Rules, what rules?
Referee Tom Noble got busted and thrown in jail. Charge? Not Sharing My Snacks.
In the end, the event raised $6,438 for the Roosevelt Fire Relief Fund.
Sublette County Battle of the Badges Charity Dodgeball 2018
by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online!
December 4, 2018
On September 15th, 2018, a wildfire began in the Roosevelt Meadows of the Wyoming Range. The fire grew quickly in size and expanded daily due to weather conditions and ripe fuels. Over 500 people were evacuated over the course of the fire as it grew to over 62,000 acres burned. Areas evacuated included the Upper Hoback, Hoback Ranches, Jim Bridger Estates, Rolling Thunder Subdivision, the Rim Station area, Flying A Ranch, and Bondurant. On Sunday, September 23rd, the fire progression turned even worse with high winds, causing it to burn rapidly through the Hoback Ranches subdivision. In its path, the Roosevelt Fire claimed 55 homes and other secondary structures. Fortunately, no one was injured in the blaze.
In order to help with raising funds for the victims of the fire, a recovery fund was set up, managed by the Lions Club. One of the fundraising events for the fire victims was organized by local emergency services departments who came together to host the Sublette County Battle of the Badges Charity Dodgeball event on Friday, November 30th in the Wrangler Gym in Pinedale. The event pitted the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office and Wyoming Highway Patrol against the Sublette County Unified Fire and Sublette County Emergency Management Services (EMS). All of the proceeds and donations from the event went to the Roosevelt Fire Recovery Fund.
The Dodgeball event was the best of 15 matches. Sublette law enforcement teamed up with Wyoming Highway Patrol to form Team Blue and Sublette County Unified Fire & EMS formed Team Red. Referees were Sublette County Circuit Court Judge Curt Haws and Sublette County Commissioner Tom Noble.
To make things more entertaining, the games were interrupted by many Jail & Bail arrests. The audience was encouraged to take out warrants on people in the room and have them thrown into the nearby pokey. Arrest warrants cost $5 to have a willing friend or family member thrown into the charity jail. Players could be arrested for $10. $20 got a referee pulled out of the game and tossed behind bars. Jail birds had to make a donation to bond out or do 15 minutes time in the Crowbar Hotel. For $5, one could purchase a "Get Out of Jail Free" card.
The only ones who were safe from being thrown in jail were the players while they were in active play on the court. Everything had a price, including having one or both of the judges arrested, which they were, multiple times. When both game judges were arrested and in jail, all rules were suspended and the game became a free-for-all with players allowed to cross over onto both sides of the court and even have contact. Order was restored to the chaos when both judges were quickly bailed out and returned to the court.
Another fundraiser during the event was a 50/50 raffle. Midway through the tournament, a name was drawn and the winner was Pinedale Roundup reporter Joy Ufford. She promptly donated her share of the raffle back into the pot to go to the fire recovery fund.
In another room, officers had set up a DUI/Texting & Driving Kart. For $1 people could put on the special drunk glasses and take a spin on the awareness cart to see if they could finish the course. Sublette County Emergency Services had a table set up where people could sign up for the Alert Sense Emergency Alert System. Tip Top Search and Rescue had a booth for some hands-on equipment demos and winter survival tips. Pinedale FFA sold concessions.
Back to the games, points on the scoreboard began leaning very heavily to the side of Sublette EMS and Unified Fire whipping the butts of the law enforcement Blue team. Announcer Dave Smith pointed out that this was a fundraiser and basically everything was for sale. The winner was the team with the best of 15 matches, however the final score was determined solely by money, not skill, since even points on the board were for sale and the rules of the game were changed several times mid-stream.
Smith told the enthusiastic crowd, "If you don’t like the way the refs are reffing, have them thrown in jail!" At another point in the game, he said it only cost $50 to change the score on the scoreboard by a point. That led to points both being put on and taken off the board for teams.
At another time, someone (who shall remain anonymous, but paid a lot of money) paid to throw all the players on both teams into the pokey at the same time, while the game was in progress, resulting in only one player for each team left on the court to continue the game. It was also a challenge to fit all the players into the jail at the same time, but they managed, making for a great photo op. And somehow in that chaos the game trophy got swiped and ended up in jail too, but the trophy was eventually returned when the players returned to the court.
By the end, the final score was 6-11 with Red Team (Sublette County Unified Fire & EMS) the declared winner. The event was a lot of fun and raised $6,438 for the Roosevelt Fire Relief Fund.