COLUMBUS — A unique brand of basketball was on display Sunday at the Lakeview High School gym.
For the second straight year, Lakeview was the site of a four-team basketball tournament with a twist. The tournament was played with the participants riding — or at least trying to ride — donkeys.
The event, sponsored by the Lakeview Booster Club, featured teams of faculty members, seniors, juniors and sophomores in a basketball game with unusual rules.
Players had to be on their donkeys to shoot or pass the ball, but they could dismount to grab it. During the last two games, riders on certain donkeys earned double points for making a basket.
Just trying to get the four-legged animals to cooperate at all during the 16-minute games proved to be a challenge for the players. At times, players, who wore baseball/softball or football helmets for protection, were bucked off.
The donkeys were fitted with special rubber shoes to prevent damage to the gym floor. Several of the animals used the gym floor for a bathroom break between the first and second games.
The tiebreaker for the championship game between the seniors and juniors came down to a contest between one player from each to see who could stay on a bucking donkey the longest. The seniors, who also won the first game with the faculty in a tiebreaker — a free-throw shooting contest — won the title.
The juniors advanced to the final with a win over the sophomores in the three-game tournament.
The donkeys were provided by Dairyland Donkey Ball, a philanthropic business out of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. According to the company, 40 percent of ticket sales go to the sponsoring organization, with that amount increasing to 50 percent if ticket sales exceed $3,000.
The company also provides donkeys for baseball games and celebrity races.