Seven students sailed the waves of Ball Pool Wednesday evening, dumping and squirting water into their opposing teams’ canoes to sink them and win the real-life Battleship game hosted by Ball State’s Recreation Services.
The goal of the game is to try to flood the other team’s canoe until it flipped over. Each round, the teams could choose between three items to dump water into the other canoes — a super soaker, a bucket and a small foam boogie board to be used as a shield. The teams were not allowed to remove water from their own boats.
The students made up three teams — one team of three players and two teams of two.
The crew of “Team Exes and Flexes” consisted of freshmen “Captain” Lexi Leisure, “First Mate” Reed Burton and “Sailor” Peter Sherfey. Freshmen Jordan Woods and Ronnie Coleman made up “Team Woody.”
The final team consisted of two seniors: Lauren Rausch and Belle Wines, who were joined by event supervisor Matt Thompson after the first round. Because Thompson joined the team spontaneously and the seniors hadn’t met him before, they named their team “Two Girls and Dot Dot Dot.”
Originally, there were supposed to be four rounds of Battleship. The teams' placement in those rounds would determine their seed for the playoff rounds. Because so few students braced the cold for the event, they only played three rounds prior to playoffs.
“If the weather wasn’t so bad, I feel like we would’ve had better turnout,” Thompson said.
Despite the weather, “Team Exes and Flexes” had nine of their friends show up to cheer them on. By contrast, the other two teams had no fans rooting for them.
“We do everything like a family so, we came out to support each other,” said freshman fan Destinee Belinski.
In round one, which “Team Woody” won, players spent their time figuring out logistics and strategies of the game. Thompson joined “Team Two Girls and Dot Dot Dot” for the second round “to make the teams more fun,” he said. Thompson said he played Battleship at Cardinal Kids Camp multiple times, and his experience helped his team win round two.
By the third round, the intensity of the players increased. “Team Exes and Flexes” turned their buckets upside down into “war drums” and started beating them prior to and during the round.
“We just kind of started beating them,” Burton said. “It’s just something to do to keep the hype up when we’re not in the midst of it.”
His team kept up the pressure, winning the round and making it through to the finals. The other two teams faced off in a playoff round with “Team Woody” making it through to the final championship round.
Prior to the final round, fans of “Team Exes and Flexes” began chanting the famous riff from the White Stripes song “Seven Nation Army,” and the team continued beating their “war drums.”
The round commenced quickly, as both canoes lined up next to each other, and each competitor began immersing the other team’s canoe in water. “Team Exes and Flexes'” canoe rocked violently once, leading the fans to believe it would tip, but the team steadied the helm and won the championship round.
“It’s different than all the clubs and stuff,” said Sherfey, who never played the game before. His team had never played the game before either.
“This is more like physical and teamwork-based, so I guess if you find a group of friends to do it, it’s pretty adrenaline-filled,” he said.
Contact Hannah Gunnell with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @hagunnellNEWS.