The Battle for the Golden Paddle

Damian Trzebunia

Here at Bronto, we pride ourselves on being approachable, transparent and … well, passionate! And we channel our passion in various ways. We strive to help our customers achieve desired business outcomes, we support our local community through volunteer efforts, and we take every opportunity to compete with one another!

We’re big on games, and while we have a foosball table, a pool table, and an arcade machine in the office, we also have two ping-pong tables. So, we chose to hold a company-wide (Durham only) ping-pong tournament.

To kick things off, we had some decisions to make. First, timing. The tournament opened just days before the US Open Tennis Championship in Flushing Meadows, NY. Coincidence? Maybe not.

Next, should we hold a doubles event or singles only? Let’s see, having a singles and doubles tournament means twice the passion and competition. A no-brainer; both singles and doubles it is!

Then, the bracket. Forty or so players entered the singles tournament, not exactly the perfect number for an elimination bracket. So, we chose to open play with a World-Cup-Soccer-like group round. We organized seven groups, with five to six players in each, and everyone competed against all of the other players in their group round-robin style. The top two players from each group advanced to the main draw, along with two wildcards determined by the number of wins and point differential. The doubles field was much smaller, so we only had the elimination bracket.

And what should we name our venues? The courts at Grand Slam tennis tournaments are often named after famous players, so we chose to name our tables Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras. Remember these guys?

AgassiSampras

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And finally, the prize. The golden ping-pong paddle: a makeshift trophy, stripped, sanded and painted gold on one side complete with inscription. The singles champion and the doubles champions would each get one.

All that was left was match play, and lots of it! Both tables were continually occupied during lunch and after work to complete the matches. There were oohs and ahs, upsets, laughter, bursts of agony, and everything in between. In a word, it was a blast.

Players in actionCongratulations to the winners of the golden paddle!

Champions From left: Doubles Champion Jeremy DeGroot, Singles Champion Damian Trzebunia, Doubles Champion Matthew Cotter

Our next tournament? Billiards. Hope to see you there!