Josh Dulabaum (1st Vice President – West Coast District), Erik Hamann (Vice President – St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club), Kerry Bailey (Member at Large – St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club), and I were very excited to get the opportunity to come play in Sebring this week and attend the FSA Hall of Fame banquet. Kerry and Erik had already attended a number of State tournaments and were familiar with the rules and processes associated with the tournaments, so they reminded us that we were not allowed to use our cell phones on the courts (which was quite a challenge! Neither one of us ever knew what time it was, since that’s the only clock we have!) and explained to me that when playing black, I wasn’t supposed to make any calls. With a bit of nerves (not Erik, of course. He’s rarely nervous.) we made our draws and headed to our courts. We thought it was very kind of everyone to be so welcoming and answer the questions we had, especially around the rules for State tournaments. We all started off well, each of us winning our first games. Erik, Kerry, and Josh won their first matches and moved into the Main, while I lost and moved into Consolation.
Josh was lucky enough to play Earl Ball in his second match (or is that unlucky?), and was knocked out in the second round. Earl did take the time after the match to share some Shuffleboard wisdom with Josh, so he was ok with the loss. Kerry had a bye and didn’t end up playing again until Tuesday afternoon! I won my second match after an extremely lucky last frame in the third game, but was knocked out in the third round. Erik continued to win and placed 3rd in the men’s walking singles.
This was each of our first times attending the Hall of Fame banquet. We thought it was wonderful. It was so interesting to hear the speeches about each of the inductees and meet players from all over the state. We enjoyed hearing stories about players traveling to different clubs and how they first began playing shuffleboard. It’s apparent that regardless of our skill levels or how long we have been playing, we all have the same love for the game and enjoy the commraderie we share with our fellow shufflers. I have a feeling that we will be attending many more Hall of Fame banquets in the future- and hopefully a few of us will make it in ourselves!
We were so happy that we had the opportunity to come play with such amazing shufflers and meet so many wonderful people. I know that each of us learned at least a couple of new tips to improve our games! We think that playing with pros is vital to making us better and will take the lessons we learned back to our club and encourage others to come out and play at the State level. We would love to see some of you in St. Pete and show you our club if you ever make it to our little piece of the Sunshine State. Thank you for having us and to the Sebring Shuffleboard Club for being such wonderful hosts.
St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club