AN ARTICLE I REALLY DIDN’T WANT TO WRITE by