A big tournament is set for this Friday night in Fort Frances—and it has nothing to do with fishing or hockey.
La Place Rendez-Vous is hosting its first-annual “Beer Pong Tournament,” which will run from 8 p.m.-1 a.m.
“Basically I wanted to do something fun, something different,” said Jolene Stahn, the events manager at the Rendez-Vous.
“I went to school for special event planning so I’ve been trying to get a buzz around the Rendez-Vous, and basically get more events and things for people to do,” she explained.
“Anywhere from teenagers to kids to adults—we’re looking into doing a lot more events in general,” Stahn added.
“This is the first one that I thought of; it’s an easy event to run,” she noted.
Participants will play a variation of beer pong known as water pong.
While a regular beer pong game features beer in the cups, water pong allows players to participate in the game without having to consume alcohol.
“It’s going to be water in the cups just to basically follow the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario guidelines,” Stahn said.
“You’re not legally allowed to promote the consumption of alcohol so it’s going to be a social event.
“You don’t have to drink to play the game,” she stressed.
The tournament will feature a 2-on-2 competition, with partners alternating shots at their opponents’ cup.
When the ping-pong ball lands in the opponents’ cup, it is removed from play.
A winner is determined when all of the opponents’ cups have been removed.
“I think it’s an easy game to catch on to,” Stahn said.
“I find sometimes the underdog or the new players are sometimes a lot better than the other players,” she added.
“Sometimes it a lot more luck than skill.”
If a ball bounces back to your side after a shot, you can earn an extra shot if you throw a trick shot.
Players also can lose a turn if they completely miss the cups or tables during a throw.
“We have a lot of teams [signed up],” Stahn noted. “[But] we’re hoping to get a few more so we’re opening up registration at the door.”
Registration will be from 8-9 p.m., with the tournament getting underway at 9 p.m.
Players can register in advance by calling Stahn at 274-9811 or e-mailing her at email@example.com
The entry fee is $20 for a team of two while spectators will be able to attend free of charge.
“We’re hoping to see a lot more teams ahead of time so we can get the pools sorted out,” Stahn said.
“But we don’t mind if people register at the door.”
Seventeen teams have registered for the competition so far, with Stahn hoping 30-45 teams will enter in total.
Local resident Chris Cousineau is among those have signed up to be part of the first-annual tournament.
“It seems like it could be a good time,” he remarked.
“Brings back a couple memories from playing in high school and college.
“I would love to see this be a success and everyone have a great time,” Cousineau added.
“So if people are willing to participate, I could see more events.”
Cousineau said while he isn’t practising ahead of the big event, he’s made some plans with his teammate so that they’re prepared.
“I have talked strategy with my teammate,” he admitted.
“I would share but it’s a secret,” he laughed.
The tournament will run in a bracket style, and will feature both a winners’ side and a losers’ side to guarantee participants at least three matches.
“We’re giving away a door prize, which is a Corona mini fridge,” Stahn noted.
“We’re also giving away prizes for best team uniform and best team name so the more creative name, the better.
“We have a team name called ‘The Horses’ already,” she added.
“I don’t know if they’re going to dress up like horses or what but we’ll see.”
When organizing the event, Stahn reached out to groups in North Bay and Guelph that have had success running similar tournaments.
“They said that they follow the Las Vegas-style rules so people can move up and go to Las Vegas to the huge national Beer Pong tournament,” she explained.
Tournaments in North Bay, for instance, run weekly and have a $100 entry fee.
“I don’t know if we’ll be doing that this year, but possibly in the future we might be if people are pretty intense here,” Stahn said.
There also is a scheduling issue.
“This was the only weekend we didn’t have a wedding going on so we had to do it this weekend,” Stahn noted.
“Maybe next year we can plan a better weekend that would work for a lot more people,” she added.
“I know a lot of students are going back to school already.”
Stahn also hopes this tournament will mark the beginning of many events to come at the Vous.
“We’re hoping to have more entertainment nights,” she remarked, citing wine-and-cheese nights or a dinner and show as possible events down the road.
“We’re hoping to get a lot more events going on at the Rendez-Vous here in the future,” she enthused.