“Masters Talk” > by Earl Ball: May I suggest that you react to Earl’s article by leaving a Comment!!


Earl Ball Speaks:  I need to write this now because it is always a topic of conversation during the Masters but is easily forgotten afterwards, for another year.

The question: Is the Masters played at the right time of year? 

It is played after the regular season and is therefore not well attended by players or spectators because so many go back up North. It’s usually very hot and after four grueling days everyone is exhausted.  The talk is always should the Masters be played during the regular season and what form would it take?  The discussion seems to be that the Masters points should be on a calendar year basis with the Masters being played along with the State Singles at the same site with the players getting some kind of points as they would if they competed in the Singles Tournament.

There is good and bad as there is with everything.  It can be as cold in January as it is hot in April.  Changes would have to be made to finish the Tournament in three days just as the walking singles is finished in three days.  That may mean only the top six make the Masters or that only two games instead of three are played against each opponent.  It’s pretty unanimous that something should change; there is even the thought that the top 16 should be invited and a doubles format of one kind or another should be used.

Earl Ball, 2017 04 07.  If you do not wish to leave a public comment, may I suggest you send an e-mail to Earl earlballzhills@gmail.com  with a copy to your District President.  The e-mail of your District President may be found here:  http://www.fsa-shuffleboard.org/fsaboard/fsa%20officers.pdf 

Posted by Stan McCormack.  2017 04 07.

This entry was posted in FSA (All Districts). Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to “Masters Talk” > by Earl Ball: May I suggest that you react to Earl’s article by leaving a Comment!!

  1. doug schmitt says:

    why would you diminish the quality of field for the state singles championship by eliminating the top 6 players? the amount of players for walking singles is getting smaller as it is. and please don’t diminish the masters by making it a doubles draw tournament. if it is too late in the year perhaps the season itself is too long? If you need to shorten the number of days I would vote for keeping eight players and playing only two games.


  2. stanistheman says:

    Stan entering a Comment for Gus Bondi. SUGGESTED STATE MASTER’S AND TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS PLAYED           

      I think that the state Master’s should be played in the first week of January and played to a 14 game total with the top 8 players from the previous year as opponents. Two games against each opponent. I realize that the smaller amount of games may create ties, but that can easily be adjusted by the total points a player makes in his/her 14 games. So two things would come into consideration, total wins and total points as a tie breaker.
      I also think that the FSA Master’s and the Tournament of Champions tournament be played in THE SAME WEEK….The Master’s on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to a 14 game tournament and the Tournament of Champions tournament be played on Thursday, Friday and Saturday AT THE SAME LOCATION in the first week of January.
      I also believe what Chuck Stansburge said a few years ago, that the State Master’s should ONLY BE for the top 8 players in the state who qualify.NO ALTERNATE.I have seen the state go down pretty low to come up with a alternate because someone from the top 8 dropped out for various reasons. Why should the 13-15 seed player play against the top players? I think this is very wrong.
      Having the tournament in January, you are very likely to get NO DROP OUTS like is present now. Every year there are drop outs because of shuffler’s going North or Canadian’s having to leave to get back on time.
      TOP PLAYER’S only. If one drops out, then it would be the top 7 etc.
      I think that having the two tournaments in the same week together would draw more people to go watch the best players in the state compete against one another in back to back tournaments.
      I think that they should be played under covered courts because of the weather factor in January. Right now we have Betmar- Clearwater-Lakeland-Sebring-St Cloud and Zephyrhills shuffleboard Club would be eligible to host and Master’s and Tournament of Champions in the same week…under cover, with spectator sitting.
      Remember also, the weather is a lot cooler in January than in April


      Like I said, the Tournament of Champion’s tournament should be played in the same week with the Master’s on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and SHOULD NOT BE A STATE TOURNAMENT. The Tournament of Champion’s is a tournament for a select few and the other shuffler’s in the state are on the outside looking Add to dictionary is why I say NO POINTS in the Tournament of Champions.
      The tournament before the Tournament of Champions in Lakeland(P25)is a big tournament and goes three days every year just about. I think that that tournament should be a split tournament between Clearwater and another Eastern club and give back Clearwater a tournament that was taken away from them recently. A tournament that Clearwater needs justifiably so.
      I think that both tournaments together would be a big week in FSA Shuffleboard. I think that each District in the State should donate $100.00 each for prize money( 700.00 total)plus  a few sponsors and you could easily have $1,000.00 in prize money
      You would see many players playing and most of all a lot more spectators coming to watch. Not what you have today, hardly any spectators at all to watch the best players play.
      Another factor to consider is that some shuffleboard players knowing that there will be no State or District tournament the first week in January may want to make plans for a winter vacation in January. Maybe a cruise or a winter vacation somewhere else.
      I think that I have said enough and made my point that the Master’s and Tournament of Champions should be in the same week for the betterment on future shuffleboard.
      Something to think about. Just another idea to try and make shuffleboard better and get people to come and watch the game we all love to play.

