Canoe Battleship: Hit, Miss or Sink

On Nov. 26, students at the Mount competed against each other in Canoe Battleship; a unique intramural sport which has been hosted by Campus Recreation. Many Mount students attended the event either to participate or simply to witness the chaotic fun that is Canoe Battleship. Over 100 people attended the event and a significant amount of people stayed throughout the whole thing. The atmosphere was hype and it was constantly loud as people were cheering and screaming.

The goal of Canoe Battleship is to be the last team to have their ship sink, and the rules are pretty straightforward: Each team has up to four members in a canoe and each member is given either a bucket (small or large) or a kickboard. In order to sink the other canoes they must be filled with water, so teams should be on the offensive. The buckets are used to collect and dump water and the kickboards can be used to steer one’s own canoe or it can be used to splash water into other canoes. However, once water has entered a team’s canoe then then it cannot be bailed using buckets or cupped hands, so there seems to be no form of defense in the event. The only strictly conditional rule is that teams with less than four people must compensate for the weight of an absent fourth person. So, in the event that there were not four people, the lifeguards or officials would fill the team’s canoe with an appropriate amount of water prior to the start.

Yet, Canoe Battleship is not just about dumping and splashing water, the sport has another element to it; balance. Maintaining balance is imperative in canoe battleship because a significant amount of water can enter the canoe if it is unbalanced. In fact, improper balance alone is responsible for most of the sunken canoes. Thus, teams in pursuit of victory must coordinate and synergize in order to steer efficiently, shoot water with precision and balance properly.

Safety was a top priority and lifeguards ensured that each participant entered their canoe with ease, that there was no major physical contact between competitors, and that no one drowned. The lifeguards were also responsible for managing the event as well and their managing responsibilities included; officiating, positioning boats, and scorekeeping.

Unfortunately, Canoe Battleship only occurs once a year, but it is a great deal of fun each year so participating or spectating next year’s event is highly encouraged.

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