“Opinion By Steve Biaggi. Share Your Opinion!! 2017 12 13.

Steve Biaggi Speaks: (Steve is the State Delegate for The Southern District of the FSA)

For the past five to ten years we have been experiencing a fall off of players. Maybe it is because people would rather play pickle ball, bocce, lawn bowling or whatever. When mentioning shuffleboard I sometimes hear” TOO MUCH WAITING, FRAME GAMES ARE BETTER, WE WANT DRAW TOURNAMENTS OR MINGLE SINGLES TOURNAMENTS, WE SHOULD HAVE THIS KIND OR THAT KIND OF TOURNAMENT.” etc. etc. Do the players who want to make these changes have our competitive spirit? In trying to accommodate these players are we SHOOTING OURSELVES IN THE FOOT.

Two out of three 75 point games determines the winner of a match is the way I was brought into this game. I doubt these players, who want to change just about everything concerning our game, ( in the state as well as the district )will even be playing shuffleboard in 10,15 or 20 years from now. BEWARE, this appears to be a creeping disease going from district to district and then where to next.????? These players will not be involved in shuffleboard as we are. We are the backbone of our game and should not be permitting changes to so many aspects of our sport in hopes of gaining new members.

The question is, are these players dedicated enough to travel 100 miles or more to compete in our sport or would they prefer to spend a couple of hours playing shuffleboard on a warm sunny afternoon ? Do we need new players who are not interested in playing our game under the conditions we play ( rain or shine ). REMEMBER, if it is a draw tournament or mingle singles you are not committed to a partner, so if it’s cold or raining that morning you can decide to stay home. Some players will only want to play in draw, mingle singles or 75 2 out of 3 tournaments, this results in less participation. Our dedication to shuffleboard is the reason that our game is played and has been played as it is for so many years.

The membership may be down but I feel the quality of players is what matters. Sure, waiting around is not what we come to tournaments for but that’s the way it is. Shuffleboard has survived over 100 years and has had thousands and thousands of players, if we have a little decrease in participation we should not panic and change rules, formats or anything that takes away from our game that has been played successfully all these years. Who has the right to do that?.

At most tournaments,we have enough players for a full 32 chart. If you play on a 32 chart you must win 5 matches to win the tournament. If it takes 2 1/2 hours for one match you will have played 12 1/2 hours in two days in order to place in the finals.

New ideas should always be welcome and considered, that is why we have 10 day notices, however, changes on how we play our game should be left alone. Leave all the changes and fun games back in the parks, they are fun and entertaining. There is no place for them in tournaments. 75 points 2 out of 3 games is the true game of shuffleboard.

Steve Biaggi
Southern District

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4 Responses to “Opinion By Steve Biaggi. Share Your Opinion!! 2017 12 13.

  1. Pat batdorff says:

    Right on. How about split tournaments. When I retired and came back to the game I loved I wondered what in the world split tournaments were. I was told they were to bring out new players. Well that didn’t happen and now we have tournaments where you just show up and receive points. We used to claw for points.

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  2. Earl Ball says:

    I agree with Steve and Pat, at least to a point. I believe accomplished players want to test themselves in the 75 point game which requires knowledge, endurance and desire. In Zephyrhills we all learn and play 75 point games every day and we have excellent players at every level. If you don’t learn the 75 point game you will probably never be as good as you could be.
    As far as Pat’s comment about split tournaments, I was there in the early 2000’s when the oil crises caused our players to stop traveling to tournaments. We decided that if players wouldn’t travel to tournaments, we would take the tournaments to them. That worked good at that time but as our tournament players have diminished it looks like the wrong decision was made. It’s true and not new that the equity in points earned needs to be revisited to bring equity to points earned in tournaments with less than 16 teams where points can be earned without winning a match. Split tournaments are very old. St Pete used to host Singles, Mixed Doubles and Any Doubles at the same time.

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  3. douglas schmitt says:

    what are the possible pro and cons of playing tournaments on the weekends instead of during the work week? it would certainly remove some of the stress and time associated with travelling to the tournaments. would also make it easier for non retired younger players. some of those special tournaments on Saturdays seem to be getting really good turnouts.

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  4. Glen Peltier. says:

    Much what Steve said is true, Lets not be to quick to change the rules. How often I heard people say, the game was fine when I first started to play. I feel many of the changes hurt our game. Now there is a movement to bring the West Coast into the South West Coast. Do they think People from these two district would cross the big bridge to play a district tournament? We tried draws in the state and it failed badly. The district that gave away amateur points away for district draw etc. are the districts that have no amateurs left. I think the fsa should consult people from the past like Dave Minnick, Phil Rebolts Myself, and others before making drastic changes. This game has gone on for many years. Lets take our time before throwing it all away just because our numbers are down.

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