USCA Invitational Report
Date: Tue, Sep 04, 2007
Saravanan Chandrabau of Cleveland, OH, the winner of the USCA Western Championship in Las Vegas, NV, defeated Subba Rao Matta of India, the USCA Eastern Champion, in the USCA Invitational Carrom Tournament held in Valley Forge, PA, August 4-5. This third and final competition of the summer season was held at the Valley Forge Convention Center and was hosted by former World and National Nine-Ball Champion, Allen Hopkins. The last of the 2007 ESPN Star Sports (ESS) World Series of Carrom (WSC) Satellite Events featured sixteen players in open singles and eight players in the WSC event. Nitin Patwardhan of NJ won the WSC event, a surprising upset since he placed tenth in the Swiss Round Robin (SRR) singles qualifier, and Sarita Suman of MD took the first place in Singles Group B.
Prizes were distributed to fully half of the entries under a new system introduced at this event. After six rounds of SRR, the field was broken into two groups of eight. The A Group and WSC winners received $200 each while first place in Group B received $100. Cash awards were distributed to the first four places in both groups and trophies were also presented to the top four in Group A, top two in Group B, and first and second places in the WSC. This system was devised after feedback from Eastern and Western Championship players indicated that heavily weighted top place cash awards were a disincentive for average players who had little hope of reaching the semifinals.
The outcome of the WSC event reinforced the wild-card nature of this format, in which less experienced players could triumph over top seeds. The variable value of the queen and ?Power Play? introduced by ESS in the first WSC provided additional risk-taking
strategies while the informal atmosphere, in which ?trash-talking? was permitted and even encouraged, lent the event a light and fun-filled element. Senior players with misgivings about these innovations found themselves laughing and joking with their opponents, a refreshing change from the serious nature of singles competition.
A large number of competitors taking part in the adjacent American PoolPlayers Association (APA) Regional Team Championship had an opportunity to watch some of the onboard action. Many tried their hand at carrom for the first time and several became proficient very quickly, confirming the USCA belief that billiards players have a natural affinity for carrom. Several asked whether a league system is being contemplated for carrom, giving the organizers new ideas for future outreach efforts. A franchisable league system, as is used in pool, bowling, darts and other games, has a great deal of potential. As a way of attracting new players, leagues would provide a structure in which they can take part in handicapped competition and be financially rewarded through networking, sales and prize distribution.
Report on WSC Spring Tournaments
Date: Wed, Jul 18, 2007
The US Carrom Association held two three-day carrom tournaments, both billed as World Series of Carrom (WSC) satellite events, at billiards championships sponsored by the American Pool Association (APA) and the American Cue Sports Alliance (ACS). The USCA Eastern Open Championship took place at an APA tournament in Valley Forge, PA, where twenty-four players demonstrate their skills before several thousand playing pool. The second event, the USCA Western Open Championship, coincided with the American CueSports Alliance (ACS) National Championship in Las Vegas, and drew sixteen top ranked players. Both tournaments featured very strong fields, with a white slam scored in the finals, making them the most competitive events in recent memory.
The third satellite event took place at the Billiard Congress of America's International Billiards and Home Recreation Expo in Las Vegas, the worlds premiere business-to-business billiards trade show. All the major manufacturers of billiards and games-room related products were showing their products and taking orders for wholesale business. This was the first time that ?international standard? carrom had ever been represented at the Expo, despite the fact that the American Carrom Company has been an exhibitor for decades. The interest in and response to carrom was substantial, and many in the industry received their first exposure to the game.
The US premiere of the ESPN Star Sports TV series was the centerpiece of the exhibits, making a very impressive display. ESPN developed a new proprietary version of the game for their fifteen-episode series, and the USCA conducted the first two satellite tournaments using the WSC rules and equipment. The USCA players all enjoyed the new format and joined in the spirit of the WSC by fully engaging in the new scoring system and relaxed atmosphere. Players found the WSC format to be very entertaining and the USCA anticipates making this event a part of national tournaments in the future.
