NORFOLK, Va. — It was a beautiful weekend for Norfolk to play host to the American National Jaywalking Tournament, held in December every year.
Residents from all over Virginia joined in on the massive competition in which participants attempt to cross a street (illegally) that has a moderate flow of traffic. As one can imagine, the traffic has the right of way. And while many of Virginia’s best jaywalkers gave it their best shot, they unfortunately found themselves at the bottom of the standings.
“I do it all the time around VCU and I’ve only gotten a dozen or so horns blown at me, so I figured I’d enter and give it a shot,” said competitor Shelly Parlson. Parlson, a Richmond native, studied mass communication at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), where she regularly practiced the art of dodging frustrated motorists on a busy neighborhood street. She placed 4th from last in the tournament.
Jason Long, a resident of Arlington, also entered the tournament. According to Jason, “One of the best ways to train was to go into DC on a Saturday night and dash across 14th street in Logan Circle. In the month I spent practicing, I only caused two fender benders. It seemed like I was doing pretty well.” Jason’s performance seemed promising during the first few rounds, but it came to an end during the 5th and final round when an SUV clipped his right leg, causing multiple fractures. He was immediately disqualified, but is expected to make a full recovery.
Despite the loss, tournament director Alan Stevens did his best to keep the state’s participants in good spirits. “There’s always next year, you guys. You all gave it your best shot, even though one of you lost 10 points for flipping off an incoming driver who was on her way home from work. Seriously, that was a dumb move.” The grand prize for winning first place was $10,000 in cash, while the rewards 2nd and 3rd place included discounted legal counsel for any citations acquired throughout the tournament.