Hey, sports fans. It’s March Madness, which means just one thing. Are you ready for some ping pong?
The very best geek athletes will compete in the geekiest of office sports on March 20 at the Showbox Sodo in Seattle, part of GeekWire’s huge Anniversary Bash. As in years past, we’ll be crowning the champs in three hotly-contested tournaments — expert ping pong; intermediate ping pong and foosball.
Past champs, including ping pong maestros Sanjay Puri, Avi Cavale and Valeri Kim, will be battling it out in the 34-player expert bracket. Testing their luck in the 68-player intermediate division will be ping pong veterans like Madrona’s Greg Gottesman and Silicon Valley Bank’s Minh Le, as well as newcomers from Smashing Ideas, Koru, AllRecipes.com and many more.
In foosball, age-old grudge matches will resurface as teams from 47 Degrees, Mixpo, Brand Verity and Redfin try to mop up the competition in the 48-team field. A few slots remain in foosball — register your two-person team here and look for the official foosball bracket on GeekWire soon.
See full brackets for ping-pong below. And just as a reminder, all tournament players must be checked in by 4 p.m. on March 20.
Great prizes await the winners, including GoPros, Jamboxes and Sounders tickets to the Anheuser-Busch suite! And don’t forget about the “Spirit Prize” — handed out to the team that best shows off their geek pride. (Can anyone unseat last year’s champ Moz?)
Slots are sold out for each of the tournaments. But you can still come and join the fun by purchasing a general admission ticket for the party, cheering on friends and participating in beer pong, the golden ping-pong ball scavenger hunt, Pop-a-Shot and other fun activities as we celebrate our third birthday. We’ll also have a few ping pong tables set aside for casual play.
A big thanks to our sponsors for helping to make the GeekWire Anniversary Bash possible. They are: Moz, Wave Business Solutions, EMC Isilon, Filter, Budweiser, Summit Group Solutions, Avalara, Skanska, Vertafore, Killer Infographics, Fresh Consulting, Blue Kai, DoubleDown, WhitePages, First Tech Federal Credit Union, Barokas Public Relations, Comcast Business, ALLTech, thePlatform, Perkins Coie, Fuel Talent, Nurego, Nytec and Knoll.
Here’s a look at the brackets for the ping-pong tourneys. Click the thumbnails for a full PDF. Who is your money on?
GeekWire 2014 Ping-Pong Championships, Expert Division. (Click for PDF.)
GeekWire 2014 Ping-Pong Championships, Intermediate Division. (Click for PDF.)
Here’s a FAQ for those participating in the tournaments.
Where and when is the event? Wednesday, March 20th at the Showbox SODO, at 1700 1st Ave. S. in Seattle, just south of Safeco Field. Here’s the map.
When should I arrive? Doors will open to players at 3:30 p.m. All ping pong and foosball players need to be checked in by 4 p.m., and play will begin at 4:15 p.m. We have more than 100 ping pongers and foosballers competing, so we’ll need your cooperation to move through the brackets as quickly as possible.
Where should I park? Although there is no validated parking for this venue, there are various parking lots and street parking (if you are lucky) surrounding the Showbox SODO. We recommend the Safeco Field parking lot as it has 2,000 spaces. It is just south of the ballpark and the entrance is off of Edgar Martinez Drive. Come prepared with your cash/credit card for this prepaid lot.
What should I wear? Comfortable clothes, tennis shoes, and maybe a towel to dry off.
Are personal paddles permitted? Absolutely, and in fact, we recommend it. But if you don’t have your own bat, we’ll be providing one for you to use.
How will matches be scored? For ping pong, each match will consist of a best of three-game series. Games will be played to 11 points, with players alternating serves after every two points. Games must be won by two points. For those who need a refresher, here are some basic rules of ping pong.
For Foosball, it will also be a best of three-game series, single elimination tournament. We’ll play games to 5, with a time limit of 25 minutes on each match. Here are some basic rules. (And NO spinning allowed). Players will get a two-minute warm-up prior to each match.
What happens if I lose my first match? You will be eliminated from the tournament, but your tournament registration includes full access to the party, and as tables open up throughout the evening you’ll be able to challenge your friends and co-workers to “friendly” matches in open play. Plus, there’s beer ping, the ping pong ball scavenger hunt and other fun surprises in store.
What happens if I can’t make my match on time? Unfortunately, given the scale of the event, you will forfeit your match. Give yourself plenty of time to arrive, warm up and have some fun networking with other geek athletes.