Archive for August, 2011
It’s been a long wait to get more gear in this summer!
The games are finally on the way and we should be shipping our Out of Stock games soon~!
Here is a series of content that About.com requested to see in order to complete their application process to become an About.com Guide. This was for the Darts and Bar Sports Category.
I didn’t listen to my own advice… and applied for the gig anyways.
Why was this stupid? I wasted a bunch of time that I should have spent on this existing company, and not monkeying around generating content at a low wage for a Google hoarding site. I disclosed my company affiliation in the first sentence of my application. Then I created solid content (many articles and blog submissions) and moved on the second round of the application process… which was a ridiculously time consuming task of creating websites utilizing their archaic system. No drag and drop in there, just an old school HTML mess and a horribly formatted backend which was impossible to learn and use. I finally perfected the site. OK, lets get the show on the road.
3 weeks into the process I was asked if my writing was going to be biased based on The Day of Games background. About.com… are you guys paying any attention whatsoever? I disclosed that Day 1! Eventually they decided that the conflict of interest was too great. I have no problem with that, but I have a huge problem with the timing. Thanks for wasting my time About.com
I would suggest anyone considering applying for an About.com position to run the other way. The recruiters are unprofessional and the pay is undermarket for the value you are generating from your postings. Now I’m off to play some bocce ball.
The About.com work put in; for no pay whatsoever:
Here are the Category Suggestions that were suggested:
- I. Bar Games
- i. Basic Rules
- ii. Technique
- iii. Popular games
- iv. Strategy
- v. Equipment
- vi. Etiquette
- vii. League play
- i. (same list as above)
- Beer Pong
- i. (same list as above)
- Air Hockey
- i. (same list as above)
- i. (same list as above)
- Arcade Games
- i. Big Buck Hunter
- ii. Golden Tee
- iii. Pac-Man
- iv. Photo Hunt
- v. Basketball Shootout
- vi. Skeeball
- vii. Pinball games
- (various pinball games)
- Bar Sport Culture
- Bar Sport Locations
- Other Drinking Games
- i. Flip Cup
- ii. Sink the Bismarck
- iii. Quarters
- iv. Card Games
- (list of all)
- v. Dice Games
- (list of all)
- II. Leisure Sports
- i. (same list as above)
- i. (same list as above)
- i. (same list as above)
- Polish Horseshoes
- i. (same list as above)
- Ladder Toss
- i. (same list as above)
- i. (same list as above)
- i. (same list as above)
- Other tossing games
- i. Lawn Darts
- ii. Quoits
- iii. Etc. etc.
- How to create your own?
- Where to play?
- i. Tailgating
- ii. Backyard sports
- iii. Beach games
Leisure Sport Culture
Here was my original writing sample that was submitted for the gig:
I own a leisure sports company, The Day of Games, LLC. I eat, drink, and breathe this stuff! We sell bar games, outdoor games, and beer pong items. We are expanding our SKU’s to incorporate additional bar games (darts, washers, shuffleboard, etc.) www.thedayofgames.com
I currently run the San Francisco “bar games” division of the DogDaze Sports Leagues here in San Francisco. The last league we ran took place at Ireland’s 32 and we played Indoor Bocce and Cornhole. The league was featured in Urban Daddy and Thrillist.
I’m also the most competitive person to have ever applied for this gig and I would happily wager my acceptance over any bar game of your choosing. I have spent WAAAAAAY too much time playing pool, darts, beer pong, and a zillion other games that my friends have encountered or invented on our own.
This past weekend, my girlfriend and I shattered our previous Photo Hunt score.
The days of mindless chit chat with the bartender and hours of texting random friends on my cell phone are thankfully over. I’ve spent too many hours, at too many bars, simply wasting the evening away while enjoying some of San Francisco’s finest local offerings. The beers are always spectacular, but the company is occasionally lacking. Enter ‘The Wreck Room’ in Nob Hill. Boredom be gone! This place is my dream bar. They have embraced the bar sports mentality to the extreme. Offering shuffleboard, a pool table, darts, basketball shootout, arcade games, and a variety of old-fashioned games as well (dominoes, cards, etc.).
The Wreck Room… what a clever name! How could they possibly have known that I indeed wanted to spend my evening both getting wrecked, and playing as many recreational games as possible?