    Gus Bondi
    Stan Again: Shufflers; please react to Gus’s comment, with a copy to Dave Kudro and your District President. Stan McCormack. 2017 04 13.


  3. Glen Peltier. says:

    I must go along with Doug. We already have weakened the masters enough. There is much controversay over the T.O.C. Have the masters the week of the T.O.C. Eliminate the T.O.C. altogether or move it up. We fell in love with this game because of what it was or what it is.This is a tough great game full of strategy. A game we can be proud to say play as a pro.The F.S.A. is the envy of all the shuffleboard associations. We have had a great past. I believe our present board will do the same. Glen Peltier.


  4. stanistheman says:

    Stan entering a Comment by Glenn Monroe: “An article was recently published suggesting many changes to the Tournament of Champions, the Masters and another tournament on the FSA schedule. I was at first disinclined to comment on it, but the Central District president asked me for my opinion.  I have since been asked to share that opinion in this forum. What follows is an edited summary of my response.

    The Masters has always been the end of the season extravaganza, like the Super Bowl, the World Series or the Stanley Cup. To move it to the middle of the season, based upon the past season results, doesn’t seem practical to me. Kind of anticlimactic. The same is true of the TOC.

    The suggestion to put it back-to-back with the TOC is just unworkable. The TOC is a 3-day event and the Masters is a 4-day​ one​. That would be 7 days of very hard competition. Most players are exhausted by the Masters alone. Besides, it takes several days after the TOC to make notifications, sort out players/positions, make the necessary preparations, train volunteers, prepare brochures, etc.

    ​It has been​ suggest​ed that ​changing the Masters format to just 24 games to accommodate ​the​”one week” ​back to back format for the TOC and Masters​. I, personally, think that the Masters has seen enough change for the present.

    ​It​ ​has ​also​ been​ ​proposed to​​ tak​e​ P25 away from Lakeland and making it a split with Clearwater to make up for Clearwater losing the TOC. First of all, moving the TOC from Clearwater to Sebring is not set in stone. It was done on a trial basis to see if ​participation in the ​TOC  could be improved. It may ​well ​return to Clearwater if the change is a failure. Secondly, how would ​ possibly ​that be an equitable solution? P25 has always been a highly successful tournament at Lakeland, both for the club and for the FSA. To take it away from Lakeland to correct a perceived injustice to Clearwater would be foolish and unjust. ​Proposed a​additional​ justification ​for that act ​is ​that ​P25​ is a 3-day tournament​.​​ I would point out that there are many ​other ​3-day tournaments during the season and all center-spread tournaments are scheduled as 3-day tournaments.

    One point of agreement I share with ​the author​ is that, in the past, we have gone too deep on the  points list to find Masters players, especially alternates. The FSA board will be examining possible corrections to that problem.”

    ​Glenn Monroe


  5. stanistheman says:

    Henry Strong says:
    2017-04-14 at 10:18 (Edit)
    In response to Earl and Gus comment on the Masters when I was 1st Vice President of the FSA I suggested an all star week like all other sports have where shuffleboard could have the Master played and the FSA singles on a rotating venue and points giving to both and could have your winter FSA meeting in the afternoon instead of ten o’clock at night and expect the shufflers to perform the next day. It is certainly held at the wrong time of the year for more than one reason. Well you all know what happen to me, guess maybe I could have been ahead of time. Henry Strong.
    Sent from my iPad


  6. stanistheman says:

    Gus Bondi says:
    2017-04-15 at 09:35 (Edit)
    I agree with Henry 100% that shuffleboard should have a break half way through the season and playing the Master’s half way through and having the winter FSA meeting at a decent hour instead of late at night.
    But,I do not agree with giving points to just a select few people while other shuffler’s look on.
    I wish more people would express themselves instead of reading comments from only a select few people…..Changes can’t be made unless you express yourself.


