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A whole new ball game: Brewskee-ball rolls out its winter league

Brooklyn Paper
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Let’s go skee-ing!

Skip the chair lift and snow suit — your sport this winter should be skee-ball! The beloved ball-tossing carnival game has two major advantages over the slopes: it can be played in the heated indoors, and you can drink a beer while you do it. And the new season of Brewskee-Ball — the Full Circle Bar’s rollicking skee-ball league, starting on Feb. 6 — will welcome high rollers and newbies alike, said the league’s organizer.

“We’re competitive but also very collegial,” said “Skee E. O.” Pete Marinucci. “Even though we are a competitive league, the veterans in the league all value sportsmanship and sort of taking the newer rollers under our wings. Our league motto has always been ‘Let the good times roll,’ — that’s what we are all about.”

New players can get the ball rolling by signing up at mkt.com/bkbrewskeeball, and choosing whether they want to play on either Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday nights. The league requires teams of three, but Marinucci can help free agents find a home for the eight-week skee-son (plus the three weeks of playoffs).

Once signed up, players must concoct a punny team name — an area where rollers are just as competitive as they are on the lanes. Notable teams from the past include “Whose Lane Is It Anyway?” “Skee Amigos,” “The Brewzers,” and “Great Balls of Fire,” said Marinucci.

Most seasons involve about 60 teams in the league, with varying degrees of skills. The Williamsburg bar also offers free skee-ball practice sessions on Sundays and Thursdays for league members looking to get a little more on the ball, said Marinucci.

“I feel there’s a pretty easy learning curve to the game,” he said. “Like anything else, the more you practice, the better you get.”

Having a drink in hand is also a popular part of the league. The kick-off party on Jan. 31 will feature an open bar for league members and free skee-ball all night, and during league play, winning teams get rewarded with a round of vodka shots. And the winners of the overall tournament receive liter mugs etched with the league’s logo, Marinucci said — and they come with an extra prize inside.

“Those come filled with beer — doesn’t get much better than that!” he said.

The camaraderie formed when ball-slingers roll side-by-side extends off the lanes, said Marinucci. Teammates have made friendships that will last a lifetime, and love has blossomed into marriages.

“I’ve made some of my best friends in the world through this league. There have been multiple marriages. I’ve officiated a wedding of friends who met through this league. It’s an awesome community — we support each other on and off the lanes,” he said. “We’re all into this same quirky thing — all into playing skee-ball and having fun. We’re not just skee-ball friends, we’re real life friends.”

Brewskee-Ball at Full Circle Bar [318 Grand St. between Havemeyer Street and Marcy Avenue in Williamsburg, mkt.com/bkbrewskeeball]. League play starts Feb. 6. $120 per team member ($100 before Jan. 22). Kickoff party on Jan. 31 at 7 pm.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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