The response to carrom and the WSC screenings from the pool-playing public was enthusiastic and supportive. Pool players continue to be amazed that they have never seen the game before, especially considering the ESPN investment in a state-of-the-art video production. The booth at the BCA Expo drew close to 100 visitors over the course of three days, all of who were impressed by the projection of the WSC that ran continuously. Four boards were set up for open play and four tables of display materials provided background information for those interested in the history of the game.
One display included ICF memorabilia, instructional books from India and Europe, and various brochures collected over the years. Another exhibit featured information on the American game of carrom, since so many people refer to that game when they first see our boards. A third table displayed products (strikers, coins, DVDs, books, stands and boards) available for sale through the commercial website, www.billiboard.com. Tournament posters, photographs, blown-up newspaper and magazine articles and banners adorned the drape surrounding the booth, making an impressive and educational display.
Saravanan Chandrababu wins USCA Western Open
Date: Wed, Jun 27, 2007
Newcomer Saravanan Chandrababu beat reigning US #1, Sekhar Challa, in two straight games during the finals at the USCA Western Open Championship in Las Vegas on June 17. Babu, who made the tournament's only white slam in the doubles semi-finals, scored one nil game against Sekhar and scored heavily in the second and final game. Exhibiting a consistency and solid technique throughout the tournament, Babu proved he is a new force to be reckoned with on the US carrom scene, one that promises to raise the standard of play in scheduled events throughout 2007/2008.
Narayan Paranjape, the elder statesman of US carrom and co-holder of the Guiness Book of World Records ?Longest Continuous Carrom Game,? predicted Babu's dominance after playing with him at his home in Cleveland. Babu is in the US on an internship with Intercontinental Hotels and hopes to represent the international hospitality chain as the USCA ramps up its efforts to solicit patrons for upcoming events. The USCA Invititational in Valley Forge, PA, August 3-5, and the US Nationals in Richmond, VA, October 6-7, will give him a chance to challenge more top players. A match up against US #4, Sanjay Murthy, will be of particular interest as their styles and techniques are in a similar class.
Babu also took the first prize in the newly introduced World Series of Carrom (WSC) event, featuring a new format created by ESPN Star Sports for their fifteen-part series slated for broadcast in India in July and August. The USCA introduced the new equipment and scoring system at the USCA Eastern Open in Valley Forge, PA, and all participants enjoyed the new style of play. The WSC format includes elements drawn from billiards such as a ?lag? for break, numbered coins, and call shots, as well as risk-taking strategies such as the ?power play? and a variable value of the queen.
Saravanan Chandrababu was born in Chennai, India, and finished his MBA in Hospitality and Tourism in Switzerland. During his school and college life he was the Sports Captain and won the CBSE Carrom State Tournament in 2000. In the Inter-School Athletics Meet, 1999-2000, he took first place in high jump and participated in national meets representing Tamilnadu state. In Chennai he won many local carrom matches, organized carrom tournaments, and participated in both District and State carrom competitions.
US Tournaments Boost ESPN World Series of Carrom
Date: Thu, May 31, 2007
The US CARROM ASSOCIATION (USCA) and ESPN STAR SPORTS (ESS) and are pleased to announce a summer-long series of carrom tournaments, all in support of the launch of the ESS television series, "The World Series of Carrom." This fifteen-part TV series is the first world-class video production of a carrom competition. It features sixteen players from eleven countries, and will be broadcast in both English and Hindi. In addition to the ESS Asia networks, which reach over two hundred million viewers, the series is set to be televised in the US over cable and satellite.
All three carrom tournaments will be held in conjunction with major billiards competitions, where an American pool-playing public will have a chance to witness carrom at its highest level. In addition to the three tournament events (singles, doubles, and the introduction of the World Series of Carrom format,) exhibits and demonstrations will feature World Series of Carrom players, artifacts, premiere screenings, and open boards for public play.
