When Jason Kurylo was a kid, he and pretty much every other family on the block had a rec room filled with games – ping pong, table hockey, cards, maybe even a pool table.
“Those days are kind of gone,” lamented Kurylo, a webmaster, writer and educator.
“I don’t have a problem with video games, because I play them, too,” he added without missing a beat, “but it’s not the same as those other games.”
In particular, table hockey has been Kurylo’s game of choice lately, mainly because he’s an architect of an event called Vancouver Table Hockey Extravaganza.
For two days later this month, table hockey games will be set up at Robson Square for an inaugural tournament and also a world record attempt for the longest table hockey game ever played.
Lifelong Surrey resident Andrew Delbaere is managing the tournament, which will see anywhere from 108 to 216 players doing battle on Swedish-made Stiga tables.
“I’m there to make sure no fights break out and everything runs smoothly, and to keep track of the little plastic pucks that will be flying off in all directions,” said Delbaere, who works as director of sales for the Surrey Eagles hockey team of the BCHL.
(The puck-loving Delbaere is also creating a massive hockey arena made of Lego at his home, but that’s another story.)
For the record attempt, Kurylo will be among the people attempting to play table hockey for 30 hours straight, starting at 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20.
“There’s no sitting, it’s all standing, with eight people lined up on four of these tables, and no substitutions allowed,” Kurylo said. “The reason we have four tables is because we are assuming that some people are going to drop out, so we want a minimum of one of these tables going for the full 30 hours.”
Kurylo, who lives in Burnaby, has been training for the endurance test at the Fitness Science gym in Vancouver.
“You know, standing for 30 hours doesn’t seem all that difficult,” he noted. “But think about the last time you were standing in a bank lineup for more than 10 minutes – you’re shifting from foot to foot and all that, so imagine 30 hours of standing in one place and you’re not able to walk around the room. It’s pretty intense – but I think I’m ready for it, both physically and mentally.”
Kurylo edits and founded puckedinthehead.com, a website devoted to sports news and events, including Vancouver Table Hockey Extravaganza.
The tournament portion of the event starts at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21. The fee to enter is $25, which guarantees each player five round-robin games of five minutes each.
“It’s the old-school NHL rules in play here, with two points for a win, one point for a tie and zero for a loss – none of that Bettman loser-point stuff,” Kurylo said with a laugh.
Players with Vancouver Table Hockey Club are involved in the tournament, Delbaere said.
“If someone wants to come out and be super serious about winning the title, that’s OK, but mostly it’s about having a laugh and enjoying the experience, maybe meeting some people.”
The event organizers’ goal is to raise $30,000 for partner charities Canuck Place and Five Hole for Food.
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