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Bend Kids Compete in Kendama Tournament


Kendama is a ball-and-cup game, popular in Japan and also among U.S. youngsters. Wabi Sabi in Bend, which sells the toy, held a tournament Saturday at the Boys and Girls Club of Bend.

Organizers say kids have been practicing for a couple years, and it’s really caught on, especially for students at Bend High School and High Desert Middle School.

Kendama consists of 3 cups — big, medium and small — and a spike. The spike is what makes the game challenging, and means you can do an infinite number of tricks.

“It’s not a game kids get bored with very easily,” said Barb Campbell, Wabi Sabi owner. “There’s always a new trick to learn. There’s always a new skill something a little harder to do. And then they start with the ones that somebody at school made up, and then everybody at school tries to get the same one.”

Campbell says she enjoys seeing kids play with a toy out in the fresh air, instead of seeing them sit on the couch playing videos games.

About 15 kids were competing in Saturday’s tournament, and by the looks of it, they were having a good time.

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