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Students battle in real life board game

Jackie Storer / Lantern photographer

You sunk my battleship.

Ohio State Recreational Sports hosted the inaugural intramural battleship game on Friday evening, bringing the classic Milton Bradley Company board game to life.

In the original board game, players position five different ships on a 10-by-10 grid, concealing the location of the ships from an opponent. Players then “shoot” at the battleship by guessing the opposing player’s coordinates, trying to sink the ship with two, three, four or five hits to the boat. The player who “sinks” all his opponents’ boats first wins.

However, Rec Sports changed the rules and required participants to literally sink a boat.

“The idea and kind of perspective you have behind it is you have your old game of Battleship that you played as a kid and we’re battling back and forth to try and sink each other’s ship. What if we could bring this game to life, to have it for real?” said Bonnie Mitchell, intramural sports coordinator. “So we decided to take some canoes, corner off an area and then you sink each other with water.”

Christina Heun, a third-year in psychology, was on one of the first teams eliminated. Despite elimination, Heun said she enjoyed the competition and the hardest part was balancing the canoe.

“It was so fun. It wasn’t so much keeping water out, it was about balance,” Heun said. “You have to strategically paddle. Even if three people move to the same side, the canoe would tip over.”


Battleship took place in the competition pool in McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. In teams of four, students climbed in 15-foot-9-inch canoes and balanced in the pool. Two groups of six boats competed in two heats. The best three teams from each group from the two heats combined competed in the championship round to be declared Battleship Intramural Champion.

Teams were provided three three-gallon buckets to try and fill opponents’ boats with water to sink the canoes, and one smaller bucket to empty the water that filled the canoes. Participants were also required to keep the canoes in the “battle zones” roped off in the pool to keep the boats in the center of the pool and away from the edge.

Paddles were not permitted, and students had to use their arms to maneuver the canoe.

Teams were eliminated if the boat sank or if members tipped the canoe and fell out of the boat.

“It brings it to life. If you put water in a boat and sink the boat, it brings it to life. So we’re really trying to bring battle to life in a fun atmosphere,” Mitchell said.

Twelve teams registered and another 12 teams were on a waitlist to compete, Mitchell said.

“The response was overwhelming from students very interested in participating, from our students here in the RPAC or Department of Recreational Sports … really wanted to participate, or students who participate in intramural sports and our other recreational activities,” Mitchell said. “I think it was a very warm welcome for a new sport.”

Battleship was free for students to participate, but they had to be able to swim, Mitchell said.

Shea Ryan, a first-year graduate student in sports management who works for competitive sports, was a judge for Battleship. Ryan said the event ended with good results.

“I thought it went really well. All the participants were really engaged and very excited to be here in the first place,” Ryan said.

Jen Malik, a third-year in biomedical engineering, won the intramural Battleship competition with her team, Amphibious Assault. Malik and her team won free T-shirts.

Malik said her knees and feet hurt, and positioning in the canoe was difficult.

“Balancing was rocky at first,” Malik said. “But it was good, it was intense. It was a fun event.”

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