George O’Reilly loves being a shuffler.
That’s the word the shuffleboard community gives to its players, including the more than 50 gathered at the Coldwater Curling Club for this week’s Canadian National Shuffleboard Association Tournament that kicked off Tuesday.
But O’Reilly, who serves as president of the Coldwater Shuffleboard Club, only became a shuffler after driving his mother-in-law Ruth Addison to the club when it opened in 2006.
“She shuffled in Florida, so when they opened the club here, she wanted to play,” O’Reilly said, adding Addison who’s now 100 years old played up until last year. “I brought her out that day and I got hooked into it.”
O’Reilly said shuffleboard can be enjoyed by players of virtually any age.
“It’s not a contact sport and there’s a lot of strategy involved in each game,” O’Reilly said, noting there’s a real sense of camaraderie that exists not just among local players, but also with participants from other clubs.
“You meet new friends and those friends become really close over time.”
Fellow Coldwater player and tournament co-organizer Ella Smith said that the Coldwater tournament has become a favourite with players and now attracts not only residents from across the province, but also a couple this week from New Brunswick with other players expected to arrive from the United States.
“We play best of three games,” Smith said, noting that each game consists of 16 frames with the winners advancing and the vanquished moving onto a consolation round.
Joanne Clark travelled from near Bancroft for the three-day tournament that also features a number of participants camping in recreational vehicles parked behind the Coldwater club.
“I just love it,” said Clark, who played for the first time while spending the winter in Florida six years ago.
“You just get hooked on it. If you like to curl, you’ll like to shuffle. I didn’t have any idea what it even was until we went to Florida that first time.”
This article from the Newspaper, Orillia Packet and Times, sent along by Gary Pipher. Posted on 2017 07 20 by Stan McCormack who just happens to be in St. John’s NL.