USCA Eastern Open, June 8?10, Valley Forge Convention Center, King of Prussia, PA
(in conjunction with the American Pool Association (APA) Local Team Championship)
USCA Western Open, June 15?17, Riviera Hotel and Casino , Las Vegas, NV
(in conjunction with the American Cue Sports (ACS) 2007 National Championship)
USCA Invitational, August 3?5, Valley Forge Convention Center, King of Prussia, PA
(in conjunction with the American Pool Association (APA) City Championship)
Some of these events will feature members of the Indian National Carrom Team and their coach, all WSC participants and the world?s greatest carrom players. Coaching sessions will be offered in the days before or after the tournaments on a first come, first served basis.
Registration forms, entry fees and cash prizes will be posted on the USCA website, www.uscarrom.org. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 919-321-1284.
Kharecha wins Carolina Open
Date: Mon, Mar 12, 2007
The 2007 Carolina Carrom Open Singles Event was a huge success, with sixteen
players from NJ, PA, VA and NC competing for a $1000 cash in prizes. The event, held in conjunction with the Carolina Classic Women's Billiard Tournament, one of the women's pool tour's premiere events, drew a large crowd of fascinated onlookers, including some world-class professional pool
The tournament format was as follows: 6 rounds of round-robin were played on Saturday, generating a ranking from which two groups were divided for quarters, semis and finals on Sunday. The level of play was consistently very high and many near-slams and spectacular finishes were witnessed. Sonny Finger of the USCA acted as Chief Referee and scorekeeper and did a commendable job adjucating numerous queries and keeping the play moving.
Atul Kharecha played well all day Saturday and ended the day at first. Mandar Deshpande and Naveen Chandran took second and third place respectively, and Billy Stevens managed fourth after three close games. Sarma Vadlamani bested Hari Venkatesan in
the finals of Group B.
For carrom promotion, the event was a great success. Many people associated with the professional billiards community had an opportunity to become familiar with carrom, many for the first time. All were impressed by the game, as well as by the overall level of skill and finesse.
An adjacent vendor, Linda Paults, an artist from New York state, was so
impressed that she donated her signed series of billiards prints, based on
Hollywood pool themes, to the winner. This was a nice addition to the $400
first prize (half of which Atul donated, in the form of a carrom board, to
the 16th place player, a Malaysian from Rocky Mount who never scored a
point,) $200 second prize, $150 thrid prize, $100 fourth prize, and $100 and
$50 for first place and runner-up in Group B. Everyone had a great time and
definitely planted a seed for a local Rocky Mount Carrom Club.
Here are the complete results:
Finals: Atul Kharecha b. Mandar Deshpande
Consolation: Naveen Chandran b. Billly Stevens
Semis: Atul Kharecha b. Billy Stevens
Mandar Deshpande b. Naveen Chandran
Quarters: Atul Kharecha b. Saroj Parekh
Mandar Deshpande b. Sameer Sawant
Naveen Chandran b. Sridhar Sundar
Billy Stevens b. Mandava Rao
Group B Finals: Sarma Vadlamani b. Hari Venkatesan
(Sorry, I?m not sure about all the other matches in Group B)
SRR Standings after six rounds:
1. Naveen Chandran, VA
2. Atul Kharecha, PA
3. Mandava Rao, NJ
4. Sameer Sawant, NJ
5. Mandar Deshpande, VA
6. Billy Stevens, NC
7. Saroj Parikh, NC
8. Sridhar Sundar, VA
9. Sarma Vadlamani, VA
10. Hari Venketesan, VA
11. Suman Nalla, NC
12. Aniket Bhatt, NC
13. Sathiya Thiruven, VA
14. Ravi Thiruvengada, VA
15. M. Subbiah, VA
16. Howard Tang, NC
Derby City Classic, Louisville KY Jan 6-7
Date: Fri, Dec 29, 2006
The Derby City Open Singles Tournament coincides with the Derby City Classic (see www.dcctickets.com) one of America's pre-eminent billiards tournaments. Thousands of pool players congregate every year, including the world's top competitors, for a ten-day marathon event in Louisville, Kentucky. Last January, the USCA put on our first billiards outreach event here and the interest generated in the billiards world resulted in invitations to four other tournaments and expos in 2006.
