Penn State hosts national student billiards sectional tournament

May 02, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Student pool players grabbed their cues and chalk and traveled to University Park on March 16 to take part in the Association of College Unions International's Penn State 9-Ball Sectional Tournament at the Break Zone, located in the HUB-Robeson Center.

The qualifying event held at Penn State was part of a national pool tournament hosted by the University with help from ACUI, a nonprofit educational organization that helps bring together college union and student activities professionals.

Any student affiliated with a university could take part in the event. Of those who registered and participated in the tournament, 25 percent moved on to the national championship, which is being held in Chicago from May 30 to June 1.

Madeleine Paley, a graduate student and co-adviser of the Break Zone, worked with Break Zone Manager Peggy Diaz to oversee the tournament. Paley is completing her master’s degree in higher education while working as a graduate assistant for the HUB-Robeson Center.

As tournament director for the Penn State qualifying event, Paley worked directly with ACUI in coordinating the tournament weekend after the organization reached out to her to see if Penn State would be interesting in hosting again. The last time Penn State hosted the event was in 2017.

Paley said that while she did not know much about pool before directing the tournament, she learned a lot that weekend, and it was fun to be part of such a large event.

“It was cool to have an added layer of responsibility beyond my normal role with the Break Zone and get to do something that I’ve never done before and learn from it,” Paley said.

Paley said one of her favorite parts of the weekend was talking with students and learning how they became involved in pool or how this hobby has influenced other aspects of their lives.

While it can be challenging being a full-time student and working a job, Paley said the tournament and her position with the Break Zone have helped her to hone her communication skills, as well as learn about new opportunities and explore her passions.

“When I work with students that care about their work and genuinely want to know more about what they are doing, I think that is always really motivating,” Paley said.

Last Updated May 02, 2019