Corporate games about fun ... and winning

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The employees at Big River Telephone didn't participate in the 2006 Corporate Games just for the chance to taste the thrill of victory.

"It's not all about competition," said Big River employee Michelle Otte, who also organized the 22-person company team.

But then she pauses a minute, laughs and adds: "Well, mostly it is."

The Corporate Games were held last month, with more than 10 teams competed in 21 events over a two-week period.

In Division 1, made up of companies with more than 100 employees, Procter & Gamble Orange finished off its title run, scoring a win in dodgeball for its eighth event victory. P&G Orange -- there were two P&G teams -- scored 570 to the City of Cape Girardeau's 460.

In Division 1, P&G Red had 380. The Delta Road Warriors, Southeast Missouri Hospital and the Southeast Missourian/Concord Printing tied at 290.

In Division 2, the MedAssets team held off Yellow Book to win the Corporate Games title for smaller companies. The two weeks of events ended with a trivia and a mystery event. Yellow Book gained 60 points on MedAssets by winning the swimming relays and dodgeball, but the teams came out even as Big River Telephone won the final two events.

MedAssets finished with 480 points. Yellow Book had 450, Big River scored 390, Montgomery Bank had 315, Extra Hands scored 190 and DYS had 155.

The event was sponsored by the Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreation Department.

"It's an opportunity for companies to get their employees together in the evening and do something competitive," said Kaed Horrell, a recreational supervisor with the parks department.

Employees had many events to choose from, from more traditional games like flag football, softball, golf and basketball to old-school activities like tug-of-war, washers, horseshoes, bowling and poker. Even a few oddities made the line-up, such as innertube water polo and dodgeball.

Participants said they got involved for a variety of reasons -- to have fun, to compete and to get to know their colleagues better and those in other companies.

"We have a lot of new people at our company," said Doug Dickerson, a computer programmer at MedAssets, which won Division 2. "You can put a face with a name. When it's all over, I'll know most of the people I didn't know."

The employee-athletes also got to know people from other companies.

"It's about networking too," he said. "In business, that's always something you can build off of."

Brock Alspaugh, a financial adviser with Montgomery Bank, headed the team there. Alspaugh, who stands 6 feet tall and weighs 200 pounds, competed in flag football, basketball, poker and volleyball.

"I think we really just wanted to get something going that we all could participate in," he said. "We've got some pretty competitive people here."

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