This week, students at the University of Rhode Island took a break from their busy schedules to play Battleship. Not the classic board game: the canoe battle.
Battleship was an aquatic event that took place on Thursday in the on-campus Tootell Aquatic Center at 9 p.m. The object of the game was simple: to sink the other teams’ canoes.
“There are four canoes in the pool at a time, with one person directing outside,” said Erik Simpanen, a URI senior. “They each try to fill up each other’s canoes. The last canoe standing wins.”
Participants registered at the door and played in four-person teams. The canoes were provided by the Tootell Aquatic Center.
Three people went inside the canoe, with one person standing outside in the pool, referred to as the “navigator.” The players inside the canoe were responsible for tossing water into their opponents’ boats, while the navigator’s job was to guide the canoe.
Players were given plastic buckets with which to throw water into the other canoes and miniature flip boards to defend their boats from the other teams.
Players were also only allowed to empty water out of their canoes for the first four minutes of each round–after that, they had no choice but to allow their boats to fill up with water. They were also not allowed to steal other player’s buckets or flip boards. The penalty for breaking any of the rules was to pour water into their own boat.
Battleship was played in rounds, with each round lasting for approximately ten minutes. As soon as each round began, the players started scooping up water and throwing it into each other’s boats, with the navigators trying to prevent their team’s canoes from sinking.
The atmosphere was fast-paced and exciting as the players became intent on sinking their opponents’ canoes as quickly as possible.
During each round, after the allotted four minutes in which players could empty their boats, it did not take very long for the canoes to start filling up with water and sinking. Once a boat had sunk, the team had to exit the pool and remove their canoe from the water. The winners from each heat were to move on to the semifinals.
There were nine rounds in total-six heats, two semifinals, and one final match. The heats were each comprised of four teams and the semifinals each had three. The two teams that made the final round were “Purple Nurple” and “Frattleship,” with Purple Nurple winning the competition.
Battleship attracted a large turnout, with over 90 people registered to participate in the game. The event was the first of its kind at URI, with the potential to become an annual one.
“This is the first year,” said Simpanen. “So we’ll see how it goes.”