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‘I like snowball fights’: A 9-year-old gets town’s snowball ban overturned

A snowball fight in Mississippi. A 9-year-old is fighting to get the town of Severance, Colorado to lift its technical ban on throwing snowballs. Dane Best plans to present his proposal on why the ordinance should be repealed.
A snowball fight in Mississippi. A 9-year-old is fighting to get the town of Severance, Colorado to lift its technical ban on throwing snowballs. Dane Best plans to present his proposal on why the ordinance should be repealed. AP

It’s a tradition known to many kids when the first snowfall covers the ground: scoop up a handful of powder, fashion it into an icy ball, and give it a chuck —safely, of course.

One problem: In Severance, Colo., that wasbe illegal. The town’s code prohibited throwing snowballs, the town of Severance wrote on its Facebook page.

Here’s what the code says:

“It is unlawful for any person to throw or shoot any stone or any other missile upon or at any person, animal, building, tree or other public or private property; or at or against any vehicle or equipment designed for the transportation of persons or property.”

According to the town’s law books, snowballs fell under “missiles” just like rocks. But a 9-year-old boy itching to get his hands on some snowballs pushed for change — and won, according to the Associated Press.

Dane Best, a third-grader, convinced the town to lift the ban in a unanimous vote Monday night, the AP reported

“Recently we had the 3rd grade classes from Range View Elementary School come and visit us and they learned that due to Sec.10-5-80 it is illegal to have snowball fights in Severance. One of these 3rd graders, named Dane Best, has decided he wants to be able to legally have a snowball fight in Severance ... ,” the town wrote on Facebook. “We are so excited to see young residents participate in local government.”

Best went to a November 5 meeting of the town’s leaders and pleaded his case for why snowballs should be allowed, 9News reported.

“It means my friends and I cannot have a snowball fight without breaking the law,” Dane said, according to the station. “I like snowball fights.”

A town representative said the law had been around for as long as the city had been around, possibly to stop kids from “throwing snowballs at cattle,” according to the station.

It’s not the only place that’s gotten flack for banning snowballs. In February, the Jo Richardson Community School in Britain faced social media ire after commentator Piers Morgan criticized the headmaster for banning students from touching snow, The Telegraph reported.

“It only takes one student, one piece of grit, one stone in a snowball in an eye, with an injury and we change our view,” headmaster Ges Smith said, according to the paper.

Back in the U.S., Delaware State University became the center of a media snowstorm after it was revealed that a 20-year-old policy prohibited snowball fights on campus, Delaware Online reported.

I never even knew we had a snowball policy until all this started coming up,” a university spokesperson said, according to the site. “We believe it was put in place for safety reasons. I’m sure it was based on something that happened but no one can recall what that was.”

In Colorado, Dane was ready with another presentation in hopes to convince the town to get rid of the ban.

“I think it’s an outdated law,” Dane said, according to the Greeley Tribune. “I want to be able to throw a snowball without getting in trouble.”

The repeal is making history.

“If we actually had snow on the ground, we could throw the first legal snowball ever,” assistant to the city administrator Kyle Rietkerk said, according to the paper.

Durham police officer R.A. Grillasca takes some time for a snowball fight at McDougald Terrace public housing complex in Durham around 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018.

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