It’s a game traditionally played by fighter pilots where two people compete to take the life of the opposing team’s ball. It’s called CRUD and on Jan. 31 female spouses, Airmen, and friends played in a women’s CRUD tournament at the Old Officer’s Club on Luke Air Force Base.
CRUD is similar to billiards only without the pool stick and with more action.
“The game of CRUD began in the Royal Canadian Air Force,” said Jennifer Alexander spouse of Lt. Col. Thomas Imrich, 12th Air Force Standard Evaluation director of operations. “The goal of the game is to either sink or stop the other team’s ball.”
The game requires two balls – a white ball and a striped ball, said Maj. Betty Venth, 56th Medical Operations Squadron Family Health Flight commander. Each ball represents a team. Whenever the stripe ball sinks into one of the pool table pockets or stops moving, a player loses a life. Each player is afforded three lives in the beginning of the game. CRUD players play until each player’s lives have been destroyed. Whatever team with lives left is the winner.
Each game is monitored by a referee who ensures the game is played and scored fairly.
The game begins with one person from each team at opposite sides of the pool table. One person is the designated “shooter” and the opposite team is the “object.” The shooter heaves the ball toward the object’s ball with the goal of sinking it into a pocket. While this is happening the opposing team is allowed to make gestures to throw off the shooter. If the ball isn’t initially sunk, players play until the opposing team’s ball is sunk or stopped.
Six teams participated and included the 56th MDOS, 308th Fighter Squadron, 309th FS, 310th FS and more.
For Alexander, who’s been playing since 2003, playing CRUD is more than about winning.
“My favorite part of the game is being physical because it’s kind of a rough game,” she said. “You have to run around and bump into people and it takes me back to my high school days when I played sports. Win or lose, it’s fun to be with your team and spend time together.”
Similarly, for Imrich, who’s been playing for four years, CRUD is great because it’s something out of her normal routine.
“I like CRUD because it’s a contact sport, and it’s also fun to shove people out of the way so I can get to the ball,” she said. “And it’s something I typically don’t get to do.”