Pool: A thriving sport at Cape Henlopen Senior Center

March 6, 2013

One by one they walked into senior centers or community club houses, some already retired, others still working part time. All were wondering how to fill their leisure hours. They heard the unmistakable crack of Aramith on Aramith and followed. Smiles wreathed their faces; nostalgic visions of colored balls were in their heads and one word was one their lips - pool!

This table game is a perfect sport for most seniors, male or female. Pool doesn’t require a lot of walking or great physical strength. In fact, it can be played from a wheelchair. It’s also played year round in indoor comfort. A smattering of geometry and physics is involved, but it’s not enough to be daunting, just enough to be challenging.

Finally, pool is a natural social vehicle. Some seniors tend to be reclusive after retirement or the death of a spouse. Many retire here, but have no friends or family in the area. Playing pool with peers is a well-rounded, healthy option for everyone.

It’s no wonder that pool has become a thriving sport for local seniors. The Southern Delaware Senior Billiard League is the largest organized group, with close to 60 active players and a waiting list for the next session. The league was organized by Joe Mangini of Rehoboth Beach and Diana Roche of Georgetown. League teams play head-to-head 8-ball on Friday mornings at Cape Henlopen Senior Center in Rehoboth Beach, CHEER Community Center in Georgetown, Indian River Senior Center in Millsboro and Heritage Shores Club House in Bridgeville.

They follow modified American Poolplayers Association team rules, plus call every pocket. There are also two smaller doubles leagues in Sussex County. Players who have more spare time, those who are a bit rusty, or those who are just learning how to play join these groups.

The SDSBL devotes one Friday a month to a Top Dog qualifier tournament for individuals. This format offers players a change of pace from team competition, but it was established to raise money for charity. The final Top Dog tournament for 2012 was held Dec. 28 at the CHEER Community Center in Georgetown.

Richard Blazovsky of Rehoboth Beach won the first-place trophy, and Bob Campbell of Georgetown took second place. In 2012, the Top Dog tournaments raised a total of $300, which was donated to CHEER for the holiday Meals on Wheels program.

Anyone interested in more information about the SDSBL should contact one of the league operators through the Cape Henlopen Senior Center, 302-227-2055. Leave a message for Joe Mangini if interested in league play. To sign up for 2013 Top Dog tournaments, leave a message for Diana Roche.

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