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.