Zhubal E-Zine

Powers To The People:

“Let Your Voice Be Heard!”

James Powers Elected Zhubál’s First Commissioner

James Powers was elected to the position of Commissioner of Zhubál in a landslide vote by the ZCCC last month.  Members of the Zhubál community are hoping the choice of Powers in this position signals a shift in attitude and approach of the game and its players, with a new level of organization and professionalism the end result.

ITG had a chance to sit down with Powers and talk with him about his new leadership position and the future of the best #?$*ing game ever invented.

Powers’ election as commissioner came from the perception that the ZCCC, and the game of Zhubál itself, was in need of a strong organizational force to chair the committee and find consensus among innumerable Zhubál players of different backgrounds, ability levels, and socio-economic status.  This need was recognized early on by Founder Jack Tully, “The game itself is perfect.  It just needs somebody at the steering wheel to give it direction for the future.”

The ZCCC elected Powers by a landslide margin evidently because of three qualities:  his love of the game, his ability to play the game, and his organizational and leadership skills.

ITG:  “Talk about the game of Zhubál.”

JP:    “Zhubal is the best #?$*ing game ever invented! It is amazing to see all who play for the first time walk away thinking that they have just played a great game. And they can’t wait to play again! What makes Zhubál so incredible? First, any sport where a sense of humor is required has got to be great. Also, while Zhubál will always be a competitive sport, there are rules that require all players to display good sportsmanship and support for their fellow competitors. Furthermore, it is a sport for the masses. Not too long ago, a woman who was six-months pregnant played one complete tournament and began a second! (That tournament was stopped due to ball busting.) And her stats were skyrocketing in the second tourney! Anyone can feel great playing this game, but there is also the opportunity for individual excellence.”

ITG:  “What about the future of Zhubál?”

JP:  “As far as the future of the sport, that will depend on all who have played and loved the game. The ZCCC can help guide the direction of the game so that it always improves, but it is up to all of us to spread the game to people who have not played. Also, anyone who has played the game is welcome at any time to give their thoughts to any member of the ZCCC. Your thoughts will be heard. This is a crucial time for Zhubál. With the commitment of the ZCCC members and the Zhubál community, we can continue to make the game bigger and better for all.”

Powers has an obvious love for the game, but his participation in the sport certainly does not end there.  During recent months there has been no greater player dominating tournaments nor a more prominent public figure in the game than Powers.  His stats speak for themselves.  10 time Turbo Zhubál Champion, including tournament victories in Wrentham, Cumberland, and of course the Founders Invitational.  His average over-under of 9.76 and nearly 28 serves per game are evidence of his skill and effort.  His very presence on the grid strikes fear in the hearts of even the most seasoned Zhubál veterans with serves routinely clocked at 105 mph and spike bounces reaching heights of 75 feet or more.  Tiger Woods, who has been called the “James Powers of Golf,” is the only other professional athlete currently enjoying the type of success Powers has created for himself.

However, Powers believes it is his ability as a leader and coordinator and not his prowess on the grid that led the ZCCC to elect him.

JP:  “I don’t think my election has anything to do with my playing. I think what people will always be looking for in a Commissioner is someone who understands the spirit of the game and has the initiative to make things happen in the sport of Zhubál. I only hope that I can always stay true to the game in the eyes of the Founders.

“If the sport is to continue to evolve, changes are inherently part of that evolution. It is still a young game and many rules in the Instructional Compendium are being adjusted as we learn more about the possible scenarios that might take place in a tournament, game, or scrimmage. The first changes that I would like to see take place involve the ZCCC. I would like to see all members of the Committee putting forth a constant flow of thoughts, opinions, votes, etc. on a weekly basis. This will allow us to make any necessary rules adjustments that are needed as quickly as possible. Also, everyone on the ZCCC must work hard to set up new tournaments in their areas and promote the game to new players. By my rough estimates, there are about 25 people in the world who have played Zhubál or Turbo Zhubál. I think one of our goals should be to have 40 people involved by the end of Season A, 2003.”

Faith in Powers is obvious from the greenest Niner rookies to the most grizzled Sixer veterans.  Even the Founders have sounded off in support of Powers.  “I think that James Powers being elected as the Commissioner of Zhubál is one of the most proactive and determined moves that the ZCCC could make in the future development of the Game and it’s strive for global coverage,” states Founder Andrew Carpenter.  “Jamie’s continued drive and encouragement behind the scenes has been invaluable to the entire Zhubál Community. I truly feel that without his involvement, Zhubál may never have made it past the Inaugural Game in August of 2002.  Jamie’s contributions to the Instructional Compendium, as well as to the sport itself showcase the true nature of the game.”  Carpenter continues in his support of Powers, “If there is one person that I could forecast leading Zhubál into this and the next millennium, it is James Powers. I look forward to working with him as Commissioner as well as within the Tournament Season.”

Powers has stepped right into the job as Commissioner, moving immediately into the Northeast Zhubál Operation Headquarters in Wrentham, MA, with frequent flights to the Home Office and Zhubál Hall of Fame in Menasha, WI.  Asked about his first job as Commissioner, Powers asserts that he will get right down to business.

JP:  “I believe my first job as Commissioner is to increase levels of communication between all members of the Zhubál Community and the ZCCC. Also, we in the ZCCC are looking to create a published schedule of tournaments around the country in the coming weeks and months.

“I encourage everyone to stay informed by checking the website as much as possible, getting your ideas to a representative in the ZCCC, and playing the game.”