WHAT ABOUT THE CHALKBOARD!! Notice I didn’t say “scoreboard”, although maybe I should have, especially in a game that is so “scoreboard” reliant. Ever think about it? For one teammate the board is 50 feet away and for the other it’s behind him. Yet on the hockey court (rink), see I learned something, or the basketball court the scoreboard is electronic and lit up so everyone can see it and remember, by and large those players are all younger than we are, so they already see better than we do. I don’t really suppose that we can jump all the way to electronic scoreboards, but maybe we can make it a little easier for ourselves as we replace existing boards. Florida “Masters” player Bill McMillan and I were visiting Sam Allen at his shop a while back and as we toured we came upon the scoreboard manufacturing area. Boards are green now, we asked Sam why, thinking that our black boards were fine. He said his son, Jim, had convinced him that the school systems knew what they were doing when they went to green, we must not have appeared convinced so Sam insisted on showing us the difference. We were polite, not wanting to tell him we were sure it didn’t matter, as he set up his display of a blackboard and a green board 50 feet away. Then he wrote on them and I must tell you we were amazed at how much better we could see the green board. I, later, talked to Jim Allen about the subject and he told me the green also retained more of the chalk, which helped make it easier to see. I asked him about white boards and he told me the markers tended to become permanent if the score was not erased after a match, especially in the sun. Now wouldn’t it be nice if we could find a way for the boards to be located in the center of the court, even if they are not electronic, so we could all see the score!
ARTICLE BY EARL BALL; written on June 13th, 2004. Click on pic to expand; pic taken in 2009; US National Championship. This article, and all other such articles will be posted in the Category INSTRUCTION.