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UCI Irvine breaks Guinness World Record for biggest game of capture the flag

Capture The Flag

Gold team members attempt to push past members of the the blue team as UC Irvine students break a world record for the largest game of capture the flag at Anteater Recreation Center fields on Tuesday. UC Irvine set a new world record with 2,888 participants.

(Kevin Chang / Daily Pilot)

UC Irvine students have a reputation of breaking world records.

Tuesday afternoon was no exception.

In an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest game of capture the flag, students arrived the Anteater Recreation Center’s fields ready for battle.

They broke the record with 2,888 participants in their game. It was the sixth world record the campus has broken.


As part of Welcome Week, the Associated Students of UCI arranged and hosted the game for their fellow Anteaters.

Previously, the students have broken the record for the largest game of dodgeball three years straight. From 2010 to 2012, the school first had 1,745 students participate, then 4,000 and then 6,084.

In 2013, the campus sought after a new challenge, the record for the largest water pistol fight. That year, 3,875 students played.

The world record broken this past year was 3,813 students in the largest pillow fight.


Incoming freshman Liam Trodden said he was familiar with UCI’s history of earning Guinness World Record titles.

“I know it’s one of the biggest events during Welcome Week,” Trodden said. “It’s probably the one I was looking forward to the most.”

The game of capture the flag had students split into two teams, blue and gold. Before the battle began, the two teams lined up on opposite sides of the field. A line was designated down the middle of the grounds, and flags were staked all across both team’s territories.

The object of the game? To cross into the opponent’s land and return with their flag without getting tagged by the enemy.

Once the game began at 1:30 p.m., the competitors in blue and gold charged toward the middle line with screams and cheers as they went to war. Capture the flag lasted for half an hour.

The gold team won with more flags retrieved than their blue contenders.

The Associated Students, or ASUCI, had been planning the game since summer.

“At the beginning of the planning process, we noticed a trend with our world records — all of them were competition-based,” ASUCI Student Services Vice President Nicole Dizon said. “Keeping the interest of the students in mind, ASUCI searched for similar activities and stumbled upon capture the flag.”


This is the first attempt to break a Guinness World Record for capture the flag.

“As a record that has never been done before, Guinness made the minimum number of people for this game 250 people,” Guinness World Record adjudicator Michael Empric said.

When Dizon discovered this was the minimum to break the record, she knew UCI’s Anteaters would rise up for the challenge.

“I jumped on it,” she said. “I know how excited the students are to break records every year. I’m happy to continue this tradition and to have this as a part of Welcome Week to begin the year.”

The number of student participants was measured by how many blue and gold shirts were given that afternoon and by how many players entered the field through a turnstile.

After the game was over, Empric officially announced that the Anteaters had broken the record for largest game of capture the flag and handed a Guinness plaque to Dizon.