This year, will make an even greater impact by conducting a USCA singles-only event, Saturday and Sunday, January 6 & 7. There will be SRR rounds on Saturday, beginning at 12:00 noon, and double elimination knockout on Sunday. Entry fee is $50, all of which will be dispersed as prize money to the top players. A field of at least twenty players are expected and the maximum number of players allowed is thirty, so please register as soon as possible.
Rooms are available at the venue itself, the Executive West Hotel, 830 Phillips Ln, Louisville, (502) 367-2251, or at the adjacent Executive Inn, 978 Phillips Ln, Louisville, (502) 367-6161.
Derby City room rates are $72 plus tax and up to four people can share a room. The hotel is less than a mile from the airport and has a free shuttle. Indian food from local restaurants will be ordered with everybody's contribution. For more info and directions, see www.executivewest.com .
Contact Billy Stevens for more information: email@example.com or
919-321-1284. Click here to register now.
India Sweeps World Cup
Date: Wed, Dec 06, 2006
The Indian National Carrom Team, as expected, swept all the top positions at the recent Carrom World Cup. The tournament, which took place at the Tivoli Garden Resort in Delhi on November 17-21, and featured players 76 players from 17 countries.
Yogesh Pardeshi was the men's champion, beating his teammate Ravinder Gaud in the finals, 25-15, 25-16. On the women's side, I. Ilavazhaki (India) beat Ayesha Mohammad (India) in the finals to lift the women's title.
For detailed round-by-round results and more reporting, go to the uscarrom.org website.
US Team heads to India for World Cup
Date: Wed, Nov 01, 2006
The US Carrom Team will once again be winging its way around the globe, this time to participate in the international World Cup of Carrom, to be held November 17-21 in New Delhi, India. Led by Team Manager Atul Kharecha and Assistant Manager Pramod Shah, the 2006 US Team looks to be the strongest ever, with 4 of the top ten players in country participating, including #1 ranked Sekhar Challa. Rounding out the US effort will be Shreenivas Mallisetti (5), Prakash Kagal (6), Jaydev Suryadevara (8), Narayan Paranjape (15), Billy Stevens (20), and Renuka Shah (45).
For more information on the tournament, including daily reporting on the event, keep an eye on the US Carrom Association web site at uscarrom.org.
Carrom Tournament at Shakori Hills Festival , Oct 7
Date: Wed, Sep 27, 2006
The Carolina Carrom Clubs are hosting an open singles event on Saturday,
October 7, at the Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival in Chatham County, near
Pittsboro, NC (see www.shakorihills.org for directions and details.) The
tournament will begin at 11:00 am with six rounds of Swiss Round Robin, followed by
quarters, semis and finals among the top eight players. Entries are limited
to twenty players with an entry fee of $25. First place will win a cash
prize of $300. Second, third and fourth places will also win cash prizes as
long as there are enough entries.
The Shakori Hills Festival is an outdoor music festival on 75 acres in rural
North Carolina. In addition to four stages for music and dance, there are
craft and food vendors, including an Indian family with their booth called,
"Kerala Curry." This is a very family oriented festival with activites for
all ages. Many people camp out and there is plenty of space to pitch a tent
or park an RV. Entry in the tournament includes admission to the festival (a
$30 value, with parking) and anyone willing to help out will get free
admission on other days as well (the festival runs from Thursday through
Sunday.) Several local players have offered homestay for out-of-towners,
available on a first come, first served basis.
Carrom at the Carolina Classic Feb 22-26
Date: Wed, Feb 22, 2006
Billy Stevens, Dave MacCrellish and other USCA representatives will be demonstrating the game of carrom at the Carolina Classic, a 9-ball pool tournament featuring the best women pool players in the country. The demonstration will take place every day of the five-day event, starting Wed, Feb 22, and going through Sunday's finals, which will be televised on ESPN. Come out and enjoy some carrom, as well as some of the best pool action in the country!
