May 12, 2022 - Politics

The strange tradition that ends the Colorado legislative session

The rubber band ball. Photo courtesy of Andy Bixler
A rubber band ball. Photo courtesy of Andy Bixler

It's a 5-year-old's dream: Build a ball of rubber bands the size of a mini-basketball, drop it from the upper floors of the Capitol and see how high it can bounce.

Reality check: It happens every year β€” and it's not a kid, but Colorado state lawmakers who build and drop the ball.

Why it matters: Since 2011, it has served as the ceremonial end to the legislative session, a symbolic release after four months in the pressure cooker.

  • In fact, lawmakers compete to see whose ball will bounce highest.

The intrigue: Often, a lawmaker will start building the largest ball, only to see it stolen from them and hidden until the end of the session β€” just one of the many comical contests that take place inside the broader political game.

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