Every spring, UB students, alumni and volunteers gather to participate in Oozefest, one of the nation's largest double-elimination collegiate mud volleyball tournaments held every spring at UB with over 1,500 players, volunteers, and spectators. It is one of UB's most beloved traditions and continues to grow in popularity every year.
April 29, 2017
Mud Pit on St. Rita's Lane (right by South Lake Village)
UB's North Campus
Registration information for teams and volunteers will be posted on/by February 2017.
FAQ's - Everything you need to know...
Who can play?
Anyone can play -- UB students, staff, faculty, alumni, corporate sponsors and friends! Other schools can participate too!
How many people can be on a team?
Minimum 6; Maximum 8 people
How many teams participate in Oozefest?
192 teams play on 24 courts!
What is the cost to register a team?
2017 information will be posted on/by February 2017.
What payment options are available?
A credit card is required for online registration.
I thought mud was free...so where do the team registration fees go?
Believe it or not, the event actually costs quite a bit to put on! Watering down the courts, ambulance services, University Police, tents, facilities fees, mud clean up, parking, electricity, food & drinks for over 1,500 people, signage, volleyballs, marketing, prizes, etc. all add up.
What happens after my team registers?
You'll be required to attend an upcoming mandatory Captains Meeting. If you are unable to make one of the available meeting dates, please assign a delegate from your team to come on the team's behalf. You or a delegate MUST attend a Captains Meeting for your team to play in Oozefest. No meeting attendance = no play.
When does Oozefest start?
Please check in no less than 30 minutes prior to your FIRST scheduled game at the Oozefest Mud Pit, which is located where Frontier Road and St. Rita's Lane meet. Waiver forms will be signed at your assigned COURT just prior to the start of your FIRST game. Oozefest ends around 4 p.m., when the last teams play for the championship, trophies and prizes.
Where do I park on the day of Oozefest?
The Lake LaSalle parking lot will be reserved for Oozefest participants. Should that lot fill up, park in the Alumni B parking lot. If you live on campus, consider walking to the Mud Pits. It's not that far we promise! View campus map (near buildings 1 + 2 on the map).
Are there prizes?
The winners receive individual trophies, and various prizes (such as gift cards, etc.). We provide prizes and awards for members of the top three teams. Plus prizes are awarded for the annual costume contest.
Who runs Oozefest, what if I have questions?
The UB's Office of Student Life runs the event, and can assist with inquiries.
Costume Contest - Flaunt Your Team's Style & Win
Did you know that the team with the best costume wins a free team registration for next year's Oozefest tournament? So this is your chance to dress up in something outrageous on the day of Oozefest and you just might be able to play FOR FREE next year!
Rules - Tournament Play/Court Rules
- The tournament format is double-elimination; once a team loses twice they are done. When the first game is lost, the losing team must refer to the bracket board to determine the time of the next game in the loser bracket. The winning team advances and must also refer to the bracket board in order to determine the time of the next game. ***Oozefest becomes single elimination once teams are competing to enter the finals***
- At least 6 players must play on each team at all times. Full teams of 7 or 8 are permitted to play at all times even if the opposing team only has 6 players (rotating in is an option).
- All games are 15 minutes long or first to reach 21 points with a 5 minute transition time in between each game. Teams must switch sides at 8 points (per one team).
- Teams forfeit if they are 5 minutes late and the opposing team receives an automatic bye to the next round.
- Volley for serve to begin each game. Scoring is awarded on a rally point system, meaning any team can score a point no matter who is serving. Each team must rotate following the opponent's loss of serve. Maximum of 3 hits before the volleyball goes over the net.
- If a serve hits the net and goes OVER without being touched, the serve is considered in play ("Let Rule").
- In the event of a tie after 15 minutes, sudden death play will come into effect. Teams will volley for serve and the first point wins.
- Shoes MUST be worn at all times. Players without shoes will be ordered off the court and not permitted to play until they are wearing shoes. No cleats or open toed shoes will be permitted.
- No carrying, no double hitting, and absolutely NO SPIKING!
- Remember Referees are always right. Teams that do not cooperate will be disqualified.
Do's & Don'ts - Staying Safe While We Play
- For everyone's safety and to avoid annoying others - please don't drink alcohol or bring any with you - University Police are on patrol all day at Oozefest and we will disqualify you and your team if we know you've been drinking.
- Please bring as little with you as possible --- we have no place to keep backpacks, wallets, cameras and things like that. Lock items in your car to avoid any risk.
- Show your love for your campus by keeping it clean! Please do not drop your muddy items or garbage on the ground or leave them in the parking lots or by the showers. We have garbage cans and dumpsters everywhere. Be smart. Throw your trash out please.
- Please do not use the Alumni Arena indoor showers - they are closed off to everyone - yes, even the athletes, which we are told are the biggest muddy offenders to the Arena. Please hose off your first layer of mud as best you can, at the hot outdoor showers next to the alumni arena. We cannot place the showers any closer to the mud pit because we do not have a good water source nearby.
- Please keep the bike path clear for cyclists and Amherst pedestrians - this bike path is actually property of Amherst and we do get complaints. Also, to avoid getting run over by a bicycle during sunny Oozefest occasions, please find anywhere but the bike path to sun yourself!
- UB asks that you refrain from taking a dip in Lake LaSalle! Seriously, that lake is gross.
- Please avoid Frontier Road if you are driving - it will be closed for Oozefest. Pedestrians are welcome to walk that way, so long as the Fire Department is not hosing down the field at that time.
Tips - Wisdom from Veteran Players
Here are some helpful tips we've learned by observing the pros, like alumni teams, the Sheepherders and Poached Trout in a White Wine Sauce (with more than 35 years combined Oozefest experience).
- Even if it isn't sunny, wear sun block - you WILL get sun burned - and in the strangest places - eyelids, tips of ears, backs of necks - anywhere the mud hasn't hit you (and around all of the spots that the mud has!)
- Dress appropriately - the mud is watery and cold! We highly recommend layers!
- If it is going to rain, consider purchasing throwaway rain slickers (they're about a dollar at Wal-Mart) or using a garbage bag. Cover your head with something too! Sorry if we sound like your mother!
- Duct tape is essential! If you don't want to give everyone a free show during Oozefest or lose any footwear.
- Duct taping your pants to your skin - we are serious, friend!
- Lining your shoes with layers of plastic grocery bags and then duct taping over that. It will keep your shoes on and hopefully dry the entire time.
- If you have to bring your house keys/car keys/etc. enclose them in duct tape and adhere to a safe part of your body where you know they will not fall off in the mud.
- Remember, shoes MUST be worn at ALL TIMES in the mud pit. It's for your own safety...you don't know what's in there!
- Bring a good pair of scissors to get yourself out of the duct tape when you are done. Please don't use a knife on the duct tape - we've already had someone go to the emergency room for that.
- Wear two layers of clothes -- both that you don't mind throwing out after playing (IN THE DUMPSTERS AND SURROUNDING GARBAGE CANS PLEASE)
- The Sheepherders wear a layer of dry clothes, then layer themselves entirely with garbage bags as their second layer.
- Poached Trout wears a layer of "walk away" clothes, followed by a layer of garbage bags over their entire body, followed by a costume - bridal dresses, clothes from the Salvation Army, Pirates, Gorillas costumes- they've dressed as everything. When they are done, they tear off the top layers, toss them into the dumpster and they walk away dry and without much mud on them.
- The socks and shoes you wear will likely be in the dumpster in the end as well or to be used for your next Oozefest experience. Don't wear your brand new Air Jordans.
- If you know it is going to be cold, consider waterproof gloves - they will keep you warm.
- Garbage can liners are your Oozefest friend!
- If you drove to the event, park in the Lake LaSalle Lot (the one behind CFA and the arena), bring extra garbage can liners and put them on your car seats to keep your car clean when you drive away.
- Use garbage can liners to put your dirty or clean clothes in - anything you want to save.
- Use garbage can liners to keep warm or to protect you from the elements.
- Be sure you get muddy, it's fun!
Volunteers - Always Wanted to Make the Event a Success
What volunteer opportunities are there?
Yes! You can volunteer individually or as a group using the same link that teams use to register. Use the registration link at the top of this page.
We are always looking for volunteers to:
- Help with team registration
- Help with volunteer registration
- Help feed over 1,500 players and volunteers
- Referee games
- Keep score
- Make announcements
- Take team photos
- Staff the outdoor showers
- Keep the area around the mud pits clean
Volunteers must attend a volunteer information meeting. These meetings guide you through the day of Oozefest, and offer insight into your specific volunteer area. Volunteering for Oozefest is a blast but it does take some commitment. Meeting schedule TBD.
Oozefest History - How it all Started
How many people attend Oozefest?
Over 1,500 players, volunteers, and spectators enjoy the festivities every year.
Oozefest started in 1984 as a way to de-stress before exams and to bring the UB community together. At that time there were 16 teams and 2 courts. Now there are 192 teams playing double-elimination on 24 courts!
First there was an "e" in Oozefest, then there wasn't, and now there is again!
Yes, Oozefest is the original spelling. In the late 1990s it was misspelled and the misspelling stuck until 2010. In 2011, we decided to return to the original spelling.
2017 sponsors will be posted shortly.