The White Plains Examiner

Area Taverns to Host World Pong Tour as Tourney Arrives in Westchester

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The popular campus game Pong now has its own governing body, which will host a Westchester tournament beginning this week.
The popular campus game Pong now has its own governing body, which will host a Westchester tournament beginning this week.

By Amanda Sialiano: Pong isn’t just a college frat house game anymore.

In 2006, Marist College graduate Samuel Pines created the World Pong Tour, turning the popular campus activity into a competitive sport.

Since its inception, WPT has hosted more than 500 events around the United States.

Their tour comes to Westchester starting today (Aug. 6) at Uncle Henry’s Bar and Grille in Harrison. There are also stops in Pleasantville, Mount Pleasant and White Plains, among other locations. In all, the tour visits 11 different municipalities in Westchester and New Jersey, culminating in Super Pong at the County Center in White Plains on Sept. 21, Pines said.

Other venues that will be hosting qualifying berths to Super Pong include Paulies in Pleasantville on Aug. 9; the Sprain Lake Golf Course in Yonkers on Aug. 17; Come Sea Me in White Plains on Aug. 19; the Thornwood Ale House in Mount Pleasant on Aug. 20; and Rudy’s Sports Bar in Hartsdale on Aug. 29. Pre-registration is required to participate.

“Millions of people play the game,” Pines said. “Our goal is to bring them all under one umbrella. It’s a game that’s only getting bigger and more popular.”

The sport is played on a nine-foot table with 10 cups set up in a pyramid on each side. Competitors take turns tossing a ping-pong ball to the opposing team’s cups. The goal is to “sink” the ball into one of the 10 cups of water.

Once a ball is sunk, the opposing team removes it from the playing field. A team wins when no cups remain.

Each team consists of two members, a man and a woman, to insure a “level playing field,” said WPT spokeswoman Elaine James.

The winning team at each location will walk away with a $500 prize and qualify for the championship at Super Pong I at the County Center. Super Pong carries a top prize of $2,500.

During its seven-year run, WPT has attracted corporate and local sponsors. To promote alcohol safety and awareness, the organization requires all players to use water in the game cups.

The World Pong Tour also signs up ball girls and referees, who serve an important role.

“The judges and referees are the people who make sure that shots are fair, and that the rules are upheld,” said James. “They’re going to make sure that everyone plays fair and that everybody has a good time.”

While the events are meant to be fun, WPT makes sure to donate to a variety of charities. For the upcoming tour, a portion of the proceeds will go toward the American Red Cross. Organizers continue to work attracting alcohol awareness organizations to educate the public about the dangers of drinking and driving.

Pines said he is adamant about increasing the game’s popularity. To succeed takes a level of competitiveness, concentration and teamwork.

“We are really excited to get started on this amazing journey,” Pines said.

For more information about the World Pong Tour or to register for any of the tournaments, call 914-437-5401 or visit  Registration for the tournament is $15 per person. Each tournament is limited to 30 to 60 teams depending on the size of the venue.

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