Shuffleboard players of both amateur and professional status have come from all over the state to compete in this week’s State of Michigan Shuffleboard Championship at Bailey Park. The event lasts from Monday through Thursday and includes seven divisions, including men’s and women’s singles and doubles, as well as an ‘any’ division where men and women can compete against one another.
“You gain points when you play in tournaments,” said Larry Roan, (see pic) current president of the Battle Creek Shuffleboard Club, when asked how the competitors gain professional status. “You start out as a district amateur…then elevate to the next position, which is state amateur…then you have to get another five points to get pro status.”
Earning points is not as easy as it may seem, as this week’s tournament is the only contest of the year in Michigan where players can earn points toward becoming a professional.
Reaching the pro level in Michigan is quite an accomplishment, but if you’re good enough, shuffleboard can take you many places, as is the case with tournament director Ann Wedel.
“Shuffleboard is very active all over,” said Wedel, who is in the Florida Shuffleboard Hall of Fame along with her husband, Walter. “My husband and I have been to Japan, and we’ve been to Holland and Brazil, all for shuffleboard. My husband was on the national board for 13 years and I was the national secretary.”
On Tuesday, about 30 competitors squared off in the pro singles double- elimination tournament. (Pic is of Michigan President Sharon Olmstead.)
According to many of the participants, it’s not just the love of playing shuffleboard that brings them to tournaments like this, but also a mixture of game strategy and camaraderie that they get to enjoy with the other competitors.
“My boy saw these courts and said ‘Dad, why don’t you try it?’ so I came over here and made some good friends,” said Larry Roan, who is a local amateur player from Battle Creek. “I’m still learning the game. You’ve got some good friends and you learn the strategy of the game, and get the competition. It’s like an addiction.”
Article Sent Along By Bob Weber >> with thanks!! (Stan) 2014 08 01.