Table-tennis and billiard enthusiasts on campus can test their skills against fellow students in the Associations of College Union International (ACUI) Qualifier tournament, which will be held in CSUN’s Games Room at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday.
The annual tournament for single-player table-tennis and 9-ball will be held in the Games Room. All participants must be currently enrolled at CSUN and have a GPA of 2.0 or higher.
The top winners in each sport will represent CSUN in the ACUI’s Recreation Weekend statewide tournament and compete against representatives from other west coast universities and colleges. Recreation Weekend will be held at CSU Sacramento on the weekend of Feb. 22.
Commercial Services Manager Jeremy Hamlet has been involved in coordinating CSUN’s involvement with the ACUI events for the past four years. Hamlet says that there was a period when CSUN did not partake in the ACUI tournaments before he became Commercial Services Manager, but digging up old placards and awards from past tournaments, CSUN has been involved on and off with Recreation Weekend for 30 years.
In past ACUI qualifiers at CSUN, the women’s tier of the tournament in both sports is either eliminated or lumped together with the men’s tier, due to the lack of female participants. However, among those planning to compete in this year’s 9-ball tournament is communication studies sophomore, 21-year-old Angela Ting.
Ting started playing billiards when she was in high school in Taiwan, where she says the sport is extremely popular. Ting was introduced to the sport by a friend in school and stuck with it.
“I just find it really interesting, (billiards) just attracts me naturally,” says Ting.
The male dominance in past qualifiers is not a big factor to Ting, who is more focused on making it to Sacramento. “When I used to play with my friends, we would beat all the boys at school,” she said.
Another 9-ball participant who is more seasoned to the experience of the ACUI Qualifier and Recreation Weekend tournament is CTVA junior, Andy Chen.
In 2007, he was one of top winners to go on and represent CSUN in the Recreation Weekend tournament where he placed 14 out of 37 players. It was an experience that Chen says helped him improve his game and see the potential for billiards on campus.
“As soon as I went to that tournament, it opened my eyes and said wow I got a lot of work to do’,” says Chen, “If I go back to the ACUI (Recreation Weekend) tournament, my goal is to make it at least within the top ten this time.”
Besides focusing on his individual improvement in the sport, Chen, along with Ting and other CSUN pool players who congregate in the Games Room, are starting a billiards club on campus. Motivation to start the club came from Chen recognizing that, outside of the Games Room, there isn’t much going on between students who play billiards with each other.
Chen, along with Ting and other CSUN billiard players, would like to bring these students together.
“I like getting people together who have similar interests,” said Chen.
Also, after going to last year’s Recreation Weekend tournament, he was impressed how some schools represented themselves not as group of students, but as a team. Chen wants the billiards club to make CSUN’s players have that same presence in future tournaments.
Hamlet shares Chen’s enthusiasm of getting more people involved in the ACUI tournament.
“It is a lot of fun and it is a good leisurely opportunity for students to have on campus,” he said.