Sack Rush of 1913 | University of Illinois Archives
Featured are the prepared sacks from the first Sack rush, with the armory Annex featured in the background.
The sack rush traditional was adopted officially in 1913 after the cessation of the annual pushball game. Due to the influx of large freshman classes and general waning interest from the sophomore class, pushball became a relic of campus activities.
The Sack rush was introduced at a student assembly meeting by Dean Clark as an alternative to the violence of the pushball contest. Dean David Kinley seconded the notion, arguing that it was a healthy alternative to hazing and noted "a class scrap is far superior to the annual hazing". Students voted unanimously to a new class rush, and Dean Clark suggested borrowing the rules of Indiana's sack rush as a replacement. The sack rush consisted of sophomore and freshman teams competing against one another. 15, 4x6 ft sacks were stuffed with excelsior wood shavings and placed on the 50-yard line of a field. The goal to gain the most sacks on their side of the field by dragging strength and speed.
This year of 1913, the first sack rush, the freshmen class of 1917 routed the sophomores 15 sacks to 0.
Due to the volatile nature of nitrate film, the image can be found here:
Copyright Bernard A. Strauch.
Copyright of this image is NOT owned by the University of Illinois and the image is provided here for personal use only. Any other use of this image is strictly prohibited without the express permission of the copyright holder. Please contact us for more information.