O.P. Earle students celebrate the announcement that they officially broke the Guinness Book of World Records for most people paddle balling at one time. (photo by Kiesa Kay)
O.P. Earle students celebrate the announcement that they officially broke the Guinness Book of World Records for most people paddle balling at one time. (photo by Kiesa Kay)

Archived Story

O.P. Earle students set world paddle ball record

Published 1:44am Friday, November 15, 2013

O.P. Earle Elementary School officially joined the elite ranks of Guinness World Record Holders in a ceremony on Nov. 14 at the school gymnasium.

Along with Landrum Middle School and Steve Langley, aka the Paddle Ball King, the students received recognition for being the most people controlling paddle balls, with 443 participants, on Nov. 30, 2012, in Landrum, and the achievement has been officially verified this year.

“Every kid can say for the rest of their lives that they are Guinness World Record holders, part of a special group of people,” Langley said. “Not everyone can say that.”

Langley credited Laura Dickson, physical education teacher, for spearheading the event.

He showed a video of the achievement and a news show that featured the record.

“Last year we attempted a very special and fun goal here at O.P. Earle,” Dickson said. “We worked as a team to have the most people paddle balling.”

Two counters ensured the official total of 443, and the group practiced in the week before the event. Everyone had to keep their paddle ball going for 30 seconds together without stopping.

“I was impressed with the focus and good concentration of this group,” Langley said. “Everyone wanted to set this record, and we did it.”

The students prevailed over the previous record of 412. O.P. Earle Elementary and Landrum Middle School received certificates, as did Laura Dickson.

Participants can write to the Guinness Book of World Records if they would like individual certificates, Langley said, and the event may be mentioned in the annual book. Only nine percent of annual world records find their way into the book each year.

“I am preparing to set another record, for World’s Largest Functioning Paddle Ball,” Langley announced. “I call it Pad-Zilla, and it’s over 9 feet tall.”

Langley pulled his Pad-Zilla to the middle of the gym and bounced a ball with it several times. The children cheered enthusiastically. He showed a video of the achievement and a news show that featured the record.

 

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