For more information and directions, go to the tournament website. We'll see you there!
CARROM HISTORY IN THE MAKING
Date: Thu, Jan 19, 2006
Carrom wins big at the Derby City Classic!
The worlds of international standard carrom and professional billiards met for the first time last week at the Derby City Classic in Louisville, Kentucky, marking a historic moment in the promotion of competition carrom. By all accounts it was an unqualified success as players of all ages learned the history, rules, strategies and techniques of a game that is virtually unknown in America.
Multi-colored tents, lights, banners and display materials enlivened an otherwise dark and unused terrace in the middle of the Derby City Classic venue, providing an unexpected diversion for tournament participants well into the wee hours of the morning. Several hundred pool players tried the game, out of which a couple dozen became regulars, honing their skill and perfecting their grip (similar to pool?s bridge, there are several grips needed to play carrom.) Exhibition matches by members of the US National Carrom Team drew fascinated onlookers who were amazed at the technical skill, accuracy and finesse displayed by advanced players.
Despite the fact that many participants credited their early interest in pool to the Americanized version of carrom popular in the early to mid-twentieth century, only one out of the thousands of competitors at the event, Imran Majid, a British pro of Pakistani origin, had ever seen the original game before. For everyone else, it provided a new and surprising take on billiard-like games and several players became instant converts.
Monica Webb and Helena Thornfeldt, ranked number three and six in the country by the WPBA, revisited the boards frequently, bringing friends and competitors along to share their new discovery. The junior national nine-ball champion, Austin Murphy, spent many hours practicing and playing with friends, all of which paid off when he took the Billiboard Challenge and won a complete tournament carromboard package. Corey Deuel was another pro clearly intrigued by the game, as were tour organizers, pool room owners, tournament promoters and casual players from across the country.
The US Carrom Association, in conjunction with Billiboards, an online carromboard supplier, hosted the exhibition, which was also made possible thanks to Professor Q-Ball?s enthusiasm and support. Special appreciation goes out to Greg Sullivan and Chad Scharlow of Diamond Billiards for making the space available this year and on into the future. The USCA plans to hold the US National Championships during the first weekend of the Classic next year and will invite World Champions and national coaches from India to wow and woo new players.
Thanks to Monica Webb, the USCA will host an exhibit at the first WPBA tournament of 2006, the Carolina Women?s Billiards Classic in Rocky Mount, NC, February 23?26. For all those who missed their chance to experience competition carrom in Louisville, come on down to Rocky Mount and ?Join the World of Carrom.?
For more information, see carrom.org, uscarrom.org, billyboards web sites.
Carrom Tournament and Demo in Louisville KY
Date: Thu, Jan 12, 2006
The USCA, headed by Billy Stevens, will be organizing a carrom demonstration all this week- Jan 6-15, at the Executive West Hotel in Louisville KY. A Singles tournament is scheduled for Sat, Jan. 19. The event will be held in conjunction with one of America's premier billiard events, the Derby City Classic. Come out and join Billy and players from around the country, and test your skills against the best. In addition, see some of the world's best pool players at the same venue!
For more information, contact Billy Stevens at firstname.lastname@example.org
US Open in Richmond
Date: Fri, Oct 14, 2005
On November 12 & 13, 2005, the Richmond Carrom Club of Richmond, VA, will host the US Open Carrom Championship. The tournament will be held at the Homewood Suties by Hilton in Chester, VA, 10 minutes from the Richmond Airport. There are still places available, so register now! For more information, go to the tournament website.
