By CHRIS MARKHAM
In just its second year on the University of Mary Washington intramural sports slate, Battleship once again made a big splash this semester.
On Sunday, Feb. 8, UMW students took to the Goolrick pool armed with buckets and lifejackets, prepped to do battle with their opposing classmates.
The event was such a success last year that there was no real question that the sport would make its return in 2015. The one-of-a-kind activity offers a unique experience to UMW students looking for wholesome, competitive fun.
Campus Recreation now hosts two Battleship tournaments each school year: one in the fall semester and one in the spring semester. According to graduate student and intramural referee Brandon Smith, this semester’s tournament saw a slight drop-off from the number of participants in last semester’s.
“In comparison to November’s event, this seemed to have less of a turnout, although not by much,” said Smith. “The event went extremely well and everyone who participated had an incredible time, as per the usual.”
The sport is a competition consisting of a series of matches between four groups of three to four students in canoes. Each team is given two buckets, a shield and the mission to be the last boat standing at the end of the match.
“The event gets extremely raucous as each team does their best to sink the other boats by pouring water into them,” said Smith.
When a boat sinks, that team is out for the round, and their standing is recorded. The tournament usually has a semifinal and then a final round where the teams with the best records battle to become the grand champion, according to Smith.
“I know that if more students saw what it really is they would want to get involved,” said Smith. “Who wouldn’t enjoy splashing their friends and sinking their boats in a one-day tournament with a shot at eternal Intramural glory?”
This year’s tournament consisted of nine teams and 34 competitors, a slight increase in numbers from last year. The league was split up into two teams to make for a more fair competition.
Battleship, which is quickly becoming one of the most popular and rapidly growing intramural sports in the country, is sure to continue making a large splash at UMW for years to come.
”IM League Battleship is an incredible amount of fun and I’d recommend it for anyone who enjoys teamwork, getting wet, and making friends,” said Smith. “You’ll have to get used to the chlorine though.”