More than 100 players from across Western Canada and the United States took part in the 3rd annual Alberta Canadian Shuffleboard Association team tournament in Innisfail.
The weeklong event took place Aug. 8 to 12 at the Innisfail Curling Club.
“This is our team tournament. Years ago it used to be a doubles tournament but it was suggested by a member that we have a team tournament,” said Jack Sell, a local player from Bowden. “We decided to try it out and this is our third year.”
Every week between May and September, Sell joined other shuffleboard players from Innisfail, Red Deer, Olds, Delburne, Bowden, Airdrie and High River for games at the local curling club.
This year 120 participants and 12 teams from across Western Canada and the United States participated in the team tournament. Each team had eight to 10 players and was divided into two divisions.
“It was a five-day tournament. Everybody plays everybody in a round-robin format and you play 11 games,” explained Sell, noting most players are seniors ranging in age from 55 to 90.
“The competition was great and quite competitive. The Texas Bandits won the tournament this year,” he added. “Our team (from Alberta) won it the first year.”
In addition to the team tournament every August, a singles tournament takes place every June. “We’ve been playing in Innisfail for the last 20 years,” said Sell, noting the season wraps up in the second week of September.
Shuffleboard is a sport that is played around the world, he noted.
“They have world competitions. Every two years the International Shuffleboard Association has a competition somewhere in the world,” said Sell. “We send people from Canada and the United States to participate. It’s not just a local activity, it’s a worldwide competition.”
Sell said the players enjoy the social aspect of shuffleboard as much as the sport itself.
“It’s the friendship that you create over the years. People enjoy being together and participating in a sport,” said Sell. “Even though it’s competitive it’s a friendly competition.”
The same can be said about the annual tournaments.
“It’s like a family. You get to see these people once or twice a year and it’s just like a big reunion,” said Sell. “Everybody enjoys themselves and everybody has fun.”
Sent along by Bob Weber WITH THANKS. (Stan) 2016 09 07.