Liter Bowl

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The Liter Bowl was the first and only NCAA-approved football game ever conducted using meters instead of yards. Conceived by chemistry professor Jerry Mohrig, the game took place on September 17, 1977 between Carleton and St. Olaf on Laird Field. The field was marked in 10-meter segments and players' measurements were given in centimeters and kilograms. The students in charge of rousing the crowd from the sideline were referred to as "Cheer Liters," and the Knights were frequently called upon to "drop back ten meters and punt." Sadly, the Knights took quite a beating, losing 43-0. George Dehne, then-director of College Relations, remarked that, "I suspect they [the NCAA] would rather not hear about this or any other metric game again."

The game garnered Carleton a fair amount of publicity, with references appearing in (among others) Sports Illustrated, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and the CBS Morning News.

The director of the United States Bureau of Standards attended the game and even threw the ceremonial first pass, which the Knights reciever dropped.


  • Greene, Mark A: "Raiders of the Lost Archives." The Carletonian, Jan 16, 1987.
  • Thomson, Dean: "Metric Football: Anatomy of a Media Blitz."The Carletonian, Sep 23, 1977.