PRO/AM MIXED DOUBLES; THE CENTRAL DISTRICT GOT IT RIGHT
Six years ago the Central District of the Florida Shuffleboard Association, like all districts, was hurting for participation by women. The Board made a difficult decision; women’s participation had to increase, and the way to do that was to institute Pro/Am mixed tournaments in the North and South of the 90 mile triangular district forcing the Pros, mainly the men, to seek out women who played in the parks but not in tournaments. The mixed tournaments were scheduled at the same time, on both ends of the District, causing some hard feeling among players that couldn’t find partners but it worked. We now have a large, healthy, group of women players and you can really see it in State Tournaments held in the Central District, as well as in our district tournaments.
The District has held on to the tournaments but has made a change to relive some of the pressure by scheduling the mixed tournaments opposite a Pro Draw and an Amateur draw tournament at opposite ends of the district giving players an option if they don’t find a partner.
There’s always talk of eliminating the Pro/Am mixed but it usually comes from players that weren’t here in the lean years when the board made a bold decision the all current players benefit from.