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Billiards, not your everyday sport

Northern Lights Shootout brings people from many states and provinces

November 5, 2010
By Terri Kelly Barta

The 12th Annual Northern Lights Shootout is history for this year and a good time was had by all, according to Michael Fieldhammer, billiard coach and professional level player, Minneapolis.

This year the event was moved back to October 28-October 31. A lighter turnout in players, six less, may have to do with the date of the competition being settled on just six weeks before the event. "We plan to have it about this same time next year because it worked out very well," said Mark Hamilton, coordinator of the event.

Most of the Shootout was held at the Armory with the Calcutta held at the Jester's Lounge.

Jesse Engel took first place in the 9-Ball and Dean Flanders took second place. Jarrod Spence took first in the 8-Ball. In the 9-Ball Consolation Mike Sherman took first place and Mike Fieldhammer took second. A local man, Kyle Opstedal took third in that round. Opstedal also played in the 8-Ball and received 13th place. Another Rugby man, Nathan Kleespie placed 15th in 8-Ball. In the 8-Ball Consolation round, Jim Williams took first, Ryan Spence took second, and Dan Fischer took third place. In the Women's competition, Jeri Bovette won first place, Rachel Wentz took second and Lisa Hunt took third place.

Players came from several states and provinces to compete. The farthest one was Stan Tourangeau, Edmonton, Alberta, who arrived in Rugby by Amtrak. He was one of four players in the Shootout who had just played in the U.S. Open in Virginia. Tourangeau took third place in Rugby. Jesse Engel, an 18-year-old from Minneapolis placed high in the U.S. Open and took second place in Rugby. The other two that played in the U.S. Open were Demi Jetilitis who placed fifth in Rugby and Josh Burbul who placed 9th in Rugby.

The Shootout is sponsored by local businesses.

Fact Box

9 Ball

1. Jesse Engel

2. Dean Flanders

3. Stan Tourangeau

4. Ryan Solleveld

5. Brent Hanson

6. Robert Pulver

9 Ball Consolation

1. Matt Sherman

2. Mike Fieldhammer

3. Kyle Opstedahl


1. Jeri Bouvette

2. Rachel Wentz

3. Lisa Hunt

4. Val Wilhelmi

8 Ball

1. Jarrod Spence

2. Jesse Engel

4. Felix Beardy

5. Demetrius Jelatis

6. Tom Kamanski

8 Ball Consolation

1. Jim Williams

2. Ryan Spence

3. Dan Fisher

4. Clive Hjon

5. Joe Cvitko

6. Ernie Barber

"I want to thank all the businesses in Rugby that sponsored the Shootout," said Mark Hamilton. "We couldn't do it without them."

The smaller warm-up tournament was played on Thursday, October 28 and is a 9-ball tourney. This was followed by the 9-ball consolation round.

A ladies 8-Ball competition was next with the open 8-ball tournament following. This year 64 players signed up with 63 men and one lady for the open. The 8-ball is a double elimination event. Players are drawn. Winners go right. Losers go left. Once a player loses on the right side of the bracket that player is out. This pares the competition down from the original 64 to 32. With 32 players, a re-draw for players is done and the players start fresh. The first player to win six games is the winner.

Something that adds a little spice to the tournament also gets the spectators involved. That is the player auction which is known as Calcutta. Spectators can buy a player by bids. Bidding at this calcutta started at $20 and went up as high as $600. Spectators get a cut in the winner's money if their player wins. Before it starts, the players can purchase 1/2 of themselves back to split the pot between the winner and his/her "owner". The Calcutta takes place before the final chart of players is drawn. This way there is some mystery in the game.



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