Earl Speaks His Mind!! We Offfer You The To Speak Your Mind!!!


Earl Ball Speaks: I was at the FSA Tournament in Bradenton yesterday and before the draw President, Dave Kudro, told me the tournament was down 12 teams. I don’t know if that’s men’s and women’s combined or just men but that’s 24 players. We’ve been taking a hit yearly for a long time but much more so this season. I know all the excuses but that’s just what they are, excuses! We, the FSA, need to take action and I believe that we need to give an incentive to those that have stopped playing the tournaments. I know and you know that many players have stopped playing the tournaments because they realize they can’t win anything. It’s time we start giving a point for each match won starting with the round of 32; you must win the match by playing. Yes, we would be giving out more points but that is the incentive and yes, over time it may help some get to the Hall of Fame but that’s not a bad thing when you look at it from the health of the game tournament wise. I wouldn’t change consolation, after all you lost the 1st match; I’d also leave the payout alone except maybe giving something for the quarters in a large tournament, size would need to be determined. It seems we need to give an incentive to bring back our great players that have stopped playing. We all know many players stop playing some or all tournaments when they make the Hall of Fame; 200 points. It seems like we need to give some award for every couple hundred points so the carrot is out there.
It would require a program addition and the tournament director to fill out more spaces on the report form but the tournament director has time available after the initial rush the 1st morning.
This would also cure the small tournament point problem.
There’s not a one of us that doesn’t know that waiting cuts into our tournament fields significantly, I listened to all the gripping yesterday, and yet we don’t do the simple things we can do to help the problem. I was VERY impressed with the lecture Delores Brown, the tournament director, gave before the tournament. She told us to get the score card in immediately after the match is completed. That we would have 20 minutes for lunch from the time the card is turned in. That if you are put on notice that you are next up for a court that that was when you needed to go to the bathroom and get everything ready that you need to play. We know that putting the byes at the top of the chart eliminates having a number of teams waiting and looking at each other, in frustration, with courts empty. In a large tournament, like we used to have, spreading the byes was OK because we didn’t have enough courts anyway; that is rarely the problem anymore. Little things like a two block lag instead of four and 75 points difference is a game shows we recognize the situation and are trying to make changes that will help.
We have been on the verge of losing our game from a tournament point of view for some time. We must act or we will no longer be on the verge! If you don’t like what I’ve said, fine, then you say something but don’t stand by and watch it go down the drain while you were silent!

Earl Ball.  27 12 27.

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

13 Responses to Earl Speaks His Mind!! We Offfer You The To Speak Your Mind!!!

  1. Michael Zellner says:

    I wholeheartedly agree. Points don’t cost anything and the dividends by giving a few more out outweigh the dwindling participation.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Maureen Bryan says:

    Hi Earl, do you really think giving more points will entice more people to play shuffleboard? This will only give those who play for the point system more available points to their already goal. A lot of shufflers play for the enjoyment of the game, getting more involved starts at the district levels. When you think of it how many top pros play with beginners? How many play at the district levels. I know some of the best players won’t play district, how are the beginners ever to learn the strategies of the game if these great players won’t play with them. Do you ask these other players why they have stopped playing these high tournament games? Many do not like the long drives to the areas, tournaments can take 2-3 days, some have the expense of hotels, and many do not the long waits they have to endure at a tournament. Some have even said it feels more like a job. Tournaments are not for everyone of course, but putting more points into the system is not the answer in my opinion. I myself have backed off in the travelling this year, I may do more next year. I do like the competition and like seeing all the friends we make along the way. For right now I play a lot in my own district. Regards Maureen Bryan, Fort Myers.


  3. Bob Jones says:

    I always appreciate Earl’s comments and insights and agree. I hope major championships remain two out of three 75 point games. There are always some little things to increase efficiency such as shorter practice and lags. Enforcing length of time between matches. Engaging players with byes with activity to keep them feeling busy and appreciated. I am intrigued by the idea of ending a game with a 75 point differential, although I have seen such deficits reversed many times. Points for wins in early rounds will motivate some.

    I am sure there are lots of smart people with ideas worth trying. It starts with listening to new players, friends, neighbors, and other sports. Non-championship events need to become incubators for change. Some innovation will succeed, some will not. In my opinion from Ohio, for elite level shuffleboard to thrive, we need to develop and grow a large base of recreational fun shuffleboard which might look very different from the tournaments we love.


  4. douglas schmitt says:

    since the 1 day play a certain number of frame games “tournaments” are so popular how about somehow using that format to reduce the field on the first day to top 8 singles or doubles teams and the second day quarters through finals played as traditional tournament. players or teams with the most wins on first day advance to second day. maybe 5 games of 24 frames doubles switch colors in middle for first day as an example. break ties for advancement to second day with a playoff at end of first day would be pretty exciting. not for all tournaments but a good way to transition one type of player to the next level and still have the best players compete the second day for points and money.