My first visit to the bar was fantastic. The bar is located at California St. and Hyde, so it’s convenient to reach from the Marina, the Financial District, or pretty much any neighborhood whose inhabitants spend time at some of the shadier establishments along Polk St. I strolled in around 5:15pm in an effort to spend some time with the after work crowd. The bar had a dozen or so people hanging around tables and the bar itself, and there were three times that many toward the back of the bar. That’s where all the fun is.
Grabbed a delicious porter and headed straight for the pool table. This is definitely a casual bar game joint. You shouldn’t be expecting any serious gambling action or arguments over the rules. Everyone is here to have a good time, meet people, throw back cocktails with friends, and discuss the latest catchphrase from Charlie Sheen. The pool table is pretty much your standard bar quality table. Although the bar is fairly new so the felt is still soft and the cues are all intact. This probably won’t be the case in another six months, but maybe the owners will keep the gamers satisfied since it is truly the niche they are targeting. I was able to squeeze in a quick game since one of the guys about to start needed a partner. There was plenty of room to get off shots from all the corners, but I can’t say the same thing about playing after midnight. The crowds pour in and the pool table becomes surrounded by the drunken sort who have taken a taxi all the way from Pac Heights in order to check out the new trendy spot in town. Luckily we had tons of space so I rather enjoyed the pool play.
Over to the shuffleboard table where there was already a sizeable waitlist on the chalkboard. This was a little troublesome for me. Everyone in town has been ranting and raving about this shuffleboard table, but there is only one of them, and it appears to be too crowded to even play! My frustration subsided as I downed my beer and moved from one Porter to another, and the dart board was open. The darts area was very well done. Excellent bristle board, there is a little quarantined area so nobody will accidentally stumble their face in front of your hand, and the darts were all brand new. I ended up playing darts for over an hour with some friendly guys who lived down the street. Good company. Good times.
My name had come and gone on the shuffleboard waitlist so I instead moved over the basketball shootout game that I had been itching to tackle since I walked in. I’ll have to be honest here… the “wreck” aspect of the Wreck Room was starting to take hold, so the rest of the night was ridiculously entertaining but I don’t exactly remember all the specifics. I’ll have to go back again for a more thorough review!
Recently I was in the city of Texarkana, which gets name from three states: Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana. The city is split on the Texas-Arkansas border, but is a good 45 minutes from Louisiana, so I’m not sure why it isn’t called Texark, but I digress. We visited a bar on the Texas side that had shuffleboard, darts, a pool table and a game called Washer. The object of Washer was to throw a washer that was tied to a string dangling from the roof and have it land on a hook that was on the wall. Some noteworthy things about this game:
- The string attached to the roof should be halfway between where the hook is on the wall and where the throwing line is.
- The string can be any length, but if you have the room, the longer the string the better. It makes for an interesting contest the further back you have to stand from the hook.
- Throwing the washer directly at the hook is the mistake people often make when starting out. There needs to be a little bit of right-to-left or vice versa for the washer to stay on the hook.
- No matter how good you get at the game, there is always fun to be had engaging in a Washer match with someone. (The bar owner had hit 23 in a row at one point…my record was 2)
It’s one of those games that you can play with friends for hours and not realize that 10 minutes have gone by. Plus it goes to show you that people can make a game out of anything.
Playing 2-person foosball requires a real focus on strategy if you really want to win. Many people jump up to the foosball table at bars and don’t quite know what they are doing. If you want to actually notch some W’s on the foosball table, check out this collection of tips.
It’s imperative to communicate with your teammate while playing the game. The defense can move the ball up in one of two methods. There is the full-field-kick attempt or the deliberate-passing style of play. If the defense has decided to go for full-field-kicks, then the person controlling the offensive foosball players should turn the rod so that all of the players have their legs facing their own goal. This will prevent them from blocking the ball moving forward and it will allow the players a quick 90 degree rod turn in order to get them back into position. If the defense wants to try passing the ball forward to the midfielders, there needs to be some sort of verbal communication to achieve a completed pass.
Strategy for Offensive Play:
• Controlled ball movement is the best way to play the game, but it also requires the most amount of skill. If your opponent never has the opportunity to touch the ball, then they will obviously be at a disadvantage! As you get better and better, you will slowly move away from full-field-kicks and focus more on a controlled version of foosball.
• Take many shots on goal. The goalie usually cannot retain the ball so it will slowly dribble back toward the forwards. It’s OK to have a happy trigger when it comes to shooting in foosball.
