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Meet Dr. Kevin Rafferty

February 12th, 2007 - By KevinSoCal

I want to thank Warren for the opportunity to contribute on the Table Hockey Heaven blog. We all owe Warren a huge debt of gratitude for his efforts to make this awesome website available to everyone.

Table hockey is the greatest game!

Since discovering organized table hockey while online about a year ago, it has been quite a ride!

Click to see this game! My earliest memories of table hockey go back to Christmas morning when I was six years old. Santa brought my three brothers and I a beautiful, brand new 1963 Eagle Stanley Cup table hockey game (table top model). How I wish I could get my hands on another one! Jeff Mancini or anyone have one?

Historically, my three brothers and I, plus all the kids in the neighborhood, played a lot when we were growing up in Libertyville, Illinois.

As a high schooler, I remember going to a WTHA tourney at the Holiday Inn in downtown Chicago in the 1970s. Ron Marsik was there, although I don’t recall meeting him at that time.

Moving to California for college, I challenged SoCal sportscaster Jim Hill to play table hockey on his feature called “King of the Hill.” On the air, he showed highlights of the game we played and credited me with a blowout win.

Beginning my first year as an elementary school principal in 1996, I wanted to start a tradition where boys and girls would be randomly selected to come up to the office and play table hockey with the principal. The lucky winner is announced at our morning flag salute ceremony. At lunch time, the winner and two friends come up to the office and all four of us play a game of Carrom Bubble Table Hockey. Now in the 11th year of my principalship — and with 180 days per school year — that works out to 5,940 students playing table hockey by the time this 11th year is complete. It works out well…kids get exposed to the great game of table hockey…plus they get the chance to have a very positive interaction with the school principal…and it gives me a chance to get know more students in a fun environment.

Online around Christmas 2005, I discovered Table Hockey Heaven and read about the tournament being held in Las Vegas. I signed up immediately!

Played in my first tournament, Stiga Las Vegas 2006, and then came back home and formed a free, community-based table hockey club/league. We play on Sundays on a regular basis. To date, 102 people have come out to play over the past year.

I have definitely caught the travel-to-tournament bug! Played Stiga Las Vegas 2006, the Battle in Seattle, Vancouver’s King of Table Hockey, the U.S. Open in Lemont, hosted the 1st Annual United States Stiga Shootout in California, and just got back from Stiga Las Vegas 2007.

I’m registered to play at the Boston Challenge in April and signed up today to play at the U.S.Open 2007 in Lemont this July.

Tournaments are a great way to raise the level of your game. Tournaments are also a great way to see places you�ve never been before. That�s what I loved about going to Seattle and Vancouver this past year. Meeting and competing with our fellow table hockey players is the best.

Being born and raised in the Chicago area, it�s great to have a chance to go back and play in Lemont and visit friends and relatives.

I am a true believer in helping to grow and expand the table hockey world.

For any of you who might like to make a trip to Southern California, I am hosting the 2nd Annual United States Stiga Shootout on Saturday, May 19, 2007 in Ladera Ranch. For more info, go to: www.tablehockeyrocks.com

Best regards,
Kevin

One Response to “Meet Dr. Kevin Rafferty”

  1. johnbenej Says:

    What a great new tradition to start: inviting kids up to the principal’s office to play table hockey. Thats just beautiful.
    You are doing great work Kevin and those children are lucky to have you. We must rendezvous in Boston and play a series on the stanley cup floor model: I think I can locate one and make it playable by then. Looking forward to taking on the principal myself! LOL

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