  7. stanistheman says:

    Henry Strong says:
    2017-04-15 at 17:11 (Edit)
    In response to Gus, if the Masters were played the same time as the FSA singles why shouldn’t the ones playing the masters get the same points.


  8. stanistheman says:

    Ron Nurnberger commented on Two Significant > But Totally Different comments in the Comment Section. Check Each Out!!
    I hope and expect that each Follower is aware that all Followers are invited to leave comments in the Comment Section, …
    I like the idea of simply moving the Masters back to week of TOC. As Glenn said, holding in middle of season is anticlimactic. I see the TOC as just another tournament to earn points anyway, thus finding another place in the schedule makes since. NOTE: I don t mean in any way wish my comment to demish the TOC–it is a significant FSA historical event. Remember, finding a ‘perfect” solution is difficult—thus I always have been in favor of trying things ‘ on a one year basis.’


  9. stanistheman says:

    Glenn Monroe Speaks: I am sorry that Earl believes that the Masters is “a wart on the end of the season.” I believe that most players think of it as an honor to be striven after and appreciated for the great achievement it is. Earl and I agree on many things, but not on this point.


  10. doug schmitt says:

    I disagree with Earl’s suggestion to play the Masters concurrently with the State Singles. Why should one championship compete with another. They are both historically significant events that should not be competing with each other. Frankly, I am just as proud to be a state champion as I would to be a Masters champion. Lets keep both events with the best players able to play in each. Again why not just shorten the season if it is too long? Would be interesting if the last two spots were made available to the players that compile the most points in the three singles tournaments. Might increase participation in those events. Also gives players that don’t have the time to play the whole year a chance as well. Remember it is a singles tournament after all. Maybe a one year trial on an alternate selection process?


  11. Jerry Stannard Pres. SWCD says:

    I have played in the “Wart” 9 times and enjoyed everyone of them, it is the prize at the end of the journey. I see two problems with the Masters: 1. it takes too long [4 days] and 2. It costs the players to much[$300-400] depending on location. Reducing it to 14 games would reduce both time and expense. Remember these are the players who play every week and travel all over the state[time and expense] It would also enhance the Masters if the prize money was doubled to at least $1400 for each division. More like it was in the old days. We won’t have spectators unless it’s held in a park where shuffle is big or in Zephyrhills where it’s all they know.


  12. John Mickle says:

    I have never played in a Masters at any level. That said, I have a great amount of respect and admiration for those who do. All my working life I was in the golf business and perhaps we can discuss some concepts from that professional sport. The following are my thoughts:
    1… The Masters should be played at the end of the season and be a doubles tournament
    2… All State Pro Main winners (two man teams) will be invited to the Masters and must play as the same team that won the State Pro event… also invited will be
    3… The top 8 point earners in State pro tournaments if they have not already qualified through section (2) above. . . if necessary, the top 8 will draw for partners from amoungst themselves. . .The top 8 point winners will receive a jacket if they do not already have one as will the Masters winning team if they do not already have one. . .
    4…. the previous Masters team winners, for their next 3 years, will be invited to the Masters and do not need to qualify

    This type of format will increase interest in the Masters and at the same time not take anything away from the Tournament of Champions that is played as Singles. All players who feel they are good enough to play in State Pro tournaments will feel they have a chance to make it to the Masters .

    The event itself should not be as exhausting as it will be played according to normal Match play events and be played as a doubles. . . . plus expenses for players will be reduced as some will be going home early if they are so inclined. Plus, we may see some new teams at the top of the leader board.

    There you have it – something completely different. . . . .

    John Mickle Co-President – Trailer Estates Shuffle Club


  13. Jane Helen Biaggi says:

    Top 8 only
    The Masters is a tournament that is in a league of its own. Players work hard all season to be among the top 8 who will qualify to play. The key word here is QUALIFY.
    You cannot play in the TOC unless you QUALIFY, why are we going down as far as the 15th position in points allowing a player to compete in this prestigious event and even presenting them with a White Jacket? We are deluding the value of the Masters.
    Top 8 only. If one of the top 8 is unable to play then we go with 7 etc. Keep the field distinctive,

    No Doubles
    The Masters should be played as is, three 75 point games and NO doubles. I do think it should be played at the end of the season as a grand finale, but if there is a way to schedule it during the season I understand how more people would be able to watch the best of the best. If there is a way that can be accomplished it would be worth a try.

