People tend to scoff when you try to introduce a new sport into the canon of officially approved recreational games. People still debate about whether NASCAR is a true sport (“how can they be athletes if they just drive cars?”), and don’t even get some people started on the viability of cheerleading as a sport. Those snobs that continue to worship at the feet of the “big three” (football, baseball, and basketball) need to open their eyes to the other sports that Americans love participating in. Like the sport of humor. Indianapolis has known all about the improv craze for many years now, with the inclusion of several Indianapolis performing arts groups who specialize in pulling jokes out of the heat of the moment. The most popular Indianapolis nightlife venue for the pursuit of impromptu laughter is ComedySportz, where teams of Indianapolis people compete for rights to the Meaningless Trophy. Little do many patrons know, but this most bizarre of Indianapolis sports is actually an international sport, with ComedySportz teams hailing from nearly every continent (Antarctica will field a team one of these days…). And from Wednesday, July 20, 2011 to Saturday, July 23, 2011, the best teams in ComedySportz will converge on the Circle City for the biggest sporting event this side of Super Bowl XLVI: the 2011 ComedySportz World Championships.
|Video of ComedySportz Indianapolis facing off against a ComedySportz team from Manchester, UK in 2006; the 2011 ComedySportz World Championships will be taking place in Indianapolis|
You can’t contain the colorful imaginations of the best ComedySportz teams in the world in a single day. That’s why this hilarious Indianapolis event will be spanning three days, beginning tomorrow (July 20) at 7:00 p.m. For those who have never been to the ComedySportz Arena on Mass Ave, the concept of the sport is really quite simple. Two teams of “Actletes” compete in short sketches (think Whose Line is it Anyway?) to earn laughs and points from the audience. Like the Indianapolis Colts, ComedySportz teams can be penalized for “fouls.” There are two fouls: Brown Bag Fouls and Groaner Fouls. Brown Bag Fouls occur when an Actlete uses naughty or inappropriate language (all ComedySportz shows are accessible to Indianapolis children and family friendly); the offending Actlete or audience members gets a brown bag over their head for the rest of the night. Groan Fouls happen when the audience audibly groans at a dumb joke or pun; the offending team loses points. At the end of the match, the audience will decide how funny the routine was, and the Referee will assign points accordingly. The team with the most points at the end of the competition wins.
|Promotional video for the ComedySportz Indianapolis improv team; the 2011 ComedySportz World Championship will take place in Indianapolis this weekend|
The 2011 ComedySportz World Championships will pit over 20 teams (and 300 competitors) in deadly wit to wit combat over the span of three nights in the Athenaeum Theater. Teams from around the United States and the world will be competing, starting with Manchester (UK) vs. Indianapolis and Chicago vs. Milwaukee on July 20. The ComedySportz World Championships have been running since 1988, when the first championship was held in Milwaukee. A different city has hosted the event since 1995, including Kansas City, Chicago, Portland, San Jose, and, most recently, Philadelphia. The Indianapolis team has participated in the competition since the group’s founding in 1993.
|Video of the ComedySportz Indianapolis team playing Boo/Yea! in June of 2011; the 2011 ComedySportz World Championships will take place in Indianapolis|
If you’d rather see a sport that involves sharp tongued comedians (and comediennes) rather than sweaty men in pads, you need to be at the Athenaeum Theater from Wednesday, July 20 through Saturday, July 23, 2011 for the latest iteration of the ComedySportz World Championships. Matches start at 7:00 and 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday through Friday, and Saturday will have two matches at 4:00 and two at 7:00 before the Championship Match at 10:00 p.m. There will be a full service Indianapolis bar available at the Athenaeum, and doors open 30 minutes before the event. There are a variety of ticket options for every wallet. Tickets to individual matches are $15 each on Wednesday and Thursday and $20 each on Friday and Saturday. Alternatively, you can buy night passes that allow you access to any given day’s full schedule of matches; night passes are $25 for Thursday (there are no night passes offered on Wednesday), $35 on Friday, and $55 for Saturday. The best deal is certainly the Super Fan Pass, which gives you access to every single match for a total fee of $99. Show your support for Indy‘s team, avoid the brown bag, and fit in a laugh or two at the 2011 ComedySportz World Championships at the Athenaum Theater!
2011 ComedySportz World Championships
Wednesday, July 20 through Saturday, July 23, 2011
Tickets: $15/match Wednesday & Thursday, $20/match Friday & Saturday; $25, $35, $55/night passes for Thursday, Friday, Saturday; $99/Super Fan Pass (all matches)