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Downers Grove

Beckley: Revisit your younger days with a game of P.I.G.

Perhaps visiting hometowns, family and friends over the holidays brought back memories or nostalgic moments for you recently.

Many of us search for these moments to relive a glorified version of the past through sports, recreation and tourism. The movies "The Sandlot" and "A Christmas Story" come to mind where both movie narrators, now adults, fondly recall their childhood memories on the playground and the baseball field. 

Do you remember what games you played on the playground at school growing up? A little Double Dutch jump rope maybe? Freeze tag? Dodgeball? The basketball shooting games of “Around the World” and “HORSE”? Back then, we played for bragging rights, and maybe to impress our friends a little. 

February is the heart of basketball season. Almost 1,200 Downers Grove youth are playing the game at our Park District this season.

Did you know basketball, as an American sport, was developed in 1892 by a teacher in Massachusetts? James Naismith divided his classroom of 18 children into two teams of nine, used a soccer ball and nailed two fruit baskets to the lower railing of the gymnasium balcony.

Later, they figured out they needed to cut the bottom of the baskets out to retrieve the ball instead of climbing a ladder every time a team scored. The game was spread across the US and the world through YMCAs and colleges. 

During this basketball season, Downers Grove Park District wants you to relive the nostalgia of your childhood through the playground game of “HORSE”, only in the shortened version called “PIG”.

On Saturday, Feb. 22 at 9:30 a.m., the fifth annual BIG PIG, P.I.G. Championship of the World will take place at the Recreation Center, featuring a double elimination tournament open to adults down to age 8.

Eliminate your opponent and win fabulous prizes by making a basketball shot (all fancy trick shots as well as technical shots are welcome) that he or she cannot duplicate, thereby giving your opponent the letter “P”.

Make another shot and your opponent misses again, he or she receives the letter “I” until the word "PIG" is spelled by either opponent.

Brackets are formed by age divisions; however, winners of the seventh-eighth grade brackets and up will compete in the finals for the title of P.I.G. Champion of the World.

Over 120 players participated in last year’s tournament. Don’t you want the bragging rights at your office water cooler of being the fifth annual P.I.G. Champion of the World? I triple dog dare you!

Registration information for the BIG PIG can be found at

Deadline to register is Feb. 19. Call 630-960-7250 for more information. Contact to sponsor this event or donate prizes. 

Brandi Beckley is the external affairs manager for the Downers Grove Park District.

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