Rituals and Superstitions


Photo by Jake Berube

The Bingham football team performs their pre-game ritual, the haka.

Jon Ewing, Staff Writer

From dances and chants to rainbow socks and masking tape wristbands, athletes will do anything to acquire a competitive edge before a big game.  Bingham High School’s various sports teams house a myriad of superstitions, pre-game rituals performed in hopes of bringing their team luck on the field, in the court, or within the stadium bleachers.

One example of this game-time madness can be seen on the Varsity Girls Lacrosse team. Anyone can see that they warm-up before there games, but Hailey Shupe has an insider’s scoop. As a member of the team, Hailey witnesses the rituals firsthand, as well as the results.

In addition to the stretches and laps, the team undergoes one additional warm-up. The girls sit in a circle and hook pinkies. “Coach goes through what we need for the game; we visualize,” said Hailey. They stay in this position and meditate.

Other than pre-game rituals, the team has two distinct superstitions that they take to heart. Just before state, the team puts Indian pennies in their socks and/or sport bras.  The Indian pennies seemed to have worked as the girls took state last year.

Also, the girls deem it to be a sign of good luck if they see a butterfly during or right before the game. They have always won the games in which they have seen butterflies.

Not only Girls Lacrosse has a ritual, however; Boys Lacrosse has a different outlook on game-time preparation. Steven Mottola, member of the Varsity Boys Lacrosse team, said that for big games, the team circles around and begin a fearsomely energizing shout.

“We will fight,” someone begins, and the players repeat it with spirited animosity. Steven said that the team unanimously exclaims, “’Till we can’t fight no more!” to end the chant and the team is pumped up for the approaching match.

Girls Soccer, a renowned member of the Bingham High Sports Department, also has a few game-time rituals. Carla Swensen, an experienced member of the team, said that prayer is a big part of their warming-up process. “Always gotta pray,” said Carla.  The team believes that divine intervention might aid them in a victory against an opposing team.

Additionally, the team wraps their wrists in masking tape, and they write their respective goals on the tape for each game. “The Defenders, Midfielders, and Forwards all have different goals,” said Carla.

Finally, nearly everyone who knows sports at Bingham knows that the football team does the Haka in preparation for a game. But why do they do this? A member of the Varsity football team, Drake Miller has his description of why this act takes place.

“[The Haka] pumps up the team and gets our minds set for the game,” Drake said. Being an intense and, many times, violent game in itself, it is only fitting that the team performs and ancestral war cry in preparation of its athletic battle, even if this battle takes place on the football field and not on the ancient lands of New Zealand.

Although it cannot be undoubtedly proven that these rituals and superstitions add a decisive victory to a respective team’s tricks, all of these teams perform valiantly in each game they play, making Bingham High School an entity not to be trifled with.