Get dirty — and have some good, clean fun — at one of UB’s most popular traditions. Oozefest is held every spring, bringing together more than 1,500 players, volunteers and spectators for one of the largest mud volleyball tournaments in the United States.

May 4, 2019

Location: Mud Pit on St. Rita's Lane, UB North Campus

Popular Event

This event sells out every year. Reserve your team's slot early!

Event Details

Open to Everyone

Oozefest started in 1984 as a way to help students de-stress before exams and bring the UB community together. Today, anyone can play at Oozefest, including students from UB and other schools, staff, faculty, alumni, corporate sponsors and friends. It’s a great way to show your school spirit, hang out with your friends, and win trophies, gift cards and other fun prizes.

What to Expect

Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of Oozefest:

What to Wear

  • Sunblock. Even if it isn’t sunny, you will get sunburned — often in the strangest places. Put sunblock on your eyelids, the tips of ears, the back of your neck, and anywhere else that isn’t covered with mud. 
  • Two layers of clothes that you don’t mind throwing out. Some teams wear a layer of dry clothes, then layer themselves entirely with garbage bags as their second layer. Others wear a layer of “walk away” clothes, followed by a layer of garbage bags over their entire body, followed by a costume. When they are done, they tear off the top layers, toss them into the dumpster and they walk away dry and without much mud on them. The mud is watery and cold. Please dress appropriately. 
  • Rain slicker. Buy a disposable rain slicker if it’s going to rain. You can buy a cheap disposable rain slicker at the store, or use a garbage bag. You may also want to cover your head, depending on how much it’s raining. 
  • Duct tape. We recommend duct taping your pants to your skin — unless you want your pants to come off during the game. You should also use duct tape to keep your shoes on. 
  • Plastic grocery bags or garbage can liners. Line your shoes with layers of plastic grocery bags or garbage can liners and then duct tape over them if you want any chance of keeping your feet dry. 
  • Shoes and socks you don’t mind throwing out. Shoes must be worn at all times in the mud pit. This is for your own safety (you don’t know what’s in the mud pit). Just remember that you may want to throw out the socks and shoes at the end (or save them for next year’s Oozefest). 
  • Waterproof gloves. If you know it is going to be cold, waterproof gloves will help keep you warm.

What to Bring

  • Leave valuables at home. Please bring as little with you as possible. We have no place to keep backpacks, wallets, cameras and things like that. Lock items in your car to avoid any risk. If you have to bring your keys, enclose them in duct tape and stick them to a safe part of your body, where you know they won’t fall off in the mud. 
  • Scissors. Bring a good pair of scissors to get yourself out of the duct tape when you are done. Please don't use a knife on the duct tape, to avoid cutting yourself. 
  • Garbage can liners. Use them to put your dirty (or clean) clothes in. 

Driving and Parking

  • Park in the Lake LaSalle Lot. The Lake LaSalle lot is behind the Center for the Arts and Alumni Arena. If that lot is full, use the Alumni B parking lot. If you live on campus, consider walking to the mud pits. 
  • Bring garbage can liners for your car. Put them on your car seats to keep your car clean after the games.
  • Avoid Frontier Road. Frontier Road will be closed to cars for Oozefest. Pedestrians are welcome to walk that way as long as the fire department is not hosing down the field at that time.

Be Safe

  • Don’t drink alcohol. For everyone's safety, please don’t drink alcohol or bring any with you. University Police are on patrol all day at Oozefest and we will disqualify you and your team if we know you've been drinking.
  • Keep the bike path clear. The bike path is actually the property of the Town of Amherst. Please stay off it to avoid interfering with bicyclists and pedestrians. 
  • Don’t swim in Lake LaSalle. It's not safe, and it's not going to help you get clean.

Read the Oozefest Rules

  • Please check in no less than 30 minutes prior to your first scheduled game at the Oozefest Mud Pit, which is located where Frontier Road and St. Rita's Lane meet. Waiver forms will be signed at your assigned court just prior to the start of your first game. Oozefest ends around 4 p.m., when the last teams play for the championship, trophies and prizes.
  • The tournament format is double-elimination; once a team loses twice they are done. When the first game is lost, the losing team must refer to the bracket board to determine the time of the next game in the loser bracket. The winning team advances and must also refer to the bracket board in order to determine the time of the next game. Oozefest becomes single elimination once teams are competing to enter the finals.
  • At least six players must play on each team at all times. Full teams of seven or eight are permitted to play at all times even if the opposing team only has six players (rotating in is an option).
  • All games are 15 minutes long or first to reach 21 points with a five-minute transition time in between each game. Teams must switch sides at eight points (per one team).
  • Teams forfeit if they are five minutes late, and the opposing team receives an automatic bye to the next round.
  • Volley for serve to begin each game. Scoring is awarded on a rally point system, meaning any team can score a point no matter who is serving. Each team must rotate following the opponent's loss of serve. You can have a maximum of three hits before the volleyball goes over the net.
  • If a serve hits the net and goes over without being touched, the serve is considered in play (“let rule”).
  • In the event of a tie after 15 minutes, sudden death play will come into effect. Teams will volley for serve and the first point wins.
  • Shoes must be worn at all times. Players without shoes will be ordered off the court and not permitted to play until they are wearing shoes. No cleats or open toed shoes will be permitted.
  • No carrying, no double hitting, and absolutely no spiking.
  • The referees are always right. Teams that do not cooperate will be disqualified.

After Your Games

  • Keep UB clean. Please do not drop your muddy items or garbage on the ground or leave them in the parking lots or by the showers. We have garbage cans and dumpsters everywhere. 
  • Use the outdoor showers. Please hose off your first layer of mud as best you can at the hot outdoor showers next to Alumni Arena. Please do not use the Alumni Arena indoor showers—they are closed to everyone (even athletes). 

Register for Oozefest

2019 Details

Meeting dates and registration links for 2019 will be posted during the spring semester.

You must register your team online, and registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Space is limited, so make sure you sign up early.  Registration will open in spring 2019.

  • Team size: Minimum 6 people, maximum 8 people
  • Registration cost: $TBA per team (payable online with a credit card; registration fees pay for setup, clean up, support services, tents, food, drinks and other supplies)
  • Each player receives: Snacks, lunch, program, t-shirt, sponsor gifts, opportunities to win more prizes

After you register, you will be required to attend an upcoming mandatory Captains Meeting. If you are unable to make one of the available meeting dates, please assign a delegate from your team to come on the team's behalf. You or a delegate must attend a Captains Meeting for your team to play in Oozefest. If nobody from your team attends, you cannot play.

Your Registration Helps UB Students

A portion of every team registration supports the efforts of the UB Fund for Student Life.

Volunteer for Oozefest

You can volunteer individually or as a group. Volunteers are needed to help register people, feed the players and volunteers, referee games, keep score, make announcements, take photos, staff the outdoor showers and keep the area around the mud pits clean. Volunteers must attend a volunteer information meeting to learn more about Oozefest and the specific volunteer areas.


Thank you to our 2018 Sponsors:

Title Sponsor

Planet Fitness logo

Supporting Sponsors

  • Campus Living
  • UB Alumni Association
  • Tim Horton’s
  • Fatman’s Pizza
  • 3 Pillars Catering
  • Mighty Taco

Sponsorship opportunities are available; please contact Student Engagement for more information. 

Need Help?

Student Engagement

Student Life

University at Buffalo
150 Student Union, North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260

Phone: (716) 645-6469