    I agree with the comment that each district could donate $100.00 and would add that maybe the FSA could donate $300.00 making the total $1,000.00 in prize money

    TOC Rotate
    As far as the TOC is concerned, I think this tournament should be held somewhere in the middle of the season. That would increase the attendance. As it is now, if the top player is way ahead in points they can opt out of this tournament and relax until the Masters. I also would like to see the TOC rotate in the Central District, where it would be accessible to all.

    Helen Biaggi


  14. Gus Bondi says:

    I am glad to see people express themselves with their ideas.Change can’t be made unless the right people know how you feel.I wish that all district president’s and more past FSA board members made comments also.
    After reading all of the comments,I am still in favor of having the Master’s in the first week of January in the same week as the TOC…..If the Master’s were to be played to a 14 game format ( I agree with Jerry Stannard)it would not be gruelsome at all…….do the math….5 games on Monday(because of opening ceremonies)…6 games on Tuesday and 3 games on Wednesday……a nice lunch and a FSA meeting in the afternoon ………Thursday,Friday and Saturday the TOC……You would have move people watching then there is now and I do not see where it is gruelsome at all.
    Playing to two together could even bring in the press and maybe TV to help promote the game.
    Other sports have a break in their season for a “Allstar” break and they play to sold out arena’s…the top shuffleboard players in the Master’s are Allstars.
    I still say P-25 should be a split…..I said at first with Clearwater and a Eastern club…..Lakeland is East of Clearwater……split it with Lakeland and give Clearwater back a tournament that was taken away from them that they deserve
    TOC in Sebring and it is not “set in stone”. I am a betting person and I give a great percentage of my winnings to St Jude Children’s Hospital when we send our monthly check.
    I am willing to bet anyone that I will be in my final resting place at Busnell National Cemetary before the TOC is moved back to Clearwater.Any bets??
    I still say that each District should put up $100.00 and I agree with Helen Biaggi that the FSA should start putting money into the Master’s.$300.00 to round out a even $1000.00.The FSA should also start spending some of the money they have on promoting the game of shuffleboard.
    I am really glad to see people speak out with their opinion.I am sure that the right people have been reading these comments which is good for shuffleboard.

    Gus Bondi


  15. Ron Nurnberger says:

    I agree with Gus–nice to see different thoughts on the issue. For those who suggested a shorter season and keeping Masters at end of season, I offer up this resolve: Move Masters back a week, in place of TOC. Move TOC to week BEFORE State Singles in January (HOF date). That way playing Singles in TOC gets players ready for State Singles the next week (and I’m sure more participants), It also gets entire FSA season finished by April 1st so shufflers can go north (and Canada).
    Obviously, having one less tournament means “someone” has to give up a tournament. Let the FSA board deal with that. Someone has to sacrifice something somewhere.
    As far as the original discussion as presented by Earl, that also remains on the “plate” for more good discussion. My thoughts here are just more ‘food for thought.’


  16. Jerry Stannard Pres. SWCD says:

    Interesting comments. First of all the TOC has a list of over 300 eligible players not a select few. Secondly the suggested prize monies for the Masters is $1400 not distributed in even increments with 1st being $120 and 8th $55 not much for 4 days of work. Now we have another change, a committee to check the courts out in advance and the recommendation that beads be added and special discs be used. What ever happened to adjusting to the conditions? After all these are the best of the best. Don’t those who play better on slower courts have the right to play the Masters on slower courts sometimes? Or is it maybe that my friend Earl hasn’t come in at Tavares the last four years and had trouble at Briny Breezes last year? Also the special discs are the ones used at guess where? Zepherhills!!! I’m all for change but not to penalize a particular group. Let’s work on the main problems, the length and the cost.


    • Gus Bondi says:

      I agree with Jerry…….to finish in the top 8 in the state you sure had to make adjustments along the way for fast courts and slow courts to get there.
      I do not agree to bring in different disc to play the master’s…..Adjust to the court condition and the disc conditions and play the game.The conditions are the same for your opponent as it is for you.


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