The 2020 St. Mark's Quad Games kicked off on Monday, March 2, with an all-school lunch. Students and faculty were seated by teams, as teams Large, Phoenix, and Thayer get ready to attempt to topple defending champion Fearing. Lunch was followed by an official opening in the Putnam Family Art Center's Class of 1945 Hall. following a performance by the St. Mark's Orchestral. Head of School John C. Warren '74 declared the 2020 Quad Games underway, and the very first event-- the paper airplane competition-- was won by Team Phoenix.
Almost 30 years after the last intramural club competition, Dean of Students David Vachris decided to revive the tradition. In the interim, there had been House competitions between dormitories for points, but there was an unfair unevenness to that system. So four teams were created. Two of them—Team Fearing and Team Thayer—bore the names of those earlier clubs. New to St. Mark's were Team Large—named after longtime St. Mark's Senior Master (and current football and baseball assistant coach) Henry Large; and Team Phoenix—named in honor of the Southborough School for Girls, which coordinated with St. Mark's for five years in the 1970s and had as its symbol the Phoenix rising through the flames. These four teams now compete annually in the new Quad Games at St. Mark's.
It is now a weeklong event, with the entire St. Mark's community competing in a variety of games and activities to see which team can amass the most points. Students and faculty really get into the spirit of the occasion, making posters and banners for the event, and rallying enthusiastically in support of each other and the School. Cageball, basketball, chess, indoor soccer, cook-offs, checkers, dodgeball, cloisterball, spelling bees, tug-of-war, broom ball, rock-paper-scissors, volleyball, name that tune, hold 'em poker, poetry, coloring, table tennis, egg-tossing and more highlight the week. Points are awarded not just for winning, but for attendance at optional school events and performances, and for spirit and sportsmanship, as determined by a panel of roving faculty judges. The Quad Games are a central component of the School's residential life program during the winter term.
Action began Monday afternoon, with all four teams competing in dodgeball, MathQuest, paper airplanes, chess, men's ping pong, soccer, and a tug-of-war. Team Phoenix was leading after the first day of competition
Quad Games continued on Tuesday with cageball, the spelling bee, backgammon, poker, women's ping pong, coloring (an artistic competition), and more. Wednesday will feature the egg toss, knockout, rock-paper-scissors, jigsaw puzzles, Name That Tune, etc. On Thursday, teams will compete in Ultimate Frisbee, a scavenger hunt, magnetic poetry, checkers, three-on-three basketball, and arm wrestling. Cloisterball and other contests will take place on Friday. Every day, points will be awarded for spirited involvement.
Teams Large, Fearing, and Thayer won the first three Quad Games, before Phoenix, with its rallying cry "We Will Rise!" took back-to-back laurels in 2017 and 2018. Fearing, the oldest of the current Quad Game teams, earned its second Quad Games championship in 2019.