MOUNT VERNON — The Knox County Chamber of Commerce, Mount Vernon Nazarene University Athletics and New Directions have joined forces in an effort to make it into the history books with a world record attempt for the world’s largest game of knockout.

“We looked to come up with an idea that could be fun and also something that could be exciting for the community and the whole county to gather around,” Paul McNeal of MVNU Athletics said. “It was great for the Chamber, us and New Directions to partner together.”

A contract has been signed with the Guinness Book of World Records for the knockout attempt, slated for Sept. 1 at Ariel Arena at 11 a.m.

A goal has been set for 1,000 participants to compete, although the old record is 701 participants, meaning that just 702 would break the record.

Knockout is a game played with two basketballs on a basketball hoop. Competitors wait in a line, with the two players in the front each having a basketball. The first person shoots from the free-throw line. If they make their shot before the person behind them sinks their attempt, they remain alive, but if the person in back scores first, the person in front is eliminated. In order to try and speed up the process, there will be six baskets in use at the event that participants move on to if still alive, instead of going to the back of the line on the same hoop.

“We wanted to try and do something we could easily monitor,” McNeal said. “We don’t have football, so basketball is one of our primary sports, so we thought about coming up with something basketball-wise and thought it fit well.”

The doors open at 9 a.m. Sept. 1 for the free event. The first 200 participants in the door will receive a shirt commemorating the event. Once everyone is checked in, at 11 a.m., there will be a group picture for verification of the event, with the game to start immediately after.

For those looking for a taste of knockout, there will be a booth set up at the First Friday event this month. For more information on the event, check out

Although the goal for the event is 1,000 participants, that is certainly not the limit.

“If we had 3,000, how great would that be?” McNeal said. “That just means it’s going to take somebody else longer to break it.”


Erick Starkey: 740-397-5333 or and on Twitter, @MVNStarkey



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