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Special Collections

UC Davis Traditions: Tank Rush and Frosh-Soph Brawl

Next up in the UC Davis Traditions series: the Tank Rush and the Frosh-Soph Brawl.

Class rivalry dates back to at least 1913 when a class “fight” took place at the swimming tank on October 3. In subsequent years, a tank rush was formalized and the freshmen and upperclassmen battled to push each other into the tank.

The tank rush evolved into the Frosh-Soph Brawl. At different times, the Brawl, which was held during the first month of classes, consisted of the following events between the freshmen and sophomores: a tug-of-war, obstacle race, jousting, a haystacking contest, and the tank rush.

If the freshmen won the Frosh-Soph Brawl, they could stop wearing the frosh dinks immediately. However, if the sophomores won the brawl, the freshmen had to wear the dinks until the Pajamarino Rally, which was held during Homecoming Weekend. The Frosh-Soph Brawl tradition survived at least until the 1960s.

Below is an image from the University Archives Photographs of the Frosh-Soph Brawl in 1958.

Frosh-Soph Brawl, 1958


Archives and Special Collections Campus and Local History


Campus history Frosh dinks Frosh-Soph Brawl tank rush UC Davis traditions University Archives Photographs