A referee standing on the sidelines at Maine Maritime Academy was hit in the face by a cannon blast during the school’s homecoming game on Saturday.
The official was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries and an investigation has been launched, according to a press release the Hancock County Sheriff’s office emailed to USA TODAY Sports.
The sheriff’s department says a Maine Maritime Academy alumnus brought his own cannon to the game and loaded it with black powder. The school traditionally fires a cannon loaded with a blank shotgun shell after its team scores, but in this case, a “wad” that was placed into the cannon shot out and hit the referee in the face.
Video of the incident shows the referee immediately grabbing his head and falling to the ground.
The sheriff’s department says findings from the investigation will be forwarded to the district attorney’s office pending potential criminal charges.