Like discs on an unwaxed board, competitive crokinole is moving slowly, but that’s better than not moving at all. The return to competitive crokinole has, for good reason, been hesitant. But even with a slower paced return, compared to other social and entertainment activities following more than 2 years of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s clear enthusiasm is still strong. It remains to be seen whether that enthusiasm will be as strong as it was prior to the pandemic, but things are clearly ramping up with a number of crokinole events that have happened lately, and a number of events that are upcoming fast.
October of 2021 featured the 2nd edition of the Netherlands national championship. The initial event was held in 2019, and seems to only have improved in quality and rowdiness in the 2021 feature video. A couple of well-known crokinole players, Joert Edink and Sander Brugman, came away victorious and should also be much applauded for coming up with my-current-favourite-team-name the Roaring Twenties.
The Hungarian Federation has been back in swing since March and is picking up their impressive tournament schedule with nearly one event each month. Some familiar names have won in the latest events, including Gáspár Létay and Krisztián Berzlánovich. Keeping up with the flurry of tournaments in Hungary can be difficult, but made easier by checking their federation’s website and their facebook page.
Crokinole action in Spain is probably the most sparing for information, but there was a 2021 Open de España and videos from a number of matches at that event have been posted on this youtube channel.
Belgium had a solid presense in the European crokinole scene in the 2010s, and recently they’ve returned to the stage with a doubles event. The Roaring Twenties made the trip into the Dutch speaking region and almost came away with the title, but it was the legendary Belgian duo of Bert Costermans and Dennis Vrints (cleverly named Crok Monsieurs) who extended their unbeaten streak by winning the event.
Lastly in Europe, coming up on June 4th is the first event UK Crokinole Championship being held in conjunction with the UK Games Expo. It should be very interesting to see who emerges as the first-ever UK champion.
Last month Australia hosted the 2022 Bottom Half of the Word Cup with a tournament video that really makes it look a like a fun event. And in addition to the tournament there’s a number of crokinole communities that have sprouted up in the nation: Crokinole AUS, Crokinole Melbourne, and Footscray Flickers.
The USA is making an emerging claim to being a new hotbed for crokinole as there’s been a remarkable number of new clubs appear in recent months. Leading the way on the tournament front is the Extra Pint clubs, where there was a doubles event recently in Texas and as this is being written the 2022 US Open Doubles event is happening in New York.
Finally in Canada, clubs in St. Jacobs and the Owen Sound area have been up and running, and Mildmay was the site of a crokinole event in late April. Of course the big news was that the World Championship committee decided in early March to cancel the 2022 event, but a new event has entered the calendar as Wilmot plays host to the 2022 NCA Players Championship.
Due to the pandemic the 2019-2020 NCA Tour was officially cancelled with Jason Beierling being declared the winner, thanks to his victory over Andrew Hutchinson in the finals of the 2020 Hamilton event, which pushed him into first place in what would become the final event of the 19/20 Tour.
And so the NCA Players Championship marks the beginning of the 2022-2023 NCA Tour, and hopefully also marks the continued return of competitive crokinole.