Earl Ball Speaks: Beyond a doubt my concentration has been on the Florida State Pro Circuit. The best players in the World winter in Florida and play the State Tournaments testing themselves against the best. But I’ve also played in other Shuffleboard Associations; in fact my original success was in the Florida Shuffleboard Association Central District. You all know that my father-in-law, Paul Bush, got me started; Stan recently re-published the story. I thought playing one tournament a week, around Zephyrhills would be plenty, and it would have except I found out about the District Amateur “Masters” and, that it would be played at my home courts in Betmar.
I couldn’t let that pass, so I started traveling to win the points I needed to qualify and discovered I liked playing in other venues. I did qualify, and won the “Masters”, called the Reiny in the Central District, in April 1999. You’ll remember I made instant Pro in October 1999 so I only got to play one tournament as a State Am and won the Tournament. I’ve gone on to win the District Pro “Masters” five times; no other male has done that.
I was inducted into the District Hall of Fame in 2006, the 2nd year players were inducted. Go here to read the induction remarks: http://www.fsa-centraldistrict.org/HOF/Ball_Player.pdf Have you ever wondered what one little ole point means? Well it means a lot!! I missed qualifying the 1st year a player could be inducted, by one point, when I couldn’t win the last tournament of the season finishing as runner-up. I have led the District in career points for the last several years and have 400 total points. (Pic with shamrock taken on occasion of my induction into CD HOF.)
I’ve also played the National Shuffleboard Association circuit. Of course the Winter and Summer Nationals in Florida but also the Summer Nationals in Ohio as well as the Eastern Nationals in Hendersonville, North Carolina. I’ve won Singles, Doubles and Mixed Doubles Championships. In total I’ve won 21 National Championship and that’s more than any other Male, and also lead in lifetime points with 400. I was inducted into the National Hall of Fame in 2006. Pic taken on that occasion, i.e. 2006.
I’ve been fortunate to have been able to travel the World with the International Shuffleboard Association and to attend Inaugurals to introduce the game in several Countries. I had the good luck to be selected to play on the USA team in Clearwater in 2002 and because I didn’t know enough to be nervous I won every game; only the 9th player ever to do so and was awarded a gold metal by the USA team. I was part of the World Champion USA team in Lakeside, Ohio, in 2006 and elected to the International Hall of fame in 2010. I am most proud to have been elected to each Hall of Fame as a Player. Many of you have heard me say “I just want to be a Player”. I guess I’ve done OK!
Earl Ball. Posted on 2017 09 20.