Original and Historical Sports Research

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The Slide Rule Bowl

Posted by Andrew McKillop on August 17, 2011

In 1963, Lakeland College (WI) and Milton College (WI) played a doubleheader homecoming series, in which the slide rule ultimately became the unofficial MVP of the series.  That season the two schools scheduled each other for their school’s homecoming on the same date.  The schools didn’t realize the scheduling error until after the season had started.  Instead of cancelling the homecoming activities at one school and not the other, the two schools agreed to play two homecoming games, but also agreed that both games would only count as one in the conference standings.  Statistics for the Gateway Conference tally were averaged over the two games, thus not giving a player an extra game advantage on the statistical leaderboard.  Statistics would be counted normally for NAIA and career statistical tallies.

Lakeland a school located near Sheboygan Wisconsin hosted the first game of the homecoming “doubleheader” on a Friday night, while Milton a school located near Janesville Wisconsin hosted the next night.  The two schools agreed that each game would only count as half a game.  In order to get a win in the conference standings, one team would have to win both games, or win one and tie the other.  If the teams split the doubleheader it would be tallied as a tie for both in the standings.

Instead of the traditional 15-minute quarters the teams played 11-minute quarters.  Game statistics were averaged over the two games, and to make up for the 4 minute deficit in each quarter, 4/15ths of the averaged statistic were added to the final number.  In Excel the formula would be calculated as (x+(x*4/15))/2, with x equal to the statistic being calculated.  A touchdown was worth 3.8 points, but rounded up to 4 points.  Of course back then they didn’t have Excel or even readily available calculators, so the calculations were made with a slide rule.  Statistics were only tallied this way for individual accomplishments.

Lakeland won their homecoming game, or should I say half game 25-13.  The next night Milton was victorious in their homecoming 6-0, and each team was credited with one tie in the standings.  The headline in the October 7th, 1963 edition of The Sheboygan Press read “Lakeland Loses, Held to a Tie”.

In the first game Lakeland fell behind early 7-0, but took command of the game scoring 25 unanswered points.  Lakeland’s Al Zipperer scored three touchdowns, but in the eyes of the Gateway Conference he was only responsible for 12 points in the final statistics.  The following night Milton scored on the first play of scrimmage with a 75-yard touchdown run by John Casey, and held on for a 6-0 victory.

Lakeland had previously defeated Milton in their last six matchups, so the doubleheader “tie” ended that streak.  Lakeland and Milton ended up tied again at the end of the season.  Both placed 2nd in the final Gateway Conference standings.

Click here for a listing of sources I used to compile this post.



2 Responses to “The Slide Rule Bowl”

  1. Jevon Jaconi said

    very cool article! didn’t know that!

    • Andrew McKillop said

      Thanks for the comment. I wouldn’t have known about it if it didn’t happen in my own backyard. Sheboygan is known for a lot of crazy stories, and I guess you can add one more to the list.

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