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A Dive Into THON’s Official Rulebook

When it comes to THON, there is one major rule that everyone knows: The dancers must stand for 46 hours. However, there are a lot more rules and regulations than you might think. In fact, there’s a whole handbook of them.

We scrolled through the THON handbook and found some well known rules and some more obscure ones. Although we couldn’t find the 2018 rulebook, we assume not much as changed since last year. Here’s a breakdown of some official THON rules.

Rules for dancers:

Rule: Dancer’s feet should remain on the floor unless stretching.
While this may seem seem straightforward, it’s a little surprising that the rule isn’t “Dancers must remain standing at all times.” This phrasing of this rule seems a bit extreme, as dancers jump around during line dances and get a couple seconds of relief during Slides of Strength. We’ve all seen a dancer doing a handstand or getting a piggyback ride on the floor, so it seems THON isn’t too strict about enforcing this one.

Rule: Food and beverages will be provided throughout the weekend.
Meals are periodically provided throughout the weekend and dances are sure to never grow hungry. How about for those dancers who have special dietary needs? They’re not left out, either. Dancer Relations committee members communicate with dancers beforehand to make sure all needs are met.

Rule: No caffeine or energy supplements are permitted at any time.
Sure, some college kids will claim that they have stayed up for 46 hours straight before. However, I highly doubt that the did it without caffeine of some sort. Dancers are not allowed anything of the sort, and are told to stop consuming it weeks in advance in order to prepare.

Rules for spectators:

Rule: No sitting is allowed in the BJC at any time. Sitting in restrooms is not permitted.
While this may seem obvious for anyone that has been at THON, many that have not been don’t know about this specific rule. The second part of this rule is what really makes it. I didn’t take long for THON to catch on that people were sneaking in sitting breaks on bathroom floors. Hey, when you really want to sit, you’ll sit anywhere.

Rule: No squirt guns with tanks will be permitted in the BJC.
Squirt guns are a trademark for THON, as the provide dancers and THON kids with entertainment. While this rule is oddly specific, it must be in place for good purpose. How well is this rule followed? We’re not sure.

Rule: Spectators are not allowed to use the outlets in the BJC.
Sad! With endless Insta and Snapchat opportunities throughout the weekend, phones can die quite quickly. Luckily, there are a few charging stations around if you get desperate. We recommend bringing a portable charger.

Rule: No animals are permitted inside of the BJC (except service animals, of course.)
As much as we’re sure dancers would love some puppy pick-me-up breaks, it’s best to leave your furry friends at home if you’re coming to support dancers.

Rule: No large containers (i.e. if they cannot fit under a seat) are permitted inside the BJC. We’re not sure exactly what you would need to store in a large container. Maybe people were sneaking in their against-the-rules dogs in large containers? One can only guess.

While many of these rules may seem common sense, it can be hard to keep such a large crowd under control for 46 hours straight. So if you’re headed towards the BJC , make sure you take as scroll through the rule book first to make sure you don’t get stopped by any unruly R&R captains.

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About the Author

Janelle Rothacker

Currently a senior studying Kinesiology, Janelle is proud to call upstate NY (the real part, not the 30 minutes north of the city part) home. She's an avid runner and enjoys everything and anything sports. She also has a love of pancakes, avoids the HUB like the plague during the in between classes rush, and can quote the majority of Friends episodes from memory. If you want to hear all the embarrassing things she does daily, or want to contact her, follow her on twitter at @janellerothack or email her at [email protected]

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