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TH History - It was: Country vs. Country…

February 15th, 2007 - By Sabre_in_Virginia

Sabre_in_VirginiaTH History - It was: Country vs. Country, City vs. City, and Player vs. Player. It was Round 3 of the “2nd Annual Burlington International”, Canada, 1978.

Twenty-nine players began this tournament: Six from the States, twenty-three from Canada. By Round Three, sixteen players remained in the hunt for the Championship. The Americans made up only 20% of the total number of players in the tournament. However, of the original American contingent they lost only one player, 83% made it to Round Three. Of the original Canadian contingent, only 47% had advanced. The Canadians lost their four-to-one advantage in players. Attrition. Nonetheless, the Canadians still had double the Americans in quantity of players.

Now, in Round Three, there would be eight players each in two divisions. The players from both countries were split up. The players from the Canadian cities were divided up, but the American’s were not. They were in each division by city.

This round would be the last round robin. Only the top four in each division would advance to the Quarterfinals series’. Who would make table hockey (TH) history? Which country? Which city? Which league? Who among them would earn boasting rights for that tournament? For history, to be written about again thirty-one years later?

The Stage.
Six of the six Americans (100%) advanced to Round 2. Five of six Americans (83%) advanced to Round 3. (I, the lone representative from Buffalo, did not advance).

Eighteen of the twenty-three Canadians (78%) advanced to Round 2. Eleven of eighteen Canadians (61%) advanced to Round 3.

Of the sixteen slots in Round 3, one third were filled by five Americans, two from Detroit and three from Chicago. Both players from Detroit (Sanislo & Stutz) were placed in Division 1, and the players from Chicago (Bruno, Marsik & March) in Division 2. They would have to square off against each other, possibly a friend, and possibly eliminating one of their own from moving to the next round. Eighty-three percent of the Americans made it to this round, could they keep up that rate of advancement?

Of the sixteen slots in Round 3, two thirds were filled by eleven Canadians. Only 47% of the Canadians made it to this round. But, the Canadians still had the Americans in sheer quantity of players (double). Would they knock out the Americans from contention? Or might they knock out fellow Canadians?

Among the cities and their representatives, Burlington had 10 representatives, Toronto 4, Brampton 3, Mississauga 3, and Brantford, Kitchener and Port McNicoll one each. (Jim Skinner was listed in Division 1 as Burlington and Division 2 as Kitchener. I’ve kept him where first recorded, Burlington).

Some cities were no longer represented by Round 3. No one was left from three player Mississauga contingent and the lone representatives from Brantford, Kitchener and Port McNicoll were eliminated.

Toronto and Burlington remained strong. Three of Toronto’s four players, two of the three were brothers, moved on (75%), Larry Watson, and brothers Steve and Jamie Geller. Of Burlington’s large ten man contingent, six remained (60%). Some of those Burlington players remain well known, Mike Pope, for example, and Paul Tompkins, brothers Bruce and Tom Borthwick, Paul Matthews and John Lawson. Brampton held strong with one lone player of its three representatives, the famous John Beedham, whom the “Johnny Goodguy” (JGG) Tournament is named. The JGG tournament has run annually now for about 34 years or since about 1973.

Could the Americans, numerically the underdog advance against the Canadians and themselves? Or would the numerically superior Canadians take out the Americans to make it an all Canadian Finals? Could two Detroit players both placed in Division 1 advance against three players from Burlington, two from Toronto and John Beedham from Brampton? Or would they knock each other out? Could the three Chicago players advance in Divsion 2, also against three players from Burlington and two from Toronto?

Which of these country’s, which of their cities, and which player would claim the Championship? Stay tuned for the next edition!

2 Responses to “TH History - It was: Country vs. Country…”

  1. colecojohnny Says:

    Ron Marsik, Jerry March, ahhh the old greats. I miss Ron Marsik. Where are you Ron? Table hockey needs you back in the fold!

    Good stuff Greg. 1 question: when will you tell the table hockey world about “The Scrolls”?

  2. Sabre_in_Virginia Says:

    Ah, “The Scrolls”. One of the few things I cherished most from our table hockey league of the 1970s’ and I still have them tucked away in that secret spot of our supreme table hockey icon.

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