Interesting and Instructive by Earl Ball. A7 of 15

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWHAT ABOUT BLOCKS!  I guess we’ve all walked away from courts after a match saying those darn blocks were terrible.  We almost never play a match where we don’t have at least one bad one in a set, either much slower or much faster than the others.  Jim Allen tells me his dad told him if he could solve the “block” problem he would be looked upon as a saint!  Those of us who have spent a great deal of time trying to get new blocks to run or deciding how to rework existing blocks would certainly agree!  If you’ve tried to make new blocks run then you know why there are so many old blocks in play, the problem is that someone always comes along and decides to make two good sets out of three sets with some bad blocks in each.  If you’ve reworked blocks then you know that blocks that are as little as ½ oz different than each other will run noticeably different distances.  They all start out the same speed when you push them, but the lighter ones slow down faster.  Some times they paint the yellow ones black, not realizing the yellow are softer and will wear faster than the black.  Ever use chipped blocks.  That chip will make the block drift differently depending on where it is when you shoot it.  Have you ever seen Jac Bergeron pick the blocks up and mark on the block where the chips are on the bottom?  Why do you suppose he does that!  I remember talking with Jac about the following weeks tournament, which was at St Pete.  He was telling me how much he was looking forward to that tournament.  So I asked him why he liked St Pete so much considering they have the worst blocks of anywhere we play.  He just “smiled” and said “that’s why I like St Pete because all I have to do is pick out the bad blocks before my opponent and I will win”!  Never thought of it that way!

By the way have you ever seen a 15 oz block?  All of the new ARCO blocks seem to weigh 14 ozs new.  The rule is a maximum of 15 ozs.  When Harriet Smith passed away the Club received two, what appear to be, nearly new sets of Dimco blocks.  I weighed a black and red from each set and sure enough, the blacks weighed 15 ozs, the reds weighed 14 ¾ ozs.  One of the sets must have been from the “time frame” when they were changing from red to yellow because in one set four of the blocks are ½ red and ½ yellow on top, pained in ¼’ s.  We tested the blocks and although they appeared new, they ran very well!  Dimco had asbestos in them, so they are no longer manufactured.  The asbestos must have made quite a difference!

Article by Earl Ball.  Written originally on 2004 06 04; revised 2006 09 04.

We have Terry Rainwater in the pic with Earl.  Time line; the 28th ISA World Championship in Betmar.   Also, the first ISA SINGLES event.  Here are your 2009 Winners!! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Click on pic to expand.   This file can be found in INSTRUCTION Category.

Stan McCormack.  2013 03 13.

This entry was posted in INSTRUCTION. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Interesting and Instructive by Earl Ball. A7 of 15


    Ladies and Gentlemen, The use of the term “Blocks” in lieu of the correct term “Disks” is not only incorrect but also somewhat annoying. A disk by all aspects is round and a block is square or rectangular. The term block in shuffleboard refers to the intentional placement of a disk directly in the line of attack for your adversary with the intention of protecting your scoring disk. In reading the article of Earl Ball I nearly finished the text before I realized he was referring to disks and not strategic blocking. Lets get the terminology in order.

    May the drift be with you and your blocks be on target!


    Sent by I-Phone


  2. Pingback: We Tell You Just A Little About Earl Ball. | Your Source for Shuffleboard News

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