By LAURA FRENCH, NICOLE NIGRO, ANTHONY VIGNA and JESSICA WRIXON
Ping pong, a game originally known as table tennis, was first played by the English upper class in the 1880s, using a cleared-off dining table and household objects as equipment. Over a century later, students at Ramapo College are still showing enthusiasm for this fun, fast-paced sport.
Th ping pong tournament, held Nov. 19 late at night in Ramapo’s Bradley Sports and Recreation Center, brought students from across campus to try and win the title of this semester’s ping pong champion. Four ping pong tables were set up in the front lobby of the Center, and the clicking and clacking of ping pong balls was near-constant as four matches went on at any given time.
“Every day, I work in the Bradley Center and see a lot of student athletes stop in there and play ping pong for hours at a time, so I thought that this was something that they would enjoy,” said Todd Lizzo, the school’s director of intermurals who teamed up with Rafael Quinones, a resident assistant, to organize the tournament. Quinones could be seen managing brackets on his laptop, directing players to their next matches.
“We noticed that there was an unspoken demand, and being that we don’t have an intermurals club for it specifically, at least not at the moment, we’re still trying to cater to the students that actually do want to come down and play ping pong and have a competitive and friendly environment for them,” Quinones said. “So, that’s actually why we made the event, so that they have a fun time. It’s all for them.”
Rich Policastro, a competitor in the tournament, said, “I’ve been playing ping pong since I was a kid at summer camp, like from first and second grade, and I still play now. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s something that I do and would come and participate in.”
Aaron Beaty, another competitor, hopes this tournament will mark the ninth win in his 8-semester victory streak. “In the past, we’ve had, I guess, a lot of good competition and it’s a lot of fun. It’s a good thing for college kids to do in their spare time, it’s a lot of fun,” he said.