July 13, 2010 - Durham Herald Sun - 44th Annual American Pool National Tournament - "Pool checkers club members look to share 'thinking game' with younger players"   link
      The Herald-Sun
Durham, Chapel Hill, and the Research Triangle Region

Pool checkers club members look to share 'thinking game' with younger players

By Neil Offen
noffen@heraldsun.com; 419-6646

DURHAM -- The vast majority of the players at the 44th annual American Pool Checker Association National Tournament at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel were in their 50s, 60s and beyond.

Many of the men -- they were mostly men -- playing Wednesday wore hats, including some white banded fedoras, giving the hotel ballroom the feel of a 1940s movie.

"I'm 56, and I'm just about the youngest person here," said Tim Moore, the president of the host Bull City Pool Checkers Club.

He doesn't want to be.

The club, which meets on the first Saturday of every month at the Imperial Barbershop on Fayetteville Street, wants to get more young people involved in pool checkers, a more intense, creative game than what its adherents call straight checkers. It had brought half a dozen local kids, ranging from 7- and 8-year-olds to teenagers, to the tournament, so they could learn the game, play it and absorb the family-like atmosphere generated by the top masters and others who were competing.

"We've got to get the young people involved," said Moore, right after defeating Larry Lindsay of Newberry, S.C., in an intense master's level game. "We want to train the kids, let them know what a great game this is."

The club, which has about 20 or 30 active local members, hopes to find a permanent, dedicated clubhouse, where it can bring young people to explain the intricacies of the game. In the meantime, the club -- which incorporated a little more than two years as a nonprofit organization -- launched a training program back in January at the Salvation Army Boys and Girls club.

A dozen or more kids take part in the weekly sessions and the club has installed a Web-based pool checker game on the boys and girls club's computers.

Wayne Lockhart, the tournament director, admitted, however, that it's an uphill battle to interest young people in what may seem like an old-fashioned game. "We're certainly trying to promote the game to young people," he said. "But the reality is that the young people prefer Pac-Man and all those video games. This is a thinking game."

"The kids do love computer games," Moore acknowledged. "But we have ways they can play online now, against people anywhere in the country, and we think once they try it, they're really going to like it."

And if the club can get the kids involved, "then we can get their parents, too," Moore said.

If you're interested in learning or playing the game -- or if your kids are -- you can call Moore at 602-1004 or visit the national association's website at www.americanpoolcheckers.us.

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Articles    <>    7/14/2010 Durham Herald Sun