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Fall Festival football crowd to shoot – or dribble – for another world record

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Last year at the Fall Festival football game, Bethel College students and supporters set a world record for most flying discs thrown at the same time, successfully launching 853 of them onto Joe W. Goering Field. This year, they will try to get into the Guinness Book of World Records once again.

A group of faculty and staff from the athletic department and business office have organized an attempt to set the record for most basketballs dribbled simultaneously. This will once again take place at halftime of the Fall Festival football game, this year against Southwestern Assemblies of God University. The game starts at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7, at Thresher Stadium.

Fans who wish to participate will be given a ticket when they enter the stadium through Franz Plaza at the beginning of the night. At halftime, they will exchange the ticket for a basketball. The ticket is free, and everyone is encouraged to participate.

Jeffrey Graber, a 2004 Bethel graduate who had the idea for last year’s disc toss, was again instrumental in organizing the basketball dribble.

“We have to use regulation basketballs, so we made contact with the current record holders in Europe, and we will be using the same size basketball they used,” Graber said. “This year, Guinness has told us that a mistake will not mean [automatic] disqualification. If you are dribbling your basketball and you make a mistake, you can immediately retrieve your ball and begin dribbling again.”

Preferred Health Systems of Wichita has sponsored the purchase of 1,200 basketballs to be used in the attempt. The current record for most basketballs dribbled at once is 910.

Bethel College hosts its 36th annual Fall Festival Oct. 5-8. Other weekend activities on campus include food and entertainment for all ages, arts and crafts, alumni gatherings, athletic events and the inauguration of Bethel’s 13th president, Barry C. Bartel. For a complete Fall Festival schedule, visit the Bethel College website.

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Founded in 1887, it is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and has been named a Top Tier college by U.S. News & World Report every year since 1998. For more information, see the Bethel web site at

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