2012 World Crokinole Championships
Each year, on the first Saturday in June, the National Crokinole Association (Canada) begins the new tour season with the World Crokinole Championships in Tavistock, Ontario.
Players from around the world travel to compete for bragging rights and cash prizes ($1,000 CAD for the first place singles winner). The top contenders are well known in the Crokinole community and their continued success demonstrates the degree to which crokinole is a game of skill.
This year, there were a couple of special occurrences.
First, John Conrad became the first competitor to win in both the singles and doubles brackets during the same tournament. This was his first singles championship. Its my understanding that John is one of the long time backbones of the crokinole community with significant involvement in the local club scene as well as the NCA tour and championship itself.
Justin Slater, the 2010 WCC Champion and 2012 runner-up, set a new record in the 20's competition. Competitors keep track of the count of 20's the make in the preliminary rounds (8 x 40 games= 320 shots). The count for the last dozen years has been between 86-108 20's. Justin tallied 142 20's or 44% of his shots during competitive play. Its quite amazing, I hope to get some commentary from some of the players that at the tournament to comment on both Justin's skill and if there were situational factors that contributed to such a blowout. Justin appears to be the poster child, along with the likes of Nathan Walsh, of the next generation of dominant crokinole players.
I'm amazed and thankful for those participants that shared tweets, blogs and especially video and photograph from Tavistock this weekend. As the game becomes more popular, it exciting to experience the community from a far.
I'm looking forward to making the pilgramage myself in the coming years, I'll have to enlist some family or friends to come with me.