So I'm here today as your correspondent, to bring you a report from the 2011 Tumblin' Dice World Championships, a thrilling event that I had the privilege to participate in and witness firsthand.
The 2011 World Championships
Wait, you say, nobody told me that there was a World Championship event happening! I know. That's because I ran this event in my own home. I can do that and still call it the World Championships, can't I? Of course I can! Why, if Major League Baseball can call the culmination of the US baseball season the "World Series" then I can do the same with Tumblin' Dice! After all, it's not as if there's an existing World Championship being run for this game! (There is now though, so if you want to compete in next year's Championships, you'll have to show up at my home next year around Easter!)
So there you have it, the 2011 World Championship event, at Ender's home on Good Friday, featuring his family and his sister's family (whom we'll call Mr In-Law and Mrs In-Law). With an inaugural event you have to start small, so we only had 13 contestants. But what better way to spend an afternoon enjoying each other's company, with a thrilling knockout/elimination event, in a quest to decide the current World Champion! Ever since we first learned the game, we've been keeping a list of "Personal Bests" and "World Records", so this was just bringing it to the next level!
Format and Contestants
First of all, we divided our 13 contestants into four pools. Each pool would play one quarter-final match consisting of four rounds, and the two highest scoring players in each match would advance to the semi-finals, from which the two leading contenders would advance to the final. Our contestants are: Mr Ender, Mrs Ender, Mr In-Law, Mrs In-Law, 14-year-old boy, 14-year-old girl, 13-year-old girl, 12-year-old girl, 10-year-old boy, 9-year-old boy, 9-year-old girl, 6-year-old girl, and 5-year-old girl.
Let's get to the colour commentary and the action!
Quarter Final 1
Our first match featured 14-year-old boy, 10-year-old boy, and 9-year-old boy. An all male matchup with some very enthusiastic competitors, this was looking to be a very tightly contested affair! The youngest competitor in the field, 9-year-old boy, got off to a fine start in the first round, with some spectacular rolls that returned 35 points, while his opponents only scored 4 and 0 apiece. He increased his advantage in the second round, and while one of his opponents notched up a respectable 33, the other scored a zero. It looked like 9-year-old boy was a sure thing to make the semis! But round three saw a big surprise, as 10-year-old boy clocked up a massive 54, while both 14-year-old boy and 9-year-old boy were held scoreless! 10-year-old boy followed up in the final round with a leading 33 points, for a massive overall score of 120 - a new Personal Best for him! 9-year-old boy had scored 18 on the final round, just behind 14-year-old boy 24, but his overall score of 89 was also enough to get him through to the semi-finals, while 14-year-old boy was eliminated.
10-year-old boy: 120 (advances)
9-year-old boy: 89 (advances)
14-year-old boy: 24 (eliminated)
Quarter Final 2
The second quarter final featured a field with the younger female contestants at the World Championships: 9-year-old girl, 6-year-old girl, and 5-year-old girl. After three rounds of action, 6-year-old girl was languishing well behind with a cumulative total of only 39, distantly behind 5-year-old girl's 52 and 9-year-old girl's 51. But undeterred by being in last place, 6-year-old girl pulled out a stellar 33 points in the final round, while her opponents could manage only 6 and 4 respectively. This vaulted 6-year-old girl into the semi-finals, while 5-year-old girl's 58 enabled her to qualify just ahead of 9-year-old girl's 55. What a thrilling comeback and conclusion!
6-year-old girl: 72 (advances)
5-year-old girl: 58 (advances)
9-year-old girl: 55 (eliminated)
Quarter Final 3
Our third match featured some of the teenage crew in an all-girl quarterfinal, with 14-year-old girl, 13-year-old girl, and 12-year-old girl. 13-year-old girl scored an impressive 33 points in the first round, to race to an early lead. But the next two rounds saw the opposition quickly close the gap. With the start of the fourth and final round, scores were very close with 13-year-old girl still leading with 61, but with 14-year-old girl and 12-year-old girl not far behind with 52 and 48 each. It was going to be a thrilling final round to decide who would be knocked out! Unfortunately for 12-year-old girl, she was skunked on the final round, while 14-year-old and 13-year-old girl scored 15 and 27 points respectively, thus advancing to the semi-finals.
