Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command Public Affairs
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command is hosting the first-ever U.S. Army Domino Championship, through April 24 at 30 garrisons, including Schofield Barracks.
The victorious team will win an all-expense-paid trip to Las Vegas to compete in the 2010 World Domino Championship, with the chance to take home a part of the $40,000 cash prize purse.
The tournament meets every Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Nehelani on Schofield, and is available to all active duty, retirees or family members older than 18, with ID cards.
There is no entry fee and weekly prizes will be awarded.
“I track the other garrisons, and with the scores I have seen here in Hawaii, we’re doing alright,” said Eddie Garcia, a veteran who volunteered to coordinate the competition at Schofield Barracks.
“Dominoes are a challenge of concentration with an opponent,” he said. “Like everything in life, you need to conquer challenges and be all that you can be, just like in the Army.”
The team with the highest overall score, after six games, from across all the garrisons, will participate in the nationally televised ESPN competition in Las Vegas, May 26-29.
That team will compete against 18 other countries: Austria, Azerbaijan, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Germany, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Russia, Spain and Venezuela.
“This program is the biggest event ever in the history of dominoes,” said Ralph Paniagua, president of R. Paniagua Inc., who is sponsoring the tournament along with DominoesStars.com and Jim Beam Global Spirits and Wines.
“Thanks to our friends at MWR, thousands of young men and women will be exposed to the sport,” he said. “This will mark a significant milestone for the sport of dominoes.”
DominoUSA, the governing U.S. domino federation, established the match rules and guidelines to ensure the fairness and integrity of the contest.
“As president of the USA Domino Federation, I am very excited that this event will spread the word about dominoes to thousands of players,” Manuel Oquendo said. “As a retired Army man, I’m hoping this will be very exciting for our Soldiers and their families to enjoy some down time playing dominoes.”
The game of dominoes first came about, some think, when Hung Ming, a Chinese soldier who lived from A.D. 181 to 234, developed it to pass the hours during downtime.
The garrison-level competitions are taking place at the following locations; Anniston Army Depot, Ala.; Fort Belvoir, Va.; Fort Benning, Ga.; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Bragg, N.C.; Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico; Fort Campbell, Ky.; Fort Carson, Colo.; Fort Dietrick, Md.; Fort Devens, Mass.; U.S. Army Natick, Mass.; Fort Eustis, Va.; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Huachua, Ariz.; Fort Irwin, Calif.; Fort Jackson, S.C., Fort Knox, K.Y., Fort Lee, Va.; Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.; Fort Lewis, Wash.; Fort Polk, La.; Fort Richardson, Alaska; Fort Riley, Kan.; Fort Stewart, Ga.; McAlester Army Ammunition Plant, Okla.; Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; Tooele Army Depot, Utah; White Sands Missile Range, N.M.; and Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz.
Garcia also teaches domino rules and regulations to beginners during the weekly meets at the Nehelani.
For local tournament information, call 224-4129 or visit www.MWRpromotions.com.
(Editor’s Note: Lacey Justinger, Pau Hana editor, contributed to this article.)