The Epsilon Delta Chapter of Iota Phi Theta hosted the first ever head-to-head step-off/stroll off event on Grambling State University’s campus called Battleground. The event was a single-elimination tournament style face-off between fraternities and sororities with a $600 prize for the winning fraternity, and sorority.
The event consisted of four teams of fraternities, and four teams of sororities. The event was open to Organizations from the Divine 9 and the Fab 4 (the music based organizations) gaining participants not only from GSU but from Lamar University, and Northwestern State University as well.
Held in the Grambling High gymnasium, despite the lack of air conditioning, the crowd packed in to support friends and organizations. The teams met face to face on the basketball court separated by caution tape across half-court. A coin toss decided which team would go first. Each match consisted of two, 1 minute-30 second rounds, the first round consisting of strolls, and the separate round consisting of steps.
The first match featured the Fab 4 fraternities, Phi Mu Alpha vs Kappa Kappa Psi. Phi Mu Alpha did surprise the crowd with their stepping abilities; however, Kappa Kappa Psi ultimately won over the judges and the crowd advancing to the finals. The next match featured the Lamar Zetas Vs. GSU’s Tau Beta Sigma, with Tau Beta Sigma advancing to the finals of the tournament. In the spirit of a boxing match there were “Battleground Ladies” walking through the match indicating the rounds.
The second half of the preliminary matches were extremely close, with both the fraternity and sorority matches needing a third round to decide the winners.
The NSU Alphas, vs GSUs; Sigmas match was a crowd pleaser on both sides, with the crowd cheering enough for both teams after the first two rounds, the match continued into a third round, in which the teams would perform another step. In a dramatic turn of events, ultimately the Sigmas conceded the match allowing the NSU Alphas to advance to the finals. The GSU chapters of Delta Sigma Theta and Sigma Gamma Rho faced off with the Deltas moving on to the finals.
The teams, growing exhausted, face off in the finals. In a less complicated decision KKPsi beat the NSU Alphas. Yet, as the Deltas faced Tau Beta Sigma there was another difficult decision.
With the crowd vote being hard to discern the teams had the chance to go into a third round, or choose to let the judges decide.
Mediated by one of the Battleground referees the teams agree to let a decision of the judges. Pulling off the upset with a one-point difference Tau Beta Sigma defeated the stepshow champs, Delta Sigma Theta.
“For it to be the first event of its kind, it was a huge success we look forward to hosting another one next year” –Dwain Hebert, Junior, Political Science Major, and Vice President of The Epsilon Delta chapter Iota Phi Theta.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The reporter who covered this event is a member of Iota Phi Theta.