Donkey Basketball, coming to a gym near you on Jan. 8

Donkey Basketball?


Posted on 1/2/16

By Melissa Anderson

You read that right. On the evening of January 8 at 6:30 p.m., the popular sport of a bygone era is making a comeback at the Langdon Area High School (LAHS) Gym to help the LAHS Social Science Club raise funds for their upcoming trips to Washington, D.C. and New York City.

“A friend of ours in Leeds gave me the idea. They had it last year and said the turnout was good and they were able to raise quite a bit of funds,” Steph Fetsch, who organized the event, said.

Once the event was decided upon, the next step was finding the players to ride the donkeys for the two games and the championship. Fetsch was able to find 22 brave souls to board the donkeys.

“A lot of people were confused as to what it was and what they were volunteering for,” Fetsch said,” for a lot of them I had to tell them they would be riding a donkey. Then they asked about the floor.”

Dairyland Donkeyball actually guarantees that their donkeys will not damage the gym floor that the games take place on.

“Our donkeys have never damaged a gym floor, they wear a non-marking non-scuffing rubber shoe which protects them from slipping and also protects your floor from any damage,” Dairyland states on their website.

It goes on to explain that the shoe is nailed on just like a horseshoe but the nails are recessed into the rubber so the nails cannot scratch the gym floor.

Prior to the evening event Dairyland will clean and check each hoof on each donkey to ensure the safety of the gym floor. These rubber shoes are actually a men’s shoe heel, making them perfect for this type of activity.

“Rubber shoes have been used for more than 50 years in donkey basketball shows and the quality of the rubber is always improving,” Dairyland states.

Further more, if something unusual happened and there was damage to the floor, Dairyland guarantees that they will pay for the repairs out of their own pocket.

“We are so sure your gym floor will not be damaged by our donkeys; we even guarantee it in our contract,” Dairyland states.

There will be rules that the players must follow as they play basketball aboard the donkeys. The players have to be on the donkey in order to pass or shoot the ball. The biggest challenge for Fetsch as she planned the event was finding volunteers who would be able to handle the vigorous activity.

“I had to find people who were able to ride and possibly fall off,” Fetsch said.

The donkey basketball may be the main event but there are other fundraisers happening concurrently. One hundred percent of the funds raised from the concurrent fundraiser will go towards the trip.

“Part of the ticket sale goes towards the payment for the donkeys. Anything in conjunction with the game is 100 percent profit for the students,” Fetsch explained.

The members of the club will be having a free will offering supper of chili and baked potato that will be served from 5 p.m. until about 6:15. A bake sale will also be held during the event and have plenty of goodies for dessert following the chili and baked potato.

“There is usually quite a variety of things such as cookies, bars, donuts,  and fresh baked buns,” Fetsch said.

Fetsch notes that the concession stand won’t be open. So any beverages such as pop would have to be brought in.

“There will be beverages for supper. There won’t be beverages for the game, so if you want  a pop bring your own,” Fetsch said.

The final and most interesting fundraiser is the “Kiss the Donkey” contest. Fetsch chose this fundraiser as she thought everybody in Langdon would like to see someone kiss a donkey.

“I had some suggestions for people in the community and I choose people that everybody knows in one form or another,” Fetsch stated.

The four vying for the honor to smooch a donkey are Chalmer Dettler of Farmers and Merchants Bank (FM Bank), Linda Hope, Bill Mack of Leevers, and Barb Crockett. Each lucky contestant has a jar at one of the following locations where people can place their support for the kisser leading up to the January 8 event.

“I hope people will pay lots of money to see someone kiss the donkey,” Fetsch shared.

The jars are at the following locations in Langdon: Choice Financial, Sporty’s, and FM Bank. The jars will be collected the day before the  event and the money tallied. The lucky winner will get to kiss the donkey just before the Championship game.

Many may be wondering about the other big question in regards to the donkeys. Dairyland has that covered as well. There may or may not be any donkey “fallout” during the show and that is strictly up to the donkeys and is out of Dairyland’s control.

“If it does happen, we stop the show and clean up any manure immediately,” Dairyland states, “all of our clean-up tools are plastic “gym floor-friendly” as to protect the gym floor. We will dispose of any manure after the show from the entire event.”

Tickets are available through Ethen Askvig or the Social Science members or call Steph Fetsch at 701-382-9863 for tickets.

“I’m really excited for this. It will be a good time,” Fetsch said.

On January 8 starting at 5 p.m. come spend your Friday evening eating some delicious food and watching the comical, somewhat humiliating, experience of some of Langdon’s most well known residents as they help the LAHS Social Science Club make their trips possible.