New CTHA President Sal Capizzi’s unique league

WTHL Guys

(The Winnipeg Table Hockey League. Photo submitted by Sal Capizzi.)

(Editor’s note: Sal Capizzi is the new president of the Canadian Table Hockey Association. He introduced himself to the table hockey public here. We asked him to share some background on his league, which uses a wide variety of table hockey games.)

By Sal Capizzi, CTHL President

The Winnipeg Table Hockey League (WTHL) is a non-profit league comprised of table hockey players and enthusiasts residing in Winnipeg. Coleco Table Hockey is the original game of the WTHL. Games are also played on the Benej, Super Chexx, Stiga, Munro, NHL Ice FX, Irwin, Power Play 2, Carleco, Gretzky’s Overtime, Sportcraft, Regent-Halex, Cresta and Eagle tables as well.

The WTHL believes that a player’s ability should not be judged on any one specific game but on the overall performance on various table hockey games. Various tournaments are played throughout the year.

Back in 1989, the Winnipeg Table Hockey League (WTHL) was organized following years of exhibition table hockey matches in Winnipeg. Sal Capizzi, Tony Capizzi, Mike Capizzi, Antonio Capizzi, Brian Clement and Zachary Mesman were the original six players and continue to be in the league today. Sal Capizzi was elected president of the newly formed league and the first WTHL game was played on a 1985 Coleco 5380 game in January 1989.

Now in its 27th year, the league has grown to 24 players and is the 3rd oldest league in North America. Over the years, there have been 36 different players who have participated at one time or another in the WTHL. Currently, the WTHL uses 25 different games and 20 different models of games in their league. The variety of games used has made the tournaments more interesting and exciting giving lower-ranked players a better chance to upset a higher-ranked player as many players are dominant in one game — usually the game they grew up playing — but do not have that same dominance in other games.

Over the years, the WTHL has made several media appearances on television and radio, print and even billboards promoting the league, their annual cancer fundraiser tournament (WTHL Challenge Cup), and the great game of table hockey. The WTHL have introduced the game to elementary schools in hopes of bringing the game to a new generation of players in similar ways as Carlo Bossio and the NTHL has done in Montreal and Dr. Kevin Rafferty and the SCSTHL has done in Anaheim. The WTHL has been able to partner up with several companies to create mutual beneficial relationships to help increase the spotlight on the game of table hockey. The WTHL has been able to create bigger and better tournaments because of the sponsorships that they have. This past year, the WTHL Challenge Cup was held at the Grand Club Regent Casino, and the tournament had 26 sponsors ensuring a great fundraiser for cancer and that each player came away with great prizes no matter whether they finished in the standings.

In 2015, the league introduced the WTHL Winter Classic Game which was held outdoors on January 1, 2015 with a game time temperature of -26°C. Also on April 16th, the league also played their first ever WTHL Stadium Series games and on June 6, 2015 participated in Our Manitoba Heroes, a Hockey Gala fundraiser for several charities that included current and former NHL players Wayne Babych, Trevor Kidd, Dale Weise and the first ever captain of the Winnipeg Jets, Ab McDonald. After a 20 year hiatus, the WTHL has plans to reintroduce the WTHL All-Star game as well.

WTHL Logo

For more information on the WTHL, please visit: www.winnipegtablehockeyleague.com

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