The Caribbean’s best team domino players will converge on Blacktip Island this weekend for the inaugural tag-team dominoes championship. (photo courtesy of Joy Spotts)
Dominoes competitors from across the Caribbean will descend on Blacktip Island this weekend for the inaugural Blacktip Association of Interlocking Tiles tag-team dominoes tournament at the island’s Heritage House.
“It’s the dominoes of the future,” said association president Inky Pipps. “It combines the strategy of dominoes, with the physicality of pro wrestling. It’ll feature two-person teams and a double-elimination format.
“We play by the Marquise of Tiperon rules, so everyone’s required to drink between rounds,” Pipps said. “And during. It takes the island’s two most popular activities to the next level. And referees will make sure everyone is drinking the same amount, to keep things fair.”
Final scores will be tallied at the end of each round, which end after the last contestant passes out.
Local dominoes fans say the sport adds an element of drama to the game.
“It’s not just people sitting around a table, drinking beer and slapping down tiles,” dominoes aficionado Ginger Bass said. “The head games get intense, with trash talking and mean-mugging before each match. And there’s another level of tactics involved once play starts.
“If a player’s outmatched, she can tap out and let her teammate take over,” Bass said. “The adrenalin kicks in when you get both team members playing the same table at the same time. And when you get six, eight people slamming down tiles and whacking each other with folding chairs, there’s nothing else like it!”
Tournament organizers stressed any in-game altercations are not staged.
“Every players signs off that any violence they’re involved in will be spontaneous,” association vice president Joy Spotts said. “And Rafe Marquette’ll have both eyes peeled for any signs of illegal gambling.
“We’ll also taking every step to keep the players from cheating,” Spotts said. “There’ll be proctors on the lookout for anyone using performance-enhancing substances. We have zero tolerance for light beer. Period.”
Favored teams include local favorites Rocky Shore and Stoney MacAdam, Dermott Bottoms and Sheena Goode, and regional sensations Patsy Dunning and Lori Kruger.
“Winners receive a small cash prize, as well as the coveted Golden Tile award,” Spotts said. “We assume it’ll be coveted, anyway. It’s the first one, but focus groups at the Ballyhoo happy hour were all positive.
“The Heritage House only holds a dozen or so spectators, so we’ll be live streaming the contests to all the island bars,” Spotts added. “If things go as expected, we plan to add tag team dominoes as an Olympic sport when the Tiperons host the Olympics.”