The athletics department has a socks problem.
Student athletes have joined together to raise money by playing “asoxination,” a game in which each person is assigned a target who they have to “asoxinate” by hitting them with a sock and eliminating them from the game. To make things trickier, none of the participants know the person who is targeting them. The name of the game is a play on words incorporating socks into the word assassinate.
The game aims to unite the student athlete community as everyone is highly encouraged to participate. Men and women’s teams alike have come together in order to participate in this seemingly bizarre event.
Lexi Martins, ’17, a forward on the women’s basketball team, is in charge of the event.
Martins said in the athletes’ version of the game, teams are made up of four players who are then assigned a target. “Asoxination” occurs when players hit their target with a pair of socks. Once players “kill” all four people on their target team, they move on to the next target.
This year, there have been implementations of new rules to keep the game exciting. Surprise shields, which are certain regulations that keep players safe if they comply with them, will be used to protect players from being eliminated. One example of a shield includes a day during which wearing Lehigh apparel protects one from being asoxinated.
Lexi said shields aren’t the only new rules that have been put into effect.
“In addition to shields, there are also safe zones where you can’t be asoxinated,” Martins said. “For example, in the bathroom, locker room or playing fields.”
Other than giving athletes a fun activity and a way to forge new friendships, the game is aimed at raising money for a good cause.
The proceeds of the game are being donated to a summer project, headed by National Student Athletes Leading Social Change. The non-profit’s objectives include helping “college student-athletes to use their passion and platform to inspire and transform communities through sports, education and leadership,” according to its website.
The association’s self-described purpose is three fold, including leadership development, career preparation and social change. Its members include a large range of individuals including student athletes, coaches and alumni. The organization targets assisting student athletes in achieving their personal goals as well as helping others.
While the specifics of the project have yet to be announced, the proceeds are typically put toward a trip in which student athletes partake. Previous trips have included sending students to Washington, New Orleans and even Kenya.
The game is an ongoing tradition at Lehigh and is brought back each year due to it’s popularity among the athletes. The game gives the student athlete community something different to take part in that isn’t school or sports.
Eddy Rodriguez, ’17, an infielder for the baseball team, credits the game with uniting teams that don’t normally socialize together.
“This game has definitely allowed people to meet new friends on teams they didn’t necessarily know before,” Rodriguez said.
While the asoxination game has been part of athletes’ tradition at Lehigh, there is potential to expand the event to other communities. In fact, other communities like Student Senate, have had their own asoxination games. Lehigh President John Simon even took part in Senate’s game and was asoxinated by Hiyab Stefanos, ’16, according to Simon’s Instagram post.
Ariana Weintraub, ’17, a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority, said she believes the Greek community could benefit from participating in a game such as asoxination.
“Lehigh is always looking to encourage Greek organizations to come together for a greater cause, Weintraub said. “While Greek Week accomplishes this to a certain degree a game like asoxination could cultivate a different type of bond amongst chapters.”