Coldwater club espouses values of shuffleboard while it hosts the province: (Sent along by Bob Weber with thanks)

ANDREW PHILIPS/SPECIAL TO THE PACKET & TIMES Coldwater Shuffleboard Club president George O'Reilly, left, makes a shot during an Ontario Shuffleboard Association tournament at the Coldwater Curling Club.

ANDREW PHILIPS/SPECIAL TO THE PACKET & TIMES Coldwater Shuffleboard Club president George O’Reilly, left, makes a shot during an Ontario Shuffleboard Association tournament at the Coldwater Curling Club.

Round black disks replaced red and yellow rocks this week in Coldwater, and Ella Smith couldn’t have been happier.

The Coldwater Shuffleboard Club vice-president said everyone seemed to be enjoying this week’s Ontario Shuffleboard Association tournament playing out of the village’s curling club.

“We have close to 40 teams today,” Smith said, noting players arrived from across Ontario for the three-day tournament that wrapped up Thursday.

All together, about 100 people were involved in the event, which featured amateur two-person teams competing Tuesday, with experts taking to the ice (make that concrete playing surface) Wednesday.

“We’re using 16 courts in total,” Smith said, noting curling rinks provide a great spot for shuffleboard once the ice has been removed.

“This is a perfect setting for shuffleboard. We rent from (the curling club) during the summer, when they wouldn’t have other money coming in.”

Smith said the Coldwater club normally attracts more than 50 residents from across the region for its regular Tuesday and Thursday matches.

“I think they love the social aspect of the game,” she said, noting members travel from Orillia, Barrie, Wasaga Beach, Ramara Township, Midland and even Parry Sound to take part in club activities.

Club member Mike Taylor was busy in the curling club’s kitchen this week making homemade soup for players to enjoy.

“We offer (lunch) for all three days and it’s all prepared by volunteers,” said Taylor, who began playing four years ago.

“It’s a relaxing time and isn’t too expensive to play compared to other things.”

Fellow club member Paul Alyward travels from his Orillia home to play in Coldwater.

“This is my third year,” said Alyward, who also plays in tournaments while living in Florida during the winter.

“I love the competition. There’s a lot of strategy to the game and a lot you have to learn when you’re starting out.”

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