TAVARES FL – The sky was cloudy, but the wind was cool on Saturday.
It was a great time for the Tavares Shuffleboard Club to practice and have their final meeting in preparation for the Florida Shuffleboard Association’s Northern District Masters Tournament, known by shufflers simply as “The Masters,” which starts Wednesday.
“The representatives of the top eight ladies and eight men in the pro-division and 8 ladies and men in the amateur-division will be competing,” said Lorraine Layton, president of the Tavares Shuffleboard Club. “There’s seven districts in the state of Florida – we’re the northern (district). There are 11 members from this Tavares Shuffleboard Club that are participating in The Masters out of [our] 32 [members].”
Shuffleboard may be considered a game of leisure, but it is very much a sport of accuracy, Layton said. Shufflers move their cues swiftly and with precision on the court. “It has both the leisure aspect as well as the competitive aspect,” Layton said.
Although shufflers enjoy the afternoon exercise, an opportunity get out in the fresh air and spend time with friends, they also take their skills seriously
Many shufflers with the club have played for years and have steadily progressed through the sport. Some have even become renowned throughout the Northern district, Layton said.
“[The Masters] is a duel event,” Layton said. “Not only (is it) the participation of The Masters, but (it is) also a Hall of Fame (event) for the Northern district … and we have one of our members that will be inducted.”
That member is Patty Foster, who shuffled for the Tavares club for more than 20 years. Foster will be honored at the Hall of Fame ceremony banquet on Thursday.
“We’re really excited about that,” Layton said.
While The Masters will be held on Wednesday, the Tavares Shuffleboard Club is always looking for new members.
“Any age can play, from young kids to older kids,” said Dave Martin, a native of Erie, Pennsylvania. “We’re especially looking for local members. This is a local club so everybody in Tavares can come down.”
Martin says the club has plenty of activities on a weekly basis.
“We have regularly scheduled practice schedules and then we have tournaments and then we have fun days – days when we play and then have ice cream and cake.”
The Tavares Shuffleboard Club court is at Ridge Park, behind the Tavares library. They hold practice sessions Tuesdays and Saturdays at 9 a.m.
KUDOS to Lorraine Layton for ensuring this article got into the newspaper!! KUDOS to Bob Weber for sending it along for posting!!
Stan McCormack. 2016 03 23