New Crud table inaugurated with tournament

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Cameron Schultz
  • 71st Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Friday night, Jan. 24, the flying squadrons at Vance met to do battle on a brand new, purple-surfaced pool table. They were about to engage in a Crud tournament.

“It’s like full contact pool without a cue stick,” said James W. Shepherd, with the board of directors of Soldier’s Wish, the organization that helped provide the new Crud table to the Greven Crosswinds Club on base.

“We wanted to help do something here on base for active duty folks,” said Shepherd. “We asked what do you need and it was instantaneous, ‘We need a Crud table.’”

The mission of Soldier’s Wish is to identify unmet needs of veterans and active duty members. “For us, it’s about addressing needs,” said Shepherd. “These 22-25 year-old Airmen need an outlet, they need a way to relieve stress.

“Everyone is heavily invested in this game and it’s an opportunity for these guys to spend time together away from work,” said Shepherd. Soldier’s Wish contributed over half the money to build the Crud table.

“To me, Crud is about heritage,” said 1st Lt. Barry MacNeill, an organizer of the tournament. “Being able to play a game I know that people who came before me played is so powerful to me. I’m happy to have scheduled this tournament and had a hand in continuing the tradition.”

MacNeill is an instructor pilot in the 25th Flying Training Squadron.

Crud, a game originating with the Royal Canadian Air Force, is played with two pool balls -- a cue ball and a numbered ball.

Each player begins with three “lives.” One player tries to hit the numbered ball with the cue ball causing it to either go into a pocket or stop all movement on the table before an opposing player can take their turn.

The team to lose all of its lives first, loses the game.

At Vance, Crud is not reserved for just pilots. Junior enlisted are also welcome.

“Crud to me is something pretty big,” said Senior Airman Micah Carbajal, squadron aviation resource manager for the 25th FTS.

“Obviously it’s a pilot game and letting me join in makes me feel closer to them,” said Carbajal. “I work with these guys every day and at work it’s always professional. Here we get to connect.”