Online Carrom Game
Date: Sat, Aug 07, 2004
A new multi-player online carrom game has been launched. The game features game play in Crokinole or Carrom, several difficulty levels, and a computerized opponent as well as true multi-player action. Playing against the computer is free; multi-player requires membership at $8.00 per month. For more information, or to try out the game, go to www.crokinole.biz
Atlanta Open August 28-29
Date: Sat, Aug 07, 2004
The Atlanta Open Carrom Championhip will be played on August 28-29, 2004 at the Global Mall in Norcross, GA. The tournament is organized by the US Carrom Association and will feature some of the cuntries best carrom players. For tournament prospectus, current entries, and other information please visit the USCA web site at www.uscarrom.org
US Open will be Memorial Day in Dallas
Date: Mon, Apr 26, 2004
The 2004 US Open Championships will take place over the Memorial Day Weekend, May 29-30, in Irving, TX (near Dallas). The tournament is being organized by the Dallas Cowboys Carrom Club and the United States Carrom Association, in collaboration with
The India Association of North Texas.
You can download the tournament prospectus, or get more details and enter the tournament at the official web site.
New Carrom.org Forums are now Open!
Date: Sun, Apr 18, 2004
The new Forums at www.carrom.org have now been launched. Now you can discuss carrom topics, get carrom tips from the pros, find boards and equipment, or just share your stories about this great game. Be the first one to post a topic in the forums today!
Sekhar Challa is New Jersey Open Singles Champ
Date: Mon, Mar 22, 2004
Sekhar Challa of NJ won the singles title at the recent New Jersey Open Carrom Tournament, held at the Palace of Jaipur restaurant in South Plainfield, NJ. Jayadev Suryadevara of Texas performed a white slam (the only slam of the tournament) on his way to a second place finish. The tournament was sponsored by Mr. Vijay Patel and organized by Mr. Hasmukh Patel and the US Carrom Association.
In doubles, Madhusudan Rao of NJ and Shibu Jose of MA held off a tough challenge from Jayadev and Babu Mallishetty to claim the title. Other noteworthy performances of the weekend came from Bhavna Mantri from Chicago, who displayed great talent as the only woman player of the tournament, and Neil Patel, the NJ teenager who continued to show his unique talents while garnering an impressive 4th place finish in the singles event.
As always, a full report and results of the tournament are available from the USCA web site at www.uscarrom.org.
In other USCA news, the US National Carrom Championships has been scheduled, and will be held over the Memorial Day Weekend, May 29-31, 2004 in Dallas, TX., where there is a growing group of active players. They have launched a new web site, where details of the tournament and entry information can be found. The website is www.queencover.com. Get your entries in early!
2nd US Open Results
Date: Wed, Oct 20, 2004
The second US Open International Championships was held between October 15-19, 2003, in Atlantic City, NJ. The event was organized by the US Carrom Association and involved National Teams from all around the world, including India, Great Britian, France, and many others.
As is most often the case, the Indian National Team swept all events, including the Team, Singles and Doubles Championships. The UK team and the young US National Team also made strong showings.
For a full report on the tournament, and results of all events, visit the ICF website.
US National Championships Report
Date: Wed, Jul 16, 2003
The 2003 US National Carrom Championships was held over Memorial Day weekend 2003 in Chicago, IL. The tournament, organized by the US Carrom Association, was held at the Super 8 Motel near O'hare Airport. For full details and results of the tournament, go to uscarrom.org
New Web Sites Launched
Date: Mon, Jan 27, 2003
Two new carrom web sites are now helping to spread the word of carrom farther and wider than ever, thanks to the increasing enthusiasm and involvement of players from the US Carrom Association.
www.uscarrom.org and www.internationalcarromfederation.org are now live, and contain a wealth of information and functions regarding the activities of the USCA and the International Carrom Federation.
The new sites have grown out of the interest in carrom that has been spreading throughout the US, and the rapid rise in the number of tournaments and events hosted by multiple carrom clubs around the country. The new UScarrom.org site will focus on providing a venue for all tournament, member, and promotional activities related to the official US Carrom Association. The USCA has also been integral in helping the ICF to launch their new site.
Here at Carrom.org we will continue to act as a clearinghouse for information about the wonderful game of carrom -in all its forms- and to help develop worldwide interest in the game. The move will allow us to focus on the many varieties of the game around the globe and to work towards being more inclusive of all of the games unique traditions.