Students of all ages, majors and buoyancy met in the Tootell Aquatic Center to participate in the annual battleship tournament hosted by campus recreation last Wednesday, Sept. 20.
The air was filled with excitement and the scent of chlorine between the 11 separate teams which came out to participate. Some of this year’s participants, including Hannah Balquist, Mollie Casey, and Ned Jenkins of “Team Kevin Shen,” whose team formerly included a fourth player, as was the regulation last year, Kevin Shen, were returning battleship enthusiasts from years prior. Other participants, such as freshmen Alex Grey, Tristan Ethier, and James Alfonso of “Tommy Splasheau” made their battleship debuts at this year’s competition.
The fun of battleship is in its simplicity. Matches are played between two to six teams of three players, each with one goal in mind – to be the last boat above water by the end of match. To achieve this goal, teams are supplied with kickboards and buckets to dump water into the opposing teams’ boats in hopes of sinking them and knocking them out of the match. Each match is played for 10 minutes, or until all but one boat is left above the water – whichever comes first. If a player stands up in their own boat, continues to participate after a referee has blown the whistle, or makes physical contact with a member of another team or their materials, so as to defend their own team or attack another, the referee halts the game and that team must scoop four full buckets of water into their own boat. If a player leaps completely out of their own boat during play, that team is disqualified from the round.
The tension of the competition was palpable from the beginning, with Tom Fletcher, Graham White, and Ali Jaffer of “Zulfigar” proclaiming in unison, “we’re gonna win.”
The bracket was broken up into eight regular matches followed by two semi-final matches and a final match to determine the winner. The first match of the night was won quickly by Aziz Almosa, Aziz Alobikan, and Yasir Aloshbam of “The ‘Last’ Rank,” who also managed to take the fourth game, but later suffered a penalty for standing up in the boat and lost the seventh game as a result.
Trish Meade of the “Battleshippers,” who won the seventh match and the second semi-final said after the win, “it paid off because we weren’t cheating,” to which her teammates Alden Jenkins and Alex Hunter agreed, “justice is served.”
The competition remained friendly, as Julia Dicienzo, Shawn Carlson and David Apgar of “Shipfaced,” managed to take the third match, and Mariah Defreitas, Ned Jenkins, and Matt Delva of “Delva Delva” walked away with two wins including a semi-final match, while Jacob Turner, Johnny Nguyen and Daniel Nilsen of the aptly named “Titanic 2,” came up without a single win.
In the end, “Super Splash Bros” came out victorious in the final match, narrowly beating out opponents “Delva Delva.”
“We started out rough,” said team members Josh Ornovitz, Jake Cardello, Robin Hall and PJ Thomas in reference to earlier matches where the team had struggled. When asked for the secret to their success, they each agreed simply, “you gotta keep pushing.”
“It’s a workout and fun at the same time,” said Ryan McAteer of the “Merrowinians”, who won the eighth match. Teammates Peter Coates and Zack Sigerson agreed, with Sigerson adding, “it’s one of the most unique things I’ve ever done.”
“We’re trying to build community with fun events that students can enjoy,” said Sean Butler, Coordinator of Intramural Sports for Campus Recreation who officiated the event. Butler, who took the position last fall, plans to keep the tradition of battleship alive, and spoke of intramural events still to come, including beach volleyball and inner-tube water polo in the fall, as well as billiards and handball in the spring, among many more.
For more information of intramural events hosted by campus recreation, visit www.IMLEAGUES.com/URI.