My parents propped me up in front of a skeeball machine at Mariner’s Arcade on the Wildwood Boardwalk as soon as I could stand. I racked up tickets quickly, savings hundreds of thousands over the years. The prize, for me, was in the game itself. Every summer I’d play. Alone. Sometimes dragging friends. Eventually taking dates. Always bringing my GAME.
When I moved back to NYC, I wanted a way to meet new people and get out of my apartment, especially during my hibernation winter months. Because this city has EVERYTHING, I looked up skeeball right away and found a league through NY Social.
As captain, I’ve guided 4 teams to city finals. Made it to the final four twice. AND received 5 invitations to the Skeeball National Championship. That’s how I roll (also I’m the self-proclaimed mistress of skeeball puns. You’ve been warned)!
I just revived my Summer League, The Skeevil Dead and can’t wait to coach the new recruits! If you’re interested in getting involved in this incredible Ocho worthy sport, here are some basic practices to help you git gud.
1) You’d never think it, but skeeball is 80% lower body. Your stance is the most important part of your game. Everyone’s stance is unique so figure out where your feet need to be in order for you to be most comfortable and get the velocity you want. For my stance, I need my left foot firmly planted and lined up with the inner edge of the left bumper. My right leg crosses behind my left and my right foot is up on the tip of the toes, so I’m balancing a bit with my core and also pushing myself forward a bit.
This “personal best” is now my average!
2) Keep your wrist straight and roll with your whole arm, just like a bowling ball. I know this ball is much smaller and the lane is much shorter, but the technique is basically the same. Don’t twist or flick your wrist.
3) On every machine I’ve encountered, there is a shadow line that runs across the lane just before the point where the lane makes its sharp slope upwards. If you bank the ball off the point where that shadow meets the bumper, you’ll hit the 40 consistently. This is a good way to get a feel for the game.
4) It’s a drinking game anymore, but don’t go overboard. Find your buzzy sweet spot and it could improve your game! Balance is key.
5) Don’t go for 100 unless you have to. They’re super hard to hit and you could waste four balls worth 50 points trying to get that hundo. Hundos are for desperate situations and happy accidents.