13-year-old girl: 88 (advances)
14-year-old girl: 67 (advances)
12-year-old girl: 48 (eliminated)
Quarter Final 4
The last quarter final featured all the adult competitors, namely Ender, Mrs Ender, Mrs In-Law, and Mr In-Law. Ender took a solid lead with a promising 38 points, followed by Mr In-Law with 23, and the two ladies with 12 and 4 respectively. Round 2 featured some outstanding scores, as Mr In-Law took over the overall lead by achieving a fantastic 40 points for a total of 63, and Mrs Ender achieved an almost equally good 38 points for a total of 42. Ender's 15 points helped retain overall second position for 53 points, and Mrs In-Law was now languishing at an overall 20 points, after a disappointing 8. But from this point on things started to fall apart for Ender, as he clocked up a 0 and 8 over the final two rounds for an overall 61. Mrs In-Law's mediocre run continued for an overall 53 points, putting her in last place. The deserving winners more than doubled this, with Mr In-Law scoring 33 and 24 over the last two rounds for a massive 120 points, and Mrs Ender reaching 113 points on the strength of a Personal Best of 60 in the last round!
Mr In-Law: 120 (advances)
Mrs Ender: 113 (advances)
Mr Ender: 61 (eliminated)
Mrs In-Law: 53 (eliminated)
Semi Final 1
For the semi-finals, we mixed and matched the players who had progressed from the quarter-finals, seeded based on previous scores, and ensuring that each match-up featured one player from all four of the quarter-final pools. Semi Final 1 featured Mrs Ender, 13-year-old girl, 10-year-old boy, and 5-year-old girl. 10-year-old boy raced to an early lead in the first round, with a strong 36 points, double that of Mrs Ender with 18, and the other contestants trailing with 12 and 3 each. The second round saw scores of 16, 13, 12 and 6, and the third round saw scores of 29, 28, 27 and 25, so the semi-final was very evenly matched going into the final round. Although 10-year-old boy and Mrs Ender had somewhat of an overall lead, 13-year-old girl had a real chance of catching them! It was not to be, however, since her 33 was more than matched by 10-year-old boy's 35 and Mrs Ender's 39. 10-year-old boy and Mrs Ender would advance with excellent scores of 110 and 99 respectively, while 13-year-old girl's 86 was just not good enough to prevent her from being eliminated.
10-year-old boy: 110 (advances)
Mrs Ender: 99 (advances)
13 year-old girl: 86 (eliminated)
5-year-old girl: 55 (eliminated)
Semi Final 2
The second semi-final featured another strong field, with Mr In-Law up against his son 9-year-old boy, daughter 14-year-old girl, and niece 6-year-old girl. After two rounds, the two males in the field were showing early signs of dominance, being neck and neck with overall scores of 54 and 53 each, and distantly trailed by the ladies and 20 and 19 apiece. The third round saw the early leaders each get 26 points, and although 6-year-old girl scored a winning and impressive 28 that round, it didn't look like the two gentlemen would be caught. 14-year-old girl was in last place at this point, but scored an outstanding 28 in the last round, while none of the rest of the field got more than 10 points - but it wasn't enough to prevent Mr In-Law and his son 9-year-old boy from advancing to the Grand Final!
9-year-old boy: 90 (advances)
Mr In-Law: 88 (advances)
14-year-old girl: 68 (eliminated)
6-year-old girl: 53 (eliminated)
World Championship Grand Final
At this point the competition halted for sixty minutes for the Superbowl half-time show, which featured million-dollar commercials. Something like that ... or maybe it was just that we stopped for lunch? At any rate, most of the finalists took the opportunity to use some of their free time to do some last minute training in preparation for the feature and final event, the World Championships Grand Final. Several of the competitors were convinced that the blue dice were proving to be the best, so a single round roll-off was held to determine who had the right to the blue dice, followed by another roll-off for the black dice that were also in high demand.
Here then, were our 2011 World Championship finalists: Mr In-Law, Mrs Ender, 10-year-old boy, and 9-year-old boy. The prize - sponsored by Mrs In-Law - was a bag of chocolate coins, and was highly coveted, at least by all the junior members in the competition. Let the games begin!
Round 1: 10-year-old boy showed his potential early in the piece, with an impressive 39 points, well ahead of 9-year-old boy's 21 and Mrs Ender's 15. But it was Mr In-Law who stormed to the lead with an even more impressive 45 points, to lead the way!
Round 2: The contest was quickly shaping up to be a contest between Mr In-Law and 10-year-old boy! While 9-year-old boy racked up a respectable 24 points and Mrs Ender only managed 6 points, the two leaders increased their lead - Mr In-Law acquiring an outstanding 37 points, and 10-year-old boy achieving an even better 41 points. With the World Championship title on the line, at the half-way stage they were now neck and neck at 82 and 80 points apiece! This was fast becoming a two-horse race!
Round 3: Round three was a much closer matchup, with scores of 27, 26, 26 and 9. But unfortunately for 10-year-old boy he was the one with the 9 points, so Mr In-Law would enter the final round with a 19 point lead, with 108 points to 10-year-old boy's 89. Was there an outside chance that the current world record for this event would be beaten?
