WOW.  It was a really fun time.  My first crokinole tournament.  Crokinole is definitely a fun game for the family, but gather these families for a competition and you have a party.  I was a little apprehensive about the day.  It turned out to be a fun learning experience.

I learned a lot about the game of crokinole.  If I thought that my new board was fast, I was amazed by the speed of the tournament boards.  So many boards in one place.  The wax that I thought was unimportant, plays a vital roll in how these top players approach the table.  The shots were amazing.  I had no idea that you could actually get so many 20s in one game.  Playing against the top players raised my game.  You can't help but play up to their level and I never once felt belittled or minimized.  New strategies were in effect, with efforts to maximize each shot often left the game decision down to the last shot.

I learned a lot about tournaments.   The format was excellent, allowing me an opportunity to play against all levels of players in the morning.   I was able to play against the final pool A third place and first place players as well as people at and below my experience with the game.  In the afternoon, I was placed in a pool of people at my level of skill, which made each game a challenge.  For a minimal charge, which worked out to 3 cents per shot, I was able to play against 20 different people.

I learned a lot about the kind of people that play crokinole.  They are all people, all walks of life, from all over, just wanting to play the game and have fun.  Sure, it had it moments of competitiveness, but overall, the attitude was about good gamesmanship and sharing a love for crokinole.  The tournament format allows for an opportunity to become acquainted with each person, to learn just a little about them.  The format is quick enough that you are not left across from a stranger for very long.  Then on to the next game.

I learned that I still love the game of crokinole, but then you knew that already didn't you.  I can't wait for the next tournament.  I am hoping for a better score, but also to meet some new people and to see my new friends from the last event.

See you there....

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Comment by Eric Miltenburg on February 12, 2015 at 9:36pm

Thanks for your insightful review Jacob, it encapsulates all the finest features I like about the local NCA club run get-togethers.  In a big way the regular attendees help self-manage the tournament because they all are familiar with and follow the pattern loosely set by the NCA steering committee. Tournament conveners are free to apply their own innovations (lately experimenting with the format of the finals, making tie-breaking as fair as possible without having things go on for too long) but the general format is recognizable: games of four rounds, 2 points awarded for each round rather than playing the first to reach a hundred. That in turn makes timed rounds possible and keeps players moving in sync within a pool.

This is a format which, I believe, is refined from the big Tavistock meet which is a little different and is geared to accommodate hundreds of players playing doubles, singles, with cues, youth focused divisions, and a recreational as well as a competitive division.

Another variation is the Schneider Haus Museum match. This museum houses the oldest known board made by Eckhardt Wettlaufer in 1876. This tournament is hosted by the museum staff and pits four members each from clubs in the vicinity of Kitchener-Waterloo. Usually 6 teams, 24 players, play all players from the other teams therefore 20 games. The scores of the four team members are totaled and then the team with the highest score gets to bear away a replica of the Wettlaufer board as a trophy.

    I've heard about tournaments that play to a hundred points in a bracket format but I've never participated in one. I imagine the strategy is a bit different. I think this is the way the Choner Tournament in New York City is run. Demian Johnston, a member of this online community, has been there and written about it in a blog. A search of 'Choner crokinole' will probably point you to it.

    If you get a club up and running and want to run a tournament eventually. Any advice or experience we can share with you is yours for the asking.

Cheers,

Eric

Comment by reuben on February 3, 2015 at 7:29am

Glad you had a good time Jacob! I also can't wait for the next one, and I know that Dale is planning for London already! We will try to get the hamilton club kick-started again as well!

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