The third annual B.C. Provincial Crokinole championship went off as smoothy as a disc sliding across the board and into the 20 hole. Held at the Oliver Community Center on March 19, assistant organizer of the tournament, Orrin Hargraves, sounded off the opening flick with the wise words of “make every shot count.”
This year players attended the games from Canada, USA and New Zealand and Oliver Mayor Pat Hampson was present for both the opening ceremony and the closing awards ceremony, encouraging each player to play their best and welcoming visitors to Oliver’s beautiful community.
The games started with the doubles playing in recreational and competitive divisions. The difference, being the level of skill and the amount of money being awarded to the winners. Penticton’s Quin and Ed Erzinger and Sharon Palmer showed the competition that all of their hours of practice was worth their while. Erzingers flicked their way to second place in the competitive division of doubles. While Palmer slid into second place in the recreational singles and third in the recreational doubles divisions.
With over $1,700 in prize money up for grabs, almost double what it was last year, it became a battle into overtime for players in the single competitive division. Erzinger, 16, took the championship title away from the Ontario champions. While Alan Bleiken, of Osoyoos, showed the players in the recreational division how to play. Oliver’s power team, Lou Dobos and Linda Irvine became doubles champions in the competitive division. In the recreational doubles division, first place winners Reon Knowler from New Zealand teamed up with Summerland’s Jordan Ripley, 10, to show the crowd this Canadian game has gone international.
In the game of Crokinole, age is irrelevant as proved by 94-year-old Ralph Zosel of Oroville and seven-year-old Rex Lock of Oliver. Zosel finished in the top 10 in the singles competition and Lock teamed up with his mother, Janet to finish in the top 11 in doubles.
Julian Chalmers, 11, from Winlaw, has played in tournaments all over the world, coming in third-place in China. He showed the crowd how well he could flick a disc right into the 20 hole, surpassing Ontario’s double champion Fred Slater with 75 20s compared to Fred’s 69.
Cliford Antypowich, founder of the event, has been battling with quickly progressing Parkinson’s Disease and is starting to turn the organization of the event over to the Oliver Community Center. Carol Sheridan, programs manager for Oliver Park’s & Rec., stepped up to the plate and is now taking control.
“I have believed in this town from the beginning to support this game and I truly believe that Oliver can hold one of the greatest and largest Crokinole tournaments in all of Canada,” said Antypowich. “Currently this event held in Oliver is believed to be ranked the third largest in the country. The great success we have had with this event is completely due to the wonderful support we have had from Oliver and surrounding communities.”