• A successful tool for goal scoring is to angle your shots. As mentioned above with the wall passes, you can use the corner of the player’s feet and take shots that will be very difficult for the goalie to stop.
Strategy for Defensive Play:
• Aligning your goalie and one defender to block the goal is a standard position for your defense to remain in as long as the ball is up toward your offense. This provides the best chance to block a long shot that could come from your opponent. Believe it or not, goalies score in foosball all the time because defenders are not in position!
• Once the ball is in your defensive zone and the forwards from your opponent are about to take a shot, revert from your standard position and try and keep your players in front of the ball. Aimlessly sliding the goalie back and forth will not help you win.
• Keep your defenders feet to the ground! Too many goals are scored because the defenders bodies are parallel to the table. It’s impossible to kick the ball if the defenders feet are not down.
• Angled passing is a great method to get the ball out of the defensive zone. Just like wall passes, and forwards attempting shots on goal, the defenders can use the angled pass in order to clear the ball.
If you can employ even half of the tips mentioned above, you should have a leg up on your opponents. Foosball tactics are easy to learn and even easier to execute. Go out there and win!
The great thing about living in Southern California again is the wonderful weather that can be enjoyed all year round. This makes for a perfect excuse to head to the beach for a little round of Beach Golf. This morning I woke up to some sunshine, clear skies, 72 degrees, all thrown in with a little Carmaggedon scare. The shutdown of the 405 Freeway has thankfully kept many people away from the beach this weekend. With nobody on the sand, a few friends decided it was an excellent morning for 9 “holes” of Beach Golf.
Beach Golf is really a simple game. Grab a 6-iron and a tennis ball then decide which item on the beach will act as the “hole.” Proceed to play golf just as if you were hitting out a sandtrap on every swing. Sometimes the hole can be a trashcan, other times it will be the post of a volleyball net, or the lifeguard tower, or a sandal, or just about anything!
This morning I was able to play with two friends who live down in Marina del Rey, CA. We were all off to a very strong start and remained competitive throughout the first 6 holes of play. There were shots in between the volleyball nets, around trashcans and electrical poles, and even a shot that needed to hit the thinnest of targets in between a drainage area. One player had his score drop off tremendously after we elected to use the elevated side of a lifeguard tower as a hole. Two of us notched 7’s, while the third player in our game was less fortunate; he got stuck with a score of 20.
The round of Beach Golf finished off with a rather lengthy par 5 around a target off in the distance, then back toward a signpost. I was down two strokes to start of the hole and had some catching up to do. My ball landed in a leftover footprint (the largest detriment to a solid round of play), and scored a seven. The closest competitor would really need to fall apart in order for me to finish on top; and that is exactly what happened. He started off spectacular but ended up burying his ball in a few footprints, then laying next to a fence, then finally finished one stroke behind me. Victorious at Beach Golf again, what an amazing morning.
This past weekend I had the pleasure of traveling to Big Sky, Montana for some much needed R&R. In between animal sightings, horseback riding, and whitewater rafting, I was on the lookout for the best bars in town. During our last dinner together, my family and I stumbled into a bar/restaurant called Bucks T4. The food and ambiance were exceptional, but I particularly enjoyed their Game Room, which could be a considered a perfect example of how to lay out your own game room for your house. They offered pool, foosball, air-hockey, darts, and a wide variety of old and new school arcade games including NBA Jam, Off Road, NFL Blitz, and Big Buck Hunter. This got me thinking on the drive back to our lodge that I would love to have a game room like that. What really makes a game room fun, functional, and enjoyable to hang out in for hours on end?
My perfect game room is probably a long way away, but I can think of the items that I would love to have in it. The centerpiece would definitely be a pool table and then as many other games as I can fit around the walls. The Ms. Pac-Man arcade game would get slapped in the corner, and a shuffleboard table would have to make an appearance as well. One of the games that I would include in my game room that most people wouldn’t think of is a backgammon table. My folks used to have a backgammon table but I never played on it while growing up. It was much later while in college that I actually learned how to play the game while relaxing on the beach. With those few items, my game room would be all set!
