Shine up your paddle, practice your drop shot and get yourself to Champions Sports Bar in Biddeford on Saturday for the watering hole’s first pingpong tournament.

While the establishment is known for its pool tables and weekly pool tournament, the addition of a new pingpong table opened the door to some friendly table tennis competition.

“It’s going to be a race to 21, double elimination,” said Champions owner Mark Blake.

Blake uses a computer program to set up tournament brackets, which are randomized and will include a bracket for the winners and losers of the initial games. This means the winners will play the winners and the losers will face off against the other losers.

“If you keep on winning in the loser bracket, you’ll still be in,” Blake said.

The final game will be a battle between the last players standing from the winning and losing side of the brackets.

“There’s real skilled involved,” said Blake, who’s been known to lob a few winning shots himself. “It’s not just smacking the ball around.”

The tournament’s winner will walk away with a portion of the entry fees, plus a Rolling Rock snowboard worth $200. The second- and third-place finishers will also take home cash prizes.

The event is sponsored by Rolling Rock, and there will be $1.50 drafts offered all day in addition to the usual full bar and dinner menu.

The action starts at 2 p.m., but doors open at noon should anyone want to get in a few practice games. It costs $10 to enter, and all the money will be divided among the winners at the close of the event.

At the bar’s popular pool tournaments on Sundays, more than a dozen people typically participate, and the first-place winner usually walks away with $60 to $75.

Blake encourages experts, amateurs and everyone in between to enter the pingpong tournament.

“Just come out and have fun,” Blake said. “Don’t worry that you many not be the best. All skill levels are welcome to play.” 

Staff Writer Avery Yale Kamila can be contacted at 791-6297 or at:

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