Vice Chancellor’s Cup highlights: Pickleball

It was great to see all 15 Vice Chancellor Cup teams turn out for Pickleball, a new addition to the VC's Cup calendar for 2023/24.

Pickleball is a sport that originates from the United States and shares similarities with tennis and table tennis. This game involves short-handled bats, a perforated plastic ball, and a smaller court compared to tennis. For this VC’s Cup, we made do with the badminton courts at the Sports Centre.

Once again, the tournament was played in two sessions, over two separate days, with the first round of results dictating the teams’ positions for day 2.

Part 1

The first hour saw eight teams (U Bunch O’Kents, Marlowe’s Marauders, RISistence is Futile, Campus Sporting Exploits, Chipperfield Circus, Fine Ants, DoNATS and Flu Fighters) compete in a fun-filled round-robin tournament, with back to back games, across four courts. U Bunch O’Kents stole the show with seven 7/7 victories, finishing top of the pool with the maximum 21 points! Hot on their heels, with only five points separating the next 4 teams, were Marlowe’s Marauders, which squeezed into second place with 15 points, followed by Fine Ants who were just one point behind after managing to secure two draws! DoNATS and Flu Fighters finished 4th and 5th respectively, leaving both teams with 10 points. However, DoNATS’ superior points difference (+1 compared to -14) secured their lead. Campus Sporting Exploits finished 6th in the pool with seven points, drawing 1-1 against Chipperfield Circus, and RISistence is Futile finished 7th and bottom of their pool with 1 point.

The second hour saw another round-robin with six new teams (Back to the Future (student), Infomaniacs, SPP Power, Liquorice All Sports, Living La Vida Mocha and Keepers of the Keys) battling it out for Pickleball supremacy. This was an exciting hour of action-packed, highly contested Pickleball, leaving only four points separating the top of the pool from the bottom!

It was Back to the Future (student) who secured the top spot with ten points, just one point ahead of Infomaniacs, who secured three wins and a 5-5 draw against SPP Power. This was despite Infomaniacs beating Back to the Future (student) 9-4 in their respective game. SPP Power came in 3rd with seven points after finishing with two wins and a draw from their five games. The bottom three teams all finished incredibly on six points with their final places dictated by their points difference. Liquorice All Sports took 4th place thanks to their massive +24 points difference, a result of their two big victories which scored 17-1 and 16-0. This left their rivals Living La Vida Mocha in 5th with a -7 points difference and Keepers of the Keys finished bottom of this pool with a points difference of -23.

Image on the right: Player sitting on the floor laughing during a game of Pickleball. Image 2: a player returning a shot.

Take two

The teams reconvened for day two with eight of the teams present for the first hour, separated into Group C and Group A. Group C included the teams who finished 5th and 6th during part one of the tournament on Tuesday and Group A included teams who had finished  1st and 2nd. Group C consisted of Living La Vida Mocha, Keepers of the Keys, Campus Sporting Exploits and Flu Fighters battling it out for the top spot. In Group A  and looking to secure max points, we had U Bunch O’Kents, Back to the Future (student), Infomaniacs and Marlowe’s Marauders.

Group C was hotly contested with each team securing at least two wins from the six games they played. In the end, it was the 2023 VC’s Cup Winners, Living La Vida Mocha who walked away victorious, securing 4/6 wins, finishing the day with 12 points and top of the group. Keepers of the Keys and Campus Sporting Exploits finished 2nd and 3rd, both with three wins and nine points. Again, points difference was used to award the team’s final positions, with Keepers of the Keys holding a superior points difference of +7 compared to Campus Sporting Exploits’ -13.

Group A saw some incredibly close and well-contested games including two 4-4 draws between Back to the Future (student) and Infomaniacs. Infomaniacs finished top of the group unbeaten, securing four wins and two draws from their six games. Marlowe’s Marauders finished in 2nd place, just one point ahead of Back to the Future (student), with U Bunch O’Kents unable to match day one’s performance and finishing last in their group with three points, but still securing a respectable 17 points overall.

With a few last-minute drop-outs, the second hour saw Group D and Group B combined to form a larger pool consisting of Happy Ravers, Chipperfield Circus, RISistence is Futile, Liquorice All Sports, SPP Power, DoNATS and Fine Ants. However, teams were only able to secure points with respect to their original groups. Happy Ravers took the top spot in Group D with 12 points having won four out of their five games and playing their FREE HIT chip, securing a total of 13 Cup points. This meant Chipperfield finished 2nd with RISistence is Futile, who were unable to attend this round, finishing bottom of Group D.

Liquorice All Sports smashed day two, winning all four of their games in Group B, with some incredible scores including a 15-0 and a 13-1 win. SPP Power finished 2nd due to a greater points difference of -15 compared to DoNATS who had -17. Fine Ants who were also unable to attend finished bottom of their group.

A player returning a shot.

What a pickle

Well if you’re still with us after taking in all that action, we’d like to congratulate Infomaniacs for winning this edition of the Vice Chancellor’s Cup and securing a total of 20 points ahead of Back to the Future (student) who were right behind them with 19 points! Marlowe’s Marauders scored 18 points putting them in 3rd, however, Liquorice All Sports pulled a sneaky tactic playing their Joker to double their points and walked away with a whopping 33 points overall, sending them to the top of the leaderboard. Overall, it was a fantastic event with everyone getting stuck in and involved with a new sport. The Fair Play award for this event goes to SPP Power who brought amazing positivity and support to both days.

Well, that’s it for now! The VC’s Cup will return on 9 and 11 January 2024 with Benchball. You can keep up to date with the Vice Chancellor’s Cup on our website

Leave a Reply