MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Isolation turned innovation.
A Prior Lake man has revolutionized the game of pool to fit our current climate and it could be around for the long haul.
What was intended to give Ryan Klinger, founder of Isolation Pool Tournaments, and his buddies their pool fix, swiftly became a global pastime during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The best part of the whole thing is, I haven’t thought about COVID-19 since this thing started,” Klinger said.
Professional pool players, like Mike Massey and Billy Thorpe, and amateurs throughout the world have gotten on board with the Isolation Pool Tournaments.
The wide range of tournament formats like ‘playing against the ghost’ and ‘bowlliards’ have a 3 or 4 day window and whoever wants to get in the action can simply pay the tournament fee and submit their live video on Facebook.
This idea that may seem only applicable during social distancing protocols is actually looking like it's here to stay.
"My vision and what I see happening is once COVID-19 and all the stay at home lockdowns lift and people are able to go back out into the public and enjoy those things that we always do, there's going to be a big big rush with this because when you think about globally, you know how many pool players actually have their tables in their home maybe 20-percent. That leaves a big number of them that are all just at home watching what we're doing right now and they're just chomping at the bits to be able to take part in it and I think you're going to see a big rush there or influx where players can just go to their local pool hall and and pay table time or rent a pool table and they're going to hop on their phone and click on the app," Klinger said.
And the format is versatile, allowing individuals to play against professionals, but also giving opportunities to players of all levels, young or handicapped, to compete.
While players who place high in their respective tournament are making the money, there is also the option to buyback into a game for 10 bucks and that money will be donated to pool halls in the metro area.
“So many great things have come out of this that I just, I’m overwhelmed and I can’t express enough gratefulness for the community, the people, just worldwide they’ve all come together and it’s about the only sport you can find right now that you can compete in and with COVID-19 it seems like pool is probably going to get back on the map here, it’s been something else,” Klinger said.
Isolation Pool Tournaments is set to launch a new phone app and website within the next couple of weeks.
New platforms as such will not only lessen the load on guys like Klinger running it, but it’ll also simplify the experience for players.