Beach-Pong captivates senior class


Photo by Mustafa Zirapury '23

SERVE IT UP (From left to right, Tom Lucas ‘23, Dylan Carvette ‘23, Sam Dorfman ‘23, and Nick Cantrell ‘23.) Cantrell dives for a ball in an intense game of outdoor beach pong. “Beach pong is a great mix of spike ball, volleyball, and ping pong,” said Cantrell. “There isn’t a game to play during my free that’s more fun.”

Yelling. Diving. Popping. These are the sounds heard in the senior form in the last few days. Upon further inspection you would have seen the students crowded around the two tables in the middle. These tables, intended for schoolwork, have been repurposed into a court complete with a duct tape net held up by pencils instead they are playing a game the seniors  invented themselves. The class of ‘23 calls it Beach-Pong.

A mixture of ping pong, spikeball, and beach volleyball, the game is played in an open area with each table serving as a side for a team. The game can be played as both singles or doubles. However, most students elect to play doubles due to the quick pace and exciting nature of having more players on the court.

“It started off as me and some of my friends just picking up the beach balls and hitting it across the table, before we knew it there were many people surrounding us wanting to play,” said Ziyad Emara ‘23. 

The game was created on  September 21, and took a lot of the grade by surprise. By the end of the day everyone was lining up to play. 

“We really didn’t expect it to take off the way it did, Ziyad and I were just playing, and by C&C, it seemed everyone wanted to play,” said Will Rayner ‘23. 

Since the creation of the game seniors have been constantly playing it, in between classes, during free periods, during lunch, and even after school. While the students have enjoyed this, some teachers who occupy the space surrounding the senior forum have found problems with class disruptions.

“I think the game is a very creative use of time, however it can be very distracting,” said math teacher Barbara Rocci. “Especially when I am working or teaching it becomes a major disturbance.”

However some teachers see the creativity of the game, and are not against the students playing. 

“It’s amazing how creative the seniors are, with just two tables and a beach ball they are able to keep themselves occupied,” said senior dean Daniele Conti. “I also believe it is a great way for the students to relieve some stress.”

The seniors find the game a good way to spend some time during free periods.m

“I can spend anywhere from 5 minutes to half an hour playing, instead of just sitting on my phone during my free period I would much rather play this game and make memories with my friends,” said Ryan Kowalchik ‘23.

During G period on September 22. Dylan Carvette ‘23 and Ismael Metwally ‘23 played in a heated match against Nick Cantrell ‘23 and Ryan Kowalchik. After winning a long point, Metwally and Carvette cheered in excitement. This outburst was heard by Rocci, and it was the last straw for her. 

“Admittedly, it was a bit loud and definitely could be heard in other classes,” said Nick Cantrell ‘23. “But still, she could have handled it better in my opinion.”

Rocci stormed into the forum and tore apart the net the students had spent hours building. She crumpled it into a ball and dumped it into the garbage as if they were scrap materials. She thought she had put an end to the game once and for all.

Once again, the students’ created a solution to their problem, and immediately found a loophole in the rules set by Rocci and continued to play the game.

“As soon as the net was taken down and we were told that we couldn’t play in the forum anymore, we had to figure out a way to keep playing. So my friends and I came to the most logical solution, we picked up the tables and took them outside,” said  Kowalchik ‘23. 

Now the students play the game outside. Even if it is a cold and windy day they are ready to play. 

“The wind actually makes the game more challenging and fun, you never know where the ball will go,” said Kowalchik ‘23. “Also the biggest plus of moving outside is the extra room we have, now we can run around and it’s easier to make crazy gets.”

The students are also required to bring the tables back in after they play every time. 

“Yeah it can get annoying to constantly have to bring them in and out, however in my mind it is definitely worth it.”

The game has become so popular that there is often a waitlist to play. Informal rules state that the winners stay and take on new challengers, but there are plans to make it even bigger and bring it to a larger stage.

“I can’t say anything is official currently, but maybe somewhere in the near future we could make this game an advisory challenge or a spirit week competition,” said Emara .