    • Rosaire Cote says:

      I disagree with Earl about changing the points system, but I agree about giving an award every 200 points !!!! like Gus Bondi told me one time “Points are hard to come by” Thank you. Rosaire Cote


    • stanistheman says:

      Day 1 Rules and Procedures
      1. The first day of the tournament will consist of 6 games of 16 frames each (8 frames on each
      2. Each person who enters the tournament must commit to playing all 6 games on the first day.
      3. You will draw for a partner before each game.
      4. Although you will be playing with a partner, all scores will count individually.
      5. You may draw the same partner and/or the same court more than once.
      6. In order to conserve time, suggested practice is 2 speed shots and 4 practice shots at the
      beginning of each game and 4 practice shots only on the color change. However, as this is a
      District tournament, everyone is entitled to full practice, if desired.
      7. First and second calls will be by players on adjacent courts. Third call will be by the tournament
      director or his/her designee.
      8. Maximum score for any game is 100 points.
      9. Ties at the end of 16 frames will be broken by a 2 block lag from the head of the court with the
      last block counting to break the tie.
      10. Byes may be utilized if there are an odd number of players or insufficient courts to handle all
      11. Unless otherwise notified by the tournament director, a player may draw only one bye for the
      12. A bye is worth 70 points.
      13. All scores will be reported on the supplied scorecards and each player must sign the scorecard
      verifying their score.
      14. Scorecards must be submitted to the tournament director before drawing for the next round.
      15. The total number of games won determines the order of finish for the first day with total score
      being used to break any ties in games won.
      16. The top 16 players will be invited to return on the second day. Players must commit to
      returning the second day before leaving. Any player who cannot commit to returning will be
      replaced by the next eligible player.
      Day 2 Rules and Procedure
      1. The 16 returning players will draw for a partner and keep that partner for the rest of the
      2. The format will be a normal 8-team elimination tournament.
      a. Round 1 will be quarter finals with winners advancing in the Main and losers advancing
      into Consolation for the semi-finals and finals in rounds 2 and 3, respectively.
      3. Order of play will be the best two-out-of-three 16-frame games for each round.
      4. If a third game is required, there will be no lag for color. The low line number will start on
      yellow and change colors after 8 frames.
      5. All normal F.S.A. tournament rules will apply


      • Michael Zellner says:

        Looks Great Stan. Thanks for playing with me in the Orange Bowl. An honor indeed.

        Your message below should be the Rule for all of Florida not just one district don’t you think?


        PS. Look at my recent comment to Ear’ls suggestion



  5. Sue Krynak says:

    I totally agree with all Maureen Bryan’s comments. I love the game of shuffleboard and thrive on tournament competition , but traveling long distance and fighting rush hour traffic is just too much. As she said, feels more like a job. I don’t play for points. I play for love of the game.


  6. Joyce Smith says:

    I also agree with Maureen. I don’t think we need to change the point system. I actually think making the HOF wouldn’t mean much if it was to easy. I think it’s the distance and expense that keep most people from going to State tournaments. For the Shufflers who play both District and State Tournaments, they are shuffling 4 days a week. That’s when it starts to feel more like a job and it’s so easy to get “burned out”. I personally don’t want to see any changes to the point system or the 75 point game at the State level. I think the decline in numbers at Bradenton was due to the Christmas holiday and many of us went home to spend Christmas with family. The fact that the tournament fell on the day after Christmas, it was impossible for travelers to get back in time to play.


  7. Michael Zellner says:

    I understand the resistance to Earl’s suggestion to slacken the policy of awarding points by many of the fine speakers above. I would imagine their argument is that they worked very hard traveling all over Florida winning tournaments just to get the points that they have earned and awarding some for other accomplishments would diminish the value of theirs. Thats understandable but on the other hand, being new myself to the FSA tournaments I have spoken to many players in the past 2 years who have competed for many years and have NO points to their credit. They compete but haven’t been lucky enough to draw great partners or do well enough to place in the singles events. They are not on the bottom but always somewhere in the middle and sent home day 1 of the tournaments time and time again. I assume they are the ones Earl is trying to motivate to continue competing and suggestng FSA place a point or two within their reach.


  8. here says:

    Thankfulness to my father who told me on the topic of this blog, this blog is in fact remarkable.


  9. Regina Davis says:

    I agree completely. The pro’s up until they changed the point system, could make pro over night ! And a lot of amateurs rode on pro’s coat tails to get help to get points. Then there were too many pro’s and not enough amateurs. So it was changed. Then there is the buddy plan, only the (great) play together. Everyone knows the clicks. My husband and I have made our points the right way, we are state Ams, but, we have stopped playing tournaments, and seldom play in weekly shuffling. This is a wonderful game, and there is good and bad in everything but each district is different. Why is it in draw tournaments an amateur has to draw another amateur, pro’s draw Pro’s ? We use to have Pro’s draw amateurs, and like wise. It evens the playing field. It all comes down to the Pro’s got Pro’s when the points were higher, now they want change ? There are some wonderful friends I have made. It’s not like it use to be !! Just my opinion……


  10. JIM BELL says:

    Good stuff Earl ,I just wondered I started season as dis amateur with 4pts got 1.5 pts for state am now any pts I earn mean nothing till next Oct. I BECOME STATE AM NEXT YR. SO PTS MEAN NOTHING TO ME


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