Assembling the perfect game room is no easy task. There are many games to find, layouts to figure out, color schemes to decide upon, and budgeting to deal with. A great game room should incorporate your own personal style and your favorite games, but make sure you include things that everyone will enjoy. Here is a list of the top 10 must-haves for your game room. But first, a few assumptions:
• Expect to spend at least $5,000 – $10,000. You must have a reasonable budget to truly deck the place out. Can you create a game room for under $5,000? Of course, but if you want all the good stuff from this Top 10 list, you need to open up that wallet.
• The dedicated game room is no smaller than a standard 2-car garage. If you have a random pool table at your house that sits in next to the living room, that is not a game room. If you have a dart board that hangs in your garage in between posters and storage boxes, that is not a game room. A game room should be an entire space that is focused entirely on the elements listed below.
• This is a Game Room and not a Man Cave. What’s the difference? While there is definite overlap between the two concepts, a Man Cave is considered to be an escape from the rest of the house. A Man Cave is most likely filled with many essentials of a Game Room, but it can also have items that have nothing to do with games, such as a theater seating, collectibles, and computers. The Game Room for your house shouldn’t just be an escape for men; it should be enjoyed by men, women, and kids.
Now your budget is in order, you have an adequate space, and you understand the definition of a game room.
Here is your Top 10 List:
1) Pool table
A pool table is the centerpiece to any well laid out game room. Without a pool table you’ll be hanging out in the minor leagues. Everyone loves pool and it can even double as a base for a ping pong tabletop. Don’t forget to include a rack for your pool cues. Don’t be cheap with your pool table selection. It should be a few notches above bar-quality.
2) Dart board
Stick with the quality bristle sets that come with steel tipped darts. The best bet for a game room is to grab a set that comes with chalkboards along the sides. The dart board needs to be placed in an area away from the any reasonable walking area. The normal black, red, and green color scheme always looks classy. A nice touch is to include a list of all the possible dart games and their rules.
One of the most underrated of the game room options. A well made shuffleboard table can cause a group of people to lose track of time. The game is addicting and nestles itself nicely along your game room wall. There are a few manufacturers that sell shuffleboard tables and the prices can vary from $500 to well over $2,500.
4) Arcade Games
Pick your favorite childhood game or a more recent favorite. You can never go wrong with the original Ms. Pac-Man game. That little yellow lady just never gets old. Big Buck Hunter is another popular game. Even large groups of people can get involved. There are also some obscure options like Tron or Off Road. If you buy an arcade game that requires quarters, make sure to leave a huge cup of change on top of the game. Don’t charge your guests!
5) Bar or Kegorator
An area to keep snacks and cold beverages is key. Who wants to leave the game room once you’re in there? Keep your guests’ glasses full, along with their stomachs. A kegorator can be constructed out of an old fridge, or you can just buy a fully completed version online. Constructing a full bar is a much larger undertaking but if you have the space a little bar area is a spectacular addition to a game room.
6) Television Area
The TV might be the centerpiece of a man cave, but it’s only a secondary aspect to a game room. There should be some comfy chairs and a screen that is large enough to watch an NBA game from the other side of the room. Black leather is a fairly standard option for the game room. If the chairs recline then your guests will never want to leave. Throw in some cupholders onto the chairs and your guests will be begging to come back for the big game.
7) Unique Game
Find something that nobody else on the block has. Think Skeeball, a vintage pinball machine, or any arcade game that was around before 1970. This game will be the least played, but the most memorable. Bonus points for anything that costs a nickel. Old vintage games can be found on the internet and there are tons of options to fit your favorite sport. Say you are a baseball lover, you can find an old baseball game from the 1940’s that has a little swinging bat.
8 ) Mini Basketball Hoop
If you have room for a large popashot style game, that is the way to go. Otherwise, a small hoop over a trashcan or a hoop that hangs over a door will also work. Background basketball games will get people in the mood for practicing their fade away three-pointers. If you are really on a budget, you can always just place a little cup in the corner, crumple up some paper, and then aim for the cup.
9) Gaming Games
A cabinet full of gambling games is a requirement for all game rooms. Multiple decks of cards, poker chips, dice, and a backgammon set should be readily available to be pulled out at all times. A game room is incomplete without a little wagering. A poker table is a great addition if you have the space. If no space is available, you can always play poker on the pool table. Pool tables make for great poker tables but be careful where you place your beer. Beverages should never be placed around the edges of your pool table.
