27th National Carrom Championship sees high quality play, great participation

                            US National Champion AJAY ARORA. PHOTO: USCA

The United States Carrom Association (USCA) conducted the XXVII (27th) US Nationals Carrom Championship from April 28th-30th 2023 at Cleveland, Ohio. 120 players were in the fray, including 27 new players who competed on US soil for the first time.

Ajay Arora of Pennsylvania made history by lifting his maiden title, defeating 11-time National champion Saravanan Babu of Ohio in a closely contested Grand Finale, with a score of 6-25, 25-9, 21-9.

Preeti Jakhotia of California secured the third place, prevailing over defending champion Louis Fernandes of Canada.

Doubles tournament in progress. PHOTO:USCA

The doubles trophy was bagged by the Canadian pair of Ravindra Chuge and Louis Fernandes, who bested their American rivals Navin Chilakalapudi and Ajay Arora in a 3-setter Finale, with a score of 25-4, 14-20, 25-4.

Deep Joshi of Washington emerged victorious in the Challengers division; Arshad Shaik of New Jersey won the Enthusiasts division and Mahmood Khan of Ohio won the Amateurs division.

A total of 4 slams were scored during the course of the tournament – 2 white slams by  Chilakalapudi of Delaware, and 1 black slam each by Satish Dupati of Ohio and Subbu Laxminarayanapuram of North Carolina respectively.

The US Nationals is the biggest annual carrom event of North America, a press release from USCA said. Every year, hundreds of top-class carrom players from across the US and Canada congregate under one roof and battle it out to claim the most coveted title of the continent, organizers said.

LIVE broadcast on Willow TV. PHOTO: USCA

The format for Doubles was to play 6 rounds of Swiss Round Robin (SRR) games between the 56 teams, with the top 8 teams moving on to the Quarterfinals of Champions division at the end. The format for Singles was to play 7 rounds of SRR games between the 116 players, with the top 16 moving on to the pre-quarterfinals of the Champions division. All matches in the SRR phase were played as a single game to 25 points or 8 boards or 45 minutes, while the knockout phase was played as a best of three such games. A whopping 649 matches were played in total over the course of three days of the tournament across both singles and doubles formats, including both SRR and knockout phases.

All podium finishers with their trophies. PHOTO: USCA

“The successful deployment of the new software at the Nationals and the positive way it was received by the player community bodes well for the increased adoption of technology in the sport of Carrom in the future,” organizers said.

This tournament also saw a ten fold increase in the number of games being live streamed, and organizers were proud of the partnership with Willow TV. “Thanks to the partnership between USCA and Willow TV, Carrom is not only reaching scores of viewers worldwide, but is also climbing up the ladder of professional sports with the help of aforementioned innovations,” the press release said.

Last but not the least, this tournament saw the emergence of a new National champion in more than a decade-  Ajay Arora not only bested 11-time champion Saravanan Babu in the finals, but also knocked out defending champion and the most feared player of North America Louis Fernandes in straight sets in the semi finals, and prevailed over trophy contender Mohammad Ishan in a nail biting Quarterfinals.

Last year’s runner up and women’s world no. 5 Preeti Jakhotia appeared to be in good form, but succumbed to a ruthless Saravanan Babu in the semi finals

Kids Carrom 101 Participants. PHOTO: USCA

Other changes introduced at this tournament include mandatory side change mid-game in SRR rounds, and an improved algorithm to more accurately identify the top X players across two pools of players. Also, continuing the tradition started at the 2019 US Nationals, a Carrom 101 session was held at the venue to introduce the sport of carrom to local kids.

USCA also held a meet & greet session between leaders of the various regional carrom associations in attendance, such as North East United States Carrom Association (NEUSCA), Bay Area Carrom Association (BACA), Capital Area Carrom Association (CACA), New York Carrom Association (NYCA/WSA), Connecticut Carrom Association (CCA), and representatives from local clubs in areas such as Nashville, Maine, Seattle, Maryland, Michigan, Dallas, etc.

Complete Results



Winner: Ajay Arora

Runner up: Saravanan Babu

3rd Place: Preeti Jakhotia


Winners: Ravindra Ghuge & Louis Fernandes

Runners up: Navin Chilakalapudi & Ajay Arora




Winner: Deep Joshi

Runner up: Satish Dupati


Winners: Anthony Royan & Madhu Kalya

Runners up: Shibu Jose & Srini Rayaprolu




Winner: Arshad Shaik

Runner up: Jayaprakash “JP” Jayaraj


Winners: Viral Parmar & Murali Balasubramanyam

Runners up: Sridhar Galipelli & Uday Jayaraman




Winner: Mahmood Khan

Runner up: Firoz Basheer


Winners: Shailesh Mokashi & Sachin Zope

Runners up: Raju Godugu & Ketan Naik



Best New Player: Ashok Vardhan Rebbavarapu

Best Woman Player: Preeti Jakhotia


Best Senior Player: Subbu Laxminarayanapuram

Best Youth Player: Aditya Godugu

Best Local Player (Ohio): Satish Dupati

Best New Local Player (Ohio): Mahmood Khan

Slammers: Navin Chilakalapudi (2 white), Satish Dupati (1 black), and Subbu Laxminarayanapuram (1 black)

Super Host: Saravanan Babu

MVP Volunteer: Firoz Basheer

Referee Panel: Subbu Laxminarayanapuram, Sam Mallisetti, Atul Bhave, Ravi Vishnubhotla, Oscar Philips

Carrom 101 Head Coach & Organizer: Sam Mallisetti

Willow TV Commentators: Dr. Nilesh Mehta, Murali Balasubramanyam, Bala Parthasarathy

Willow TV Production Crew: Umair, Ali, Ganesh



No. of participants: 123

No. of matches played: 649

No. of matches live streamed: 70+

No. of slams: 4 (2w+2b)



Singles Finals on Willow TV: https://youtu.be/VnP_hNixx_A

Doubles Finals on Willow TV: https://www.youtube.com/live/wkYzi_F3A_g

Singles Semi Finals on Willow TV: https://youtu.be/5GiciIBFy3I

Other matches on USCA FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/carromusa




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