Paddle Battle

Paddle Battle XII

Register starting Sept. 1 for Paddle Battle XII

Have you dreamed of racing down White River Canal in a paddle boat to bring glory to your state agency? Have you dreamed of being crowned the winner and support a charity at the same time? Both are possible at the 12th Annual State Employees’ Paddle Battle competition.

We’re now accepting team registrations. On Sept. 15, 2017, teams from 25 state agencies are set to compete on the White River Canal for the coveted oar and bragging rights for the year. Also this year, we’re doing it for charity. Entry fee is $40 per team and this includes the boat rental fee. The proceeds are donated to the 501 (c) (3) charity of the winning teams choosing. Remember, only one team per agency can compete so choose wisely. Please read all the race guidelines below.

About the Paddle Battle

Once your team is confirmed by SPD Communications, please have the entry fee in cash ready to drop off to State Personnel’s Department, IGC-S W161, before the event.

Please be aware of these race guidelines:

  1. State Personnel accepts one team per agency, up to 25 teams until the field is full. You must have four riders selected before you submit your team. A spot is reserved for last year’s winner.
  2. If multiple teams from an agency register, preference is given to the first team to register via email with their completed information. Remaining teams are placed on an alternate list and notified if a spot opens up.
  3. Once the field is full, teams are assigned into five heats with a random draw. The winners of the five heats qualify for the championship race.
  4.  No water balloon debris can be left in the water or on the canal bank.
  5. If you wish to practice, you can receive a reduced rate of $20 per boat for a half hour. Just mention to the rental office you are practicing for Paddle Battle and you will receive the discount rate.
  6. Wheel Fun Rentals can’t guarantee they will have five oars on hand the day of the race. If you want to use oars, please bring your own.

To stay informed on race information, please sign up to receive Around the Circle, subscribe here

The boats

Wheel Fun Rentals will provide the four-seater boats with pedals on the front two seats, so the back seat contestants are along for the ride. All boats must have four riders.

Racing teams meet at the boat launch at Ohio/West Streets on the canal at 11 a.m. Your team must have four individuals in the boat to race. We don’t have many rules other than no intentional contact between boats. No blocking or use of hands to push another boat.


25 teams will race a quarter-mile course in five heats of five boats in a single elimination battle. The winners of the five preliminary races will advance to the championship race, held 10 minutes after the last heat.


The race begins under the West Street bridge so we can get a clean start. Boats race down the canal toward IGCN and circle the fountain on the left. Once you navigate a 180-degree turn around the fountain, it’s a dash for the finish line located near the artwork that’s in the fountain.

New Course setup

Use of oars

Wheel Fun Rentals can’t guarantee they will have five oars on hand the day of the race. If you want to use oars, please bring your own. Teams can choose to use one large oar or two small ones. We ask that there be no contact with the other boats with your oar or your hands, especially at the start of the race. Also don’t lose oars in the canal.

SPD reigns as 2016 Paddle Battle champions

The 2016 race was held on Sept. 16. The five finalists represented State Personnel Department, Lieutenant Governor’s Office, Department of Administration, Senate and Public Defender’s Office. SPD came away victorious to capture the first Paddle Battle victory for the agency.

Relive the 2016 race by watching our complete coverage on our YouTube channel

Past Champions

2016 – State Personnel Department
2015 – No race was held. Rained out.
2014 – Office of Utility Consumer Counselor
2013 – Office of the Indiana Attorney General
2012 – Indiana State Dept. of Health
2011 – Indiana State Dept. of Health
2010 – Indiana State Dept. of Health
2009 – Office of the Indiana Attorney General
2008 – Indiana State Library
2007 – PERF
2006 – Indiana Office of Technology
2005 – Indiana Dept. of Homeland Security