The Dorsel Family Summer Games

    Several years ago the six members of the Dorsel Family got tired of going on vacation and simply sitting on the beach and going to seafood restaurants.  So we devised the concept of the "summer games" to fill the vacation with activities and provide some friendly competition among family members.  This tradition has gone on for 6 years now and has provided a great deal of enjoyment as well as some other unexpected benefits.


    The basic format is a decathlon (i.e., 10 events) to include the following mix of physically demanding and mentally challenging events:  2 mile run, 100 yard dash, 200 meter swim, 18 holes golf, 18-hole putting contest, tennis, croquet, pool, gin rummy, poker.  With six people participating, 6 points was awarded to the winner of each event, 5 points to second place, and so on down to 1 point for sixth place.  This translates into 60 points being the highest total possible for the decathlon.
    With three males and three females in our family, the youngest being 16 for the inaugural competition and the oldest in their 50s as the competition reached its 5th year, each event by itself did not lend itself to equal opportunity for all ages and genders.  Nonetheless, the events were not handicapped or adjusted in any way, other than that in the end both a male and a female winner were recognized.


    The games, as they have come to be known, are always kicked off with special opening ceremonies and ended with special closing ceremonies.  Responsibilities for these ceremonies and for the organizing of the games for each given year rotated among the family members.  Of course, each family member tried to outdo the others in the flamboyance of these ceremonies and add their special touches to the events.
    The various years' games are commemorated by framed narratives hung on the wall surrounding a plaque with the accumulating names of each year’s male and female winners.  This shrine to the games occupies a highly visible place in our home where friends and family can view it throughout the year.  Needless to say, the games are a regular topic of conversation as family members are chided about staying in shape and honing their skills for the upcoming year's competition.
    The most important aspect of the games is that the family is drawn together at least once per year from the members increasingly separate individual lives.  The Dorsel family is proud of the games and intends to keep them going in some evolving form for years to come.


    If you would like to receive a detailed copy of the format of the games, as well as score sheets and an example of the post-game narrative, send your request along with $20 to cover the cost of preparation, copying, postage and handling to:

Serious Sports
2501 Keswick Road
Florence, SC  29501

For more information: Contact Serious Sports at 843-618-4653 or email

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