CAN YOU READ COURTS! We have basically two types of courts in Florida, rough (sand finished) or smooth and depending on how they are dressed they will be what we think is fast or slow! The rough courts, when played dry, are predictable and repeatable, generally faster in the center than down the outside and are what we call slow courts, some can be very slow, so they sometimes are beaded with the larger, round beards which speeds them up or they can be beaded with what we call “California beads” which are more like snow flakes and are very fast to start with and then slow down and become unpredictable, they remain very fast down the outside. Then we have smooth courts which can very from about the speed of our slow courts to very fast depending on what is added to the beads. The predictable thing is that the beads will break down in the center of the court and slow down while the outside will remain fast, just the opposite of the rough courts without beads. We have no regulations, so each club does what fits their taste. We play State & District Tournaments on all of these types of surfaces and he who can adjust “wins”; everyone else goes home! Some courts are so crooked they become “fun”, like Hendersonville, North Carolina where you have to aim out into space to have a chance to hit another block. Some are like snakes with several breaks like Lakeland’s new courts, those can be very aggravating, Lakeland’s courts are being redone, but most places have a court or two like that. Very few are straight, I’ve never found one that was straight. In reading about the Internationals it’s seems I really have no Idea what “fast” means; the game out west must be very different than the game we play. Lary Faris tells me my first shot would go completely off the court, no mater how careful I tried to be and Rocky Bridges wants me to come out and “play” so he can get even, guess I’ll have to give him that opportunity sometime. Glen Peltier says he never meant a court he didn’t like, wonder what he would say if he played one of those courts! I wonder if the roll out courts will ever catch on for tournament play, they work well for introducing the sport in other countries.
Earl Ball writing in June of 2004. In the pic we have Earl presenting the MVPerson Pin to Charles Griffin; Shirley Griffin is “pinning” Charles. Charles is best known for his quote: “Shuffleboard is not a matter of Life and Death > it is far more important than that!!” This article and all others in this series may be found in the Category INSTRUCTION. Stan 2013 03 11.