Round 4: The final round of the final was an absolutely thrilling affair. Mrs Ender and 9-year-old boy managed only 21 and 4 each, but they had long given up any real chance of winning. 10-year-old boy, however, clocked up 41 points, for a new Personal Best of 130 points. Remarkable! But he was more than outpaced by Mr In-Law who achieved an incredible 67 points for the round (a new World Record), for an overall total of 175 points - absolutely smashing the previous World Record of 148! There, ladies and gentlemen, is your 2011 World Champion!
Mr In-Law: 175 (World Champion, and new World Record)
10-year-old boy: 130 (Runner Up, and new Personal Best)
9-year-old boy: 75
Mrs Ender: 69
I highly recommend trying this knock-out style format, and also keeping a record of personal bests and house records - it just adds to the fun! With everyone standing around cheering, the atmosphere is electric!
And what an absolute thriller of a final we had! We witnessed a world record round in the final stage, and a world record overall score to clinch the win! Indeed, a worthy winner and World Champion! Mr In-Law was gracious enough as to share the chocolates with all the competitors, and everyone was happy. We're already looking forward to the 2012 competition!
- Last edited Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:18 pm (Total Number of Edits: 2)
- Posted Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:18 pm
I'm sure I would not enjoy playing, but if you're going to write about it, I'm going to read it. Congrats on all of the records set.
What a great session report for a game I know nothing about. I have a couple lingering questions, though: in the finals, who got the blue dice and who got the black dice? And, more importantly, did the dice make a difference?
Ah, yes, pressing and critical questions indeed - I'm glad you asked!
● The first roll-off was for the blue dice (using of course the coveted blue dice themselves). It consisted of a single round, done individually by each player in turn. The eventual Runner-Up, 10-year-old boy, successfully earned the right to play blue in the final by scoring a leading 38 points, just pipping the eventual winner, Mr In-Law, who had 35, while the other two finalists were well behind.
● Mr In-Law easily won the next roll-off for the black dice, and as you know, went on to win the final with them and become World Champion!
I suppose you could say that these two players beat their opponents black and blue!
- Last edited Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:26 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:20 am
Do you think Mr. In-law will retire at the top of his game, or will he be back next year? Has Chessex offered him an endorsement deal?
Do you think Mr. In-law will retire at the top of his game, or will he be back next year? Has Chessex offered him an endorsement deal?
Yes, there has been much speculation in the media about whether he'll retire, or whether he'll come back next year. Last I heard, he'd hired Brett Favre to advise him on the subject. Sponsorship deals are pending from Chessex, Mayday Games, Pepsi, Nike, and Speedo, although his wife has already nixed the offers from Mayday Games and Speedo.
What a great session report for a game I know nothing about.
Tumblin-Dice is a great game! If you're interested in learning more about it, check out my pictorial review:
A Comprehensive Pictorial Overview: A worthy companion for Crokinole and PitchCar in the Dexterity Games Hall of Fame
- Last edited Sun Apr 24, 2011 8:12 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Sun Apr 24, 2011 8:07 am
That was a very nice report and was very interesting to read. But sadly I must inform you that there is already a Tumblin' Dice World Championship that takes place every year. We've had it every year since the game was created. In recent years we have even added a trophy for the winner. I am distantly related to the creators of Tumblin' Dice and we happen to attend the same Thanksgiving dinner every year. When they first created the game we would play it for hours after dinner. We finally decided to play a tournament and jokingly we called it the Tumblin' Dice World Championship. After that we've done it every year since. It is a lot of fun and also can get very frustrating when you have a 6x4 or 5x4 and someone knocks it off the end. But I guess that how the game goes. haha. I'm not sure where you are located but maybe we could split our tournaments into regional tournaments and then find a central location for a new World Championship. Maybe we could even get some sponsor's to provide incentive for the winner. Then again maybe that's a little too ambitious of a goal. HAHA!!!! You never know though maybe someday we could get a few hundred or even thousands of people together to see who is the best. Also, once I get this site figured out I will add a picture of my Tumblin' Dice board. I have the second board ever made. It's one of only two that has a chalk scoreboard. It was given to me by the creators. In the mean time happy Tumblin'.
That was a very nice report and was very interesting to read. But sadly I must inform you that there is already a Tumblin' Dice World Championship that takes place every year. We've had it every year since the game was created. In recent years we have even added a trophy for the winner. I am distantly related to the creators of Tumblin' Dice and we happen to attend the same Thanksgiving dinner every year. When they first created the game we would play it for hours after dinner. We finally decided to play a tournament and jokingly we called it the Tumblin' Dice World Championship. After that we've done it every year since.
Ah, a rival world championship!!!
That's just like what happened in the world of chess when there were two rival world championships between 1993-2006!
To think that Tumblin Dice is already embroiling itself in a scandal of this sort! But perhaps it will mean extra publicity and press coverage, which can only be good for the game!