10) Putter and Golf Balls
There is something about a putter leaning against the wall that calls out, “grab me” “putt with me!” An office style artificial turf game is not necessary; all you need is the putter and a few random gold balls. A game can be created by targeting anything on the ground, or simply laying down an empty glass. You might even want to include four to five putters so that everyone can have their own personal putter when coming up with different challenges.
You have probably played a little in college, or maybe you are a proud new owner of your very own foosball table. Welcome to the foosball community! As with most bar games, there are a variety of different rules and regulations that people adhere to. Listed below you will find the most common version of the game that we all love.
First timers, pay attention. If you read nothing else at least know this: Foosball is like soccer, in that the goal is to put the ball in the back of the net. The more goals scored, the better. Similar to soccer, the better teams focus on defense and ball control. Beginners generally just try to whack the ball as hard as possible, but you will develop more as a player if you put some thought into your foosball play. Lastly, it’s against the rules to touch the other players’ rods, and spinning the rods around super fast is for rookies!
• The point of the game is to score more goals than the other team.
• A goal is officially scored when the ball moves past the goalie and drops into the goal box.
• Play to 7, 11, or 21 points. Some bars are limited to the number of balls provided, and some home foosball tables come with a little scoreboard, so feel free to play to whatever score you like.
• Only control the rods you are assigned to; do not touch your opponents’ rods.
• Never bump the table.
• If a ball has completely stopped moving in an area of play where neither team can touch it, simply tap the ball with your finger to the nearest player. If the ball is in between two players, re-insert the ball via the ball drop on the side of the table.
• Do not spin your rods! A “spin” is when you grab the handle and whirl the rod around so that the players make consecutive revolutions around and around and around (360 degrees or more is a no-no).
• Have fun. Yes, there are people who are incredibly good at this game, but 99.9% of us are just trying to enjoy a friendly game with some friends.
Before the Game:
The first thing to decide is whether the game will be played One vs. One or Two vs. Two. The strategy and techniques vary greatly between the two versions, but it is recommended to start playing the game with a partner (Two vs. Two). Playing with teams will allow you to focus on either your offense or your defense, and it’s a more social event, which is simply more enjoyable. Playing one-on-one is a more competitive version of the game.
Understanding the Table Formation:
Most foosball tables are created to resemble a soccer formation that would be described as “4-5-3”. There are three forwards, five midfielders, four defensemen, and one goalie. The goalie and the rear two defenders are located on the back rod; the front defenders are located on rod No. 2. Rod No. 3 has all of the midfielders, and rod No. 4 contains the forwards. The little men stuck on those rods are called your “players”. A goal is located behind each goalie. There is also a hole in which to insert the ball into play. The hole is located at the midway point of the table.
Preparing for Play:
Playing the game Two vs. Two is the best way to begin playing foosball. As you play more and more games, try to alternate between playing offense and defense. The offense is comprised of the midfielders and the forwards; it’s this person’s job to focus on scoring goals. The defense is comprised of the goalie and the defenders, and this person needs to stop the shots coming from the other team, clear the ball to the opposite side of the table, or pass the ball to the midfielders. In order to become a well rounded player, it’s good practice to switch between offense and defense as much as possible.
First Ball in Play:
A coin can be flipped in order to determine who gets to drop in the first ball. It is against the rules to intentionally direct the ball closer to your players. Always keep in mind that foosball is generally a social game, so try not to be too competitive. Applying spin to the ball is a way of intentionally curving the ball a specific direction, so try to fling the ball straight down the mid-line.
More advanced players can actually pass the ball around the game table. The ball can be passed forward, backward, and even side to side.
There are a few techniques to being a good passer:
• Remain calm: Unlike real soccer, the opponents players can never detach from their rod and come slide tackle the ball away from you. Once you have the ball, keep your composure, and make a decision what your next move will be.
• Side passing: Scoring goals in foosball can be harder than it looks. It can take five, sometimes ten or more shots from your forwards to actually get a ball past the goalkeeper. Try using the side of the players’ feet to pass the ball back and forth between your forwards. It is very tricky for the goalie to effectively remain in front of a ball that is moving back and forth.
• Wall passes: This is a soccer term that refers to a player passing the ball to a teammate who “acts as a wall” in order to return the ball to the player, who has moved down the field. In foosball, you can accomplish a wall pass by literally passing the ball against the wall. Use the corner of the players’ feet to pass the ball in a diagonal direction down the playing field.