South Side High School’s annual Red and Blue competition received a shock this past Saturday when the contest, after initially being called in favor of the Red Team, was declared a tie. The annual color war, a Rockville Centre tradition dating back to 1916, has tied only nine other times in its 97-year existence. The last tie occurred in 2008.
Red and Blue pits two teams of girls against each other in a friendly rivalry, and ends each year with the Red and Blue Meet. The girls compete in a number of athletic and artistic events including relays, dances, songs, volleyball and skits. The judges award points for organization and sportsmanship as well as for the performances themselves.
The school district’s athletics director, Carol Roseto, explained that the false announcement of this year’s winner was due to a counting error.
“We try to make it exciting,” Roseto said, “so we don’t always announce the events in the order that is on the scorecard, and can’t really follow the scoreboard too easily.”
After the Red Team was declared victorious by a single point, the judges recalculated the scores, and a tie was announced.
“It was a terrible mistake, but an honest one, and I take full responsibility for it,” said Roseto. “But we are all proud of how the girls handled themselves, not only throughout the six weeks, but through the mistake. They showed a level of maturity that was well past their years.”