Odd Ball: Weird NYC Sports
by Jonathan Zeller, 01/02/2013
What is it? It's Skee-Ball, with beer. Calling itself "the first-ever competitive Skee-Ball league," this organization—which started in New York City—now also holds competitions in Austin, Texas; Charlotte and Wilmington, North Carolina; and San Francisco, using an NCAA-style seeded tournament to crown a national champion. To see the madness in action, watch this video of a 2010 semifinal match between competitors named William Ocean and Rookie Monster, which the play-by-play commentator calls "the greatest Brewskee-Ball match ever played." As Rookie Monster is lifted onto spectators' shoulders to the sound of ecstatic cheers, the line between ironic and sincere appreciation gets very blurry. Williamsburg's Full Circle Bar—its name comes from Brewskee-Ball terminology for a round of all 40-point rolls (40 times the nine rolls in a "frame" is 360, or the number of degrees in a full circle)—serves as the league's home base.
Why should you go? Brewskee-Ball Skee.E.O. Eric Pavony (whom you may recognize as the Knishioner of Major League Dreidel) says of doubters: "If they have never played Skee-Ball competitively on a team with their friends [and] beers, they don't know what bar sports are all about." He's proud to have brought the game to a new demographic. "When we started, there were really no Skee-Ball lanes in a bar. It was this distant childhood memory for most folks, a game you played as a kid at Chuck E. Cheese's or the Jersey Shore and that you loved—but once you reach a certain age, Skee-Ball [becomes] extinct from your life until you have kids of your own." The games take place on a near-constant basis at Full Circle Bar.