Luther College Chips

Teams splash in real life battleship

Team Holy Ship blocks an attack from another team.

Team Holy Ship blocks an attack from another team.

Olivia Enquist (‘19) | Chips

Olivia Enquist (‘19) | Chips

Team Holy Ship blocks an attack from another team.

Olivia Enquist, Staff Writer

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Sixteen teams entered the Regents Center pool knowing that only one would emerge victorious. The Student Activities Council’s Special Events Committee and Recreational Services hosted the inaugural tournament of Battleship in the pool followed by a showing of the movie “Battleship” on April 1.

Sixteen teams of four people each competed for first place by passing through multiple rounds of aquatic battle. The team names highlighted the creativity and humor of the event.

The rules of the game were specifically designed to keep it fast-paced, since rounds longer than fifteen minutes often tired the competitors and made the game hard to continue to play. The objective of the game was to be the last canoe in the pool, either by disqualifying other teams or sinking the other canoes. Each canoe contained three people throwing buckets of water and one person in the water guiding the boat. Assistant Director of Wellness Vicky Jaeger explained that while Recreational Services had to provide the canoes and lifejackets, the success of the team often lay in the tools teams brought.

“Other than [moving the canoes], there’s not a lot of setup,” Jaeger said. “The teams have to bring their own buckets and shields. Meeting the captains was really quite fun because they were asking how big of buckets can we bring and what type of buckets can we bring. I was like ‘whatever you want to bring, you can. Whatever [you] think that [you] can lift to throw water into the canoe.’”

Battleship team members embodied Luther’s commitment towards sustainability as one of the most popular bucket choices were college-issued recycling bins. Although teams could use these buckets to sink or capsize other boats, they were not allowed to touch the other team’s canoes or bail out their own. Either of those offenses would result in a “penalty bucket.” Three penalty buckets resulted in the team’s disqualification. Referees were often encouraged to call penalties due to the chanting of the word “penalty” by sidelined teams.

“My favorite part was probably the penalty bucket,” Audience member Cydney Rose (‘19) said. “When they were taking water out of their own boats or something like that they had the penalty bucket  put in so that was really fun to watch.”

Olivia Enquist (‘19) | Chips
Tournament winners from left: Nathan Campbell (‘18), Natalie Wade (‘18), Sam Poppen (‘19), and Pablo Lopez Alonso (‘17).

Between rounds, Battleship competitor Kari Tanberg (‘19) commented on her team’s strategies.While each team needed to be moving at all times, there were areas of the pool to avoid.

“Our strategy is pretty much not to tip,” Tanberg said. “Also, how to navigate through and not get trapped in the middle [of the pool]. The Diabolical Dolphins are a group that [we were] pretty concerned about.”

The final round teams, named “Holy Ship” and the “Diabolical Dolphin Brigade,” battled for first place. “Holy Ship” reigned supreme as the “Diabolical Dolphin Brigade” took on too much water and capsized. Members of the winning team included: Nathan Campbell (‘18), Sam Poppen (‘19), Natalie Wade (‘18), and Pablo Lopez Alonso (‘17).

While recreational services has hosted events like dodgeball for charity and half-marathons for non-runners in the past, this was the first time that Battleship was hosted here at Luther. Team entries reached their maximum number.

Jaeger, one of the head organizers for the event, explained that she first saw the concept on an email chain for intramural recreational services and was encouraged to organize the event because of their new equipment.

“We have brand new canoes that have never been in the river, so we don’t have to worry about contaminates,” Jaeger said. “We thought this would be a great time to try it. We had done some research into the other schools that have done it and thought this would be another fun activity to offer here at Luther.”

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