sport: Dalai.  Picture, if you will, two impromptu, coed teams.  Every member is drenched with sweat; his or her clothes are a reflection of this.  Everybody is tense. Concentration and anticipation form clouds about all players and observers.  Upon quickly tiring legs, cuts and quickly developing bruises are obvious.  Collective pants, grunts, and shouts are the sounds that grace nearby ears.  For an instant, one can imagine he is telepathic as he reads in the eyes of players various self-deprecating comments such as, “My god, I’m out of shape.  Tomorrow.  I am running tomorrow.” 

This, dear readers, is Dalai the most cathartic and respected of all Webb’s athletic pursuits. This is Webb floor hockey, a game founded on sticks, balls, and three twelve-minute periods, each separated by set minutes of rest.

Typically, students initiate games only periodically, and even then on whims. These past few weeks, however, Dalai has been a regular occurrence, for Thursday, March 28 marked the beginning of Webb’s annual interclass Dalai tournament.

Releasing one’s inner beast for forty-plus minutes while simultaneously attempting strategic play is truly invigorating.  As a newly recruited goalie, I also note: there is nothing quite as thrilling as wearing second-hand sweats having your sight partially obstructing with protective barring for the duration of a game. Tournament finals took place on April 17th, in a heated battle that came down to the last moments of game play, resulting in final honors going to the sophomores, Class of 2015.