“Eyes focused, elbows locked and the fingers configured to form a potent hand catapult. And a snap of his fingers, an acrylic striker flew at a deadly speed towards the centre of the board, scattering a pre-arrange pool of carrom coins.”
Carrom have been increasingly popular with foreign workers who travelled thousands of miles from India, Bangladesh or Pakistan as a past-time. Recently, Carrom Sports Association of Singapore (SAS Carrom) had a joint partnership with multiple cafes and eateries across Little India to promote the game of Carrom, sponsoring carrom boards for the events as well as cash and carrom board prizes for the top 3 winners.
Last Sunday, taking a walk down a secluded alley of Lembu Road on a Sunday morning, you will surprised to see a large group of foreign workers from Bangladesh crowding under makeshift tents playing carrom. These players are all participants of the largest carrom tournament, it was one of the biggest for the carrom community in Singapore and the very first carrom tournament in Singapore with massive amount of prize money.
Participants were split into 8 different groups of 32 pairs. There were Group A, B, C, D that started at 11am and E, F, G, H that started at 2pm onwards. It was a single elimination best of 3 for the qualifiers. There could only be 1 pair emerging from each group. The winning pair of each group will then joined the top 8 brackets later in the day.
Other than the carrom tournament taking place, there were also other highlights at the venue as well. Most of the eateries in this vicinity mainly serve Bengali cuisine to leverage on the large groups of Bangladeshi men who gather here during the weekends. These eateries in turn offered huge promotions or discounts for everyone there. SAS Carrom also offered a discount code for all participants and even the audience who were present at the event if they were to purchase a carrom board from their online store before 31/3/2017. Just in case you are wondering, the discount code is ‘tournament10’.
While kids of today’s generation have desktops and laptops to fiddle with, table top games were a major plaything in the generations before. Carrom was popular during my teenage years. Many classrooms owned a carrom board, as did the Prefects’ room and the major co-curricular activity groups. We knew who the hotshots were. We played by two styles: one was to clear the assigned colour before the other one does and the other was to play for points in a free-for-all slugfest. The experienced ones would know the importance of white powder and carrom lingoes like ‘double’ and ‘sitter’. The table physics of carrom play certainly helped many lay a foundation for billiards and pool. And the main purpose of SAS Carrom for organizing this event is to promote the game of carrom not just for locals, but also for foreigners and kids as an alternative for electronic and digital getaways.
You can find out more about the benefits of playing carrom from this blog post from blogher.com: http://www.blogher.com/family-bonding-carrom