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Frequently Asked Questions aboutHow to Produce a
Battle of the Belts

Q. What is the Battle of the Belts?

A fun, easy-to-implement activity designed to change teens' and tweens' attitudes and behaviors about seatbelt use.

It can be produced at school, such as a

  • SADD chapter event
  • A prevention education program activity
  • Part of a school’s Health / Wellness / Safety Day
  • A Pre-Prom safety reminder event.

Or, it can be produced outside the school by:

  • A youth organization (Boys/Girls Club, 4-H, Scouts, Church group, etc)
  • A service organization (Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions, Elks, etc)
  • An emergency services organization (fire service, emergency medical service).

Q. Why conduct a Battle of the Belts?

  • Kids respond positively to the fun and the competition.
  • Superintendents, Principals and Teachers support it.
  • Parents appreciate knowing their children are reminded about seatbelt use.
  • Police support it!
  • It increases awareness that seatbelts save lives.
  • It generates awareness about the fact that 2/3 of teens killed in car crashes were not using seatbelts.
  • It results in increased use of seatbelts by teens
  • Easy to implement - Little or no Cost
  • Can be used to select team to sent to World Championships

Q. How does it work?

  • To start, a team comprised of four teens runs to a 4-door car, starting from a line 25 feet behind the rear bumper, runs to the car.
  • They all jump in – one in the driver’s seat, one in the front passenger seat and two in the rear seat.
  • They quickly buckle their seat belts, throw their hands in the air, and when the last one is buckled, the Referee shouts "Rotate!"
  • They unbuckle, get out, all run clockwise around the car to the next seat, get in, and buckle up and throw their hands in the air.
  • Again, when the fourth buckler is finished, the Referee shouts “Rotate!”
  • They unbuckle, get out, all run clockwise around the car to the next seat and repeat the process until all four team members have been buckled four times.
  • The team with the fastest time, after the 4th buckle, is the winner.
  • At the World Championship there are awards for the fastest teams, for teams with the loudest cheering sections, best t-shirts and best team names.

Q. Where do we produce a Battle?

Battles can be held at high schools and middle schools (grades 5-8)

Battles can also be held at youth centers, church parking lots, fire station parking lots, parks

Q. How do we produce a Battle?

First, decide what works best for you – an in-school activity or produced as an activity outside the school?

Decide when and where and involve others in planning such as :

  • School Resource Officer
  • Youth
  • PTSA officers
  • STOP DWI Coordinator
  • Youth Bureau Director
  • Parents
  • Local Police

Then, become familiar with the rules. Review the DVD.

Next, Promote the event – use posters, flyers, public announcements and underscore that one team will be selected to compete at the World Championship Battle of the Belts at Sean’s Run at Chatham, the Sunday in April.

Advertise that Awards to be given away for fastest times, best team t-shirts, loudest cheering section, best team names.

Encourage competition between homerooms, classes, sports teams,


Q. When is the best time to conduct a Battle?


Springtime (March or April) in conjunction with other pre-prom safety programming conducted by school or other organizations.

Could be scheduled as a special 4-H club event, a special activity during a Scouts meeting, a special youth event for a Church group

Could be during a school assembly, or as an after school activity, or as one of many activities included within the school’s Wellness / Safety Day

Could be scheduled as part of a SADD Chapter meeting

Q. What do we need to produce a Battle?

  • Promotional posters and flyers
  • Sign Up sheets
  • 4-door car(s)
  • Stop Watches
  • Time Recording Sheets
  • Starter’s Whistle
  • Awards (can be donated from local businesses such as pizza, or could be trophies / medals)
  • Teams comprised of four students
  • Rules
  • Volunteer Officials (can be local police officers, parents, EMTs)

Q. What is the World Championship Battle of the Belts?

A competition that attracts schools and youth organizations from all over.
One team per school or youth organization conducted at Sean’s Run, Chatham High School, the last Sunday in April.

Q. Where can we get more Info?

To receive a copy of the Battle of the Belts Rules and a free DVD about the Battle of the Belts, contact:


Mark D. French
Phone: 518-392-5483
e-Mail: MarkFrench@Fairpoint.net

 

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