End of every August for the last eight years, when most get discouraged because of the closure of summer, Romanian Ring enthusiasts have one more event to boost their moods before going back to work. At that time, on the Black Sea beach of the Romanian village 2 Mai, the Ring Festival has come to become an exciting destination for strenuous competition and unwinding time with old and new friends alike.
2 Mai village is at the heart of an old tradition of playing Ring. Romanian Ring, as it has been played in 2 Mai for many generations is related to, but not exactly correspondent with the one invented by the American soldiers on the ocean cruisers, nor with the German Ring-Tennis conventionally played on deck. It is played on sand. Usually, the courts for men’s games measure twice about 10 meters 10 (13 steps x 13 steps), over a net of about 2.45 meters (as high as a 1.95 meters tall guy can reach with his hand). The contest was organized up to now for two persons teams of men, women, boys and girls, but recently there is high pressure to introduce also mixed team’s categories.
Summer 2019 competitors and supporters came for this occasion from all over the world, gathering 20 men‘s teams, 8 women’s teams, 5 teams of U14 boys, 4 teams of U14 girls, 8 U12 boys’ teams and 3 U12 girls’ teams playing simultaneously on three courts over two days and merrily watched by some 200 enthusiastic supporters. Nobody who happens to be in the village at this right time can avoid feeling the connection Ring brings to its community. The event is based on friendship (old friendship and newly created one, especially for the youngsters), fun (the two – three Festival days are full of joy), competition (some of the teams are very ambitious and engaged and take the competitive side very at heart) and tradition (a large majority of participants visit yearly 2 Mai since they were born and their fathers and mothers were also playing Ring in 2 Mai).
Of course, after winners are officially declared and prizes have been handed at the end of the final’s day, everybody is welcomed to enjoy the party: music, dance, drinks, food, but especially, again, fun and friendship and of course some more laughter and joy as nobody seems to get tired before the weekend ends.
Author: Andrei Petrescu