How good are your blocking skills? On February 25th, the TWA Hotel at JFK Airport will host the first ever competitive Jenga® competition presented by the newly formed National Blocking Association™. Teams will compete for a $10,000 top prize and the title of blocking champion. Blocking is “the act of removing and placing blocks while playing a Jenga® game.”

A stack of JENGA blocks on a. table inside the airplane bar at TWA Hotel
Image courtesy of National Blocking Association

This classic tabletop game includes 54 hardwood Jenga® blocks that players must carefully remove and then stack on top again. Game designer Leslie Scott debuted the game at the London Toy Fair in 1983. The name was inspired by Scott’s childhood growing up in various countries in Africa. It comes from the Swahili word kujenga, which means “to build.”

Participants aged 10 and up in teams of one to four players are welcome to see how they stack up against the competition in the National Blocking Association™ tournament. The epic final blocking battle will take place in the iconic red and white Sunken Lounge of the TWA Hotel, once a 1960s-era airport terminal. The second-place winner will receive $2,500, third place $1,000, and the fourth-place team will go home with $500. Jenga® sets used in the tournament will be donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Queens.

A stack of JENGA blocks next to one of the lion sculptures at NYPL
Image courtesy of National Blocking Association

Robert Grebler, also known as “Mr. Jenga,” will kick off the festivities by explaining the rules. Grebler helped to popularize the game by licensing it worldwide. He recently set a record with a Jenga® Giant™ tower that was 44 levels high.

If you’re a bit too shakey for the competition, but still want to try your hand at blocking, you can take part in the Block Against the Clock speed stacking challenge, or the Fuzzy Fingers Challenge which requires players to play with gloves. After the winners are crowned, all participants and spectators are invited to a party in the Sunken Lounge. There will be merch available for purchase and a specialty cocktail to imbibe called the Slightly Unstable.

A stack of JENGA blocks in Times Square
Image courtesy of National Blocking Association

You can sign up to compete at The entry fee is $65 per team. All are invited to enjoy and observe the spectacle for free!

Next, check out 10 Secrets of JFK Airport