BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Attention, table hockey wizards.
The inaugural Table Hockey Festival, Exhibition, and Championships is this weekend at Buffalo RiverWorks.
Dozens of competitors from the U.S. and Canada will compete in both amateur and professional tournaments.
The event is put on by the World Table Hockey Association.
Its founder, Gregory Scoma, is a Buffalo native.
“Our mission here is to make table hockey considered a sport by the sporting public,” Scoma said. “It almost already is.”
Scoma said he started playing table hockey as a kid, right around the time the Sabres started playing in Buffalo.
He was also learning to play ice hockey with the kids in his neighborhood, and table hockey was a way to keep the sport going when ice wasn’t available.
“So we started playing table hockey and we formed a league,” Scoma said.
Fifty table hockey and bubble hockey sets from three manufacturers are set up on the RiverWorks floor for the festival, including Super Chexx games made in Clarence.
Players are coming in from all over the United States and Canada, and Scoma said they had some calls from Sweden as well.
Mick Mastrocovo and Mark Wojtkiewicz are two of the players competing this weekend.
“We’ve played in a number of tournaments all over the country,” Wojtkiewicz said.
“It’s fun to think of these games- getting them under the Christmas tree as a kid and here we are 30 years later, playing them again,” Mastrocovo added.
The festival kicked off Friday night with a fundraiser for Greater Buffalo Adaptive Sports, formerly the Sled Hockey Foundation.
It will continue Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $5 for spectators.
The deadline for registration is 9:15 a.m. Saturday.
The Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission worked with WTHA to bring the event to Buffalo. The Queen City will also host the event in 2020 and 2021.
For a complete schedule and pricing, click here.