The Festivus Tournament

glass beerSeveral of us have batted around the idea of a senior tournament that intentionally excludes the top national players and is played by us common folk. With the exception of the likes of Joe Bachmann, that is what this week’s Payne Park tournament really was like.

“A Tournament for the rest of us”

For those who were Seinfeld watchers, you probably remember George’s father complaining “There was Christmas, there was Chanukah, and there was even Qwanza.” So he created “Festivus: the holiday for the rest of us.”

A variation of that concept would be what I think Larry Turville calls “Block Seeding,” where the top players are allowed to enter, but don’t play a match until the third or fourth round; so the non-top players get to play closer matches in the early rounds.

What do you think?

Today’s Finals

I got up to Sarasota (after my two-hour commute from Naples) in time to see my fill-in partner Timm Rinehart in the 70s singles vs. Tom LaPenna. Timm had won the first set; but was trailing 1-4 in the second when I arrived.

LaPenna then held serve and Timm was serving at 1-5. I was sitting with John Lundquist and we both agreed that Timm should save his energy and dump the set to go stronger into the third set (and save SOMETHING for our doubles final to follow!).

But Timm kept clawing away and running down shots corner to corner. He ended up winning six games in a row to win the deciding set 7-5. Never give up!

Our Doubles

After he had a quick lunch and shirt change, we took to the court for our finals vs. the solid team of Bill Christensen and Rich Bruer, both of Clearwater, Florida. My assessment was that we were about evenly matched… and that is what it turned out to be.

They got an early break in the first set and I found myself serving at 1-4, Love-40. Timm and I didn’t give up and held that service game. We then broke their next service game to bring it back on serve.

It stayed that way until the first set tie breaker; but they won it.

The air came out of us a little. I was “flat” in the quality of my play and Timm was understandably tiring after his long week of singles and doubles; so they were able to take the second set at 6-3 for the championship.

Considering that Timm and I had never played together before, to get to the finals is a real accomplishment. Thanks to him for filling in for the injured Hank Irvine (who just called me to say that he CANNOT play in next week’s tournament; so I will save myself the four-hour daily round trip drive and hang around Naples next week).

Here is the link to the tournament (but as of 7:30 p.m. full results were not posted).

P.S. The picture is beer in my “prize” for the finals. The winners got the same, with different words (no cash prizes at this tournament).

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10 thoughts on “The Festivus Tournament

  1. “and save SOMETHING for our doubles final to follow!” was my favorite line in this blog George. I had this image of you thinking you’re getting a totally wasted doubles partner, or even worse, another pulled hammy …and then it’s off to new partner #2.

    Jim, EXACTLY. tks, george

  2. from 5-6 in the first, when I walked up, I can only remember your making a couple errors the rest of the match. Those guys were very good. Great to see you in Sarasota. Good tournament all around.

    Bob, thanks. I felt i played “ok”, but not great. george

  3. hey george not only joe bachman, but how about multiple gold ball and world gold ball champs george mccabe and clem hopp in this tournament….not quite the festivus festival yet!

    Tony, well, then in the 70s anyway! thanks, george

  4. As long as the “luck of the draw” is still luck, l don’t think it is a good idea to engineer top players out in the initial rounds. Playing the best in the age group is inspiring and motivates to improve one’s game. Let the chips fall as there is always consolation rounds for the rest of us.

  5. There you go; some like it and some don’t. I’m all for block seeding which to me benefits both the (UL) and lower level (LL) players. Some LL players like playing an UL player early but most would rather have a chance at winning a few rounds first. For UL players it would be nice sometimes to start later in the week and you know your opponent will have won a few rounds. Why not have two block seeded tournaments next year and see how it goes? One minor drawback it adds a playing day to the draw.

    While it sounds like the tournament went well, I am disappointed that they were allowed to keep the 25% of entry fee that was supposed to go for prizes or prize money. Players got shortchanged on that one.

    Larry, here is an idea… how about experimenting with block seeding in one or two age groups at any tournament to see how it goes?? And on the prize money: i don’t feel so bad as a “finalist” getting a beer glass; but the winners got the same glass! george

  6. You might have felt better if you got $25 to buy dinner and a beer with. Congrats and I guess no discrimination between winners and finalists.

    Larry, while i agree that “cash is King,” a tournament i play in NH gives out glasses and they did a set of TWO for the winners and one for the finalists. Win a couple of years and create a set of glasses (better than having one odd glass on your shelf). thanks, george

  7. George, I say give the players a choice, to play lower or upper level. Do not take away
    opportunity for someone to play the best in their age group.
    Anthony Rasile

    Anthony, at lunch yesterday, i said to Fred Drilling on this subject: Yes, i want to play you; but not in the first or second round! thanks, george

  8. George, I had the pleasure to lose to Fred early, then I won the consolation draw.
    So in sum, it was a great experience.

    Anthony, would that then be a “Win-win” situation or a “Lose-win” situation? 🙂 george

  9. George, A win, win, playing the best and beating the rest. In my opinion, but of course
    not everybody feels that way, and I respect that. Thanks for all you do.

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