By Sarah Quimby, Staff Writer
Battleship Round II was recently held in the FRC pool where eight teams battled it out with only buckets and shields, while trying to remain afloat in their canoes.
Battleship was originally part of UMF’s intramural sports program, and after a few stagnant years in which the event did not occur, Mainely Outdoors decided to bring it back. Colleen Ward, a senior member of the group and participant herself, described the event. “Basically what we do is take four canoes and put them in the pool,” Ward said. “We split the pool in half and use the shallow end.” Four people are in each boat, three are equipped with buckets, and one person has a foam mat to utilize as a shield. “When we say ‘go’ they all go and try to sink everyone else’s boat. The last boat floating wins.”
Walking into the FRC, all eight teams had already gathered around the pool and were listening eagerly to the rules being announced. Standing in the humid room in bathing suits and bare feet, all the teams were anxiously chatting and strategizing.
Lindsay Mower, a freshman, participated in Battleship Round II, and it was not her first experience with the event. “I did it the first time too and I was actually on the championship team,” Mower said. “My team won, the Bone Crushers.”
Mower admitted she did not realize what she was getting into the first time. “I knew what it was, but I didn’t know how intense it would be,” Mower said enthusiastically. “It was pretty crazy. Everyone got really competitive.”
Considering round two, Mower had the same level of excitement without all the nerves. “I knew what it would be like,” Mower said. “I knew I should bring knee pads because I got pretty banged up the first time.”
Success in Battleship comes down to strategy. “The main thing is that you’ve got to keep your balance in the boat,” Mower said. “If you lose your balance you’ll let water in the boat yourself.”
Despite past bruises and feeling the physical exertion from Battleship, Mower’s smile did not leave her face as she spoke about the event. She described the competitive nature of the event as being her favorite aspect. “I’m not very competitive normally, but it brings out my wild side,” Mower said.
Mower’s team made it to the final round but did not come away with the victory this time. Despite the loss, Mower did not appear the least bit dispirited and neither did any of the other teams whose canoes sunk throughout the course of the night. With music playing in the background, cheering spectators, and teams yelling different directions and commands, the event’s intensity filled the room. Buckets of water to the face did not even remove the smiles off some of the competitors’ faces.
Ward’s favorite part of the event is seeing how much fun people have, especially when they were initially unsure of what they were getting into. “Watching them have fun, is the most fun,” Ward said. The second round of Battleship brought the same amount of teams but with new faces. “It’s cool to get a different crowd in there.”
Battleship remains a hit with those who have participated. “I hope it’s an annual thing,” Mower said. “I would be disappointed if they stopped. It’s just something different to switch up your day.”
Ward, a main contributor in getting the event back at UMF, too hopes Battleship will continue. “We started it, Bill Asbell and I, and we really got a good foundation and established the game here at the school. I hope when I leave, and Bill leaves, the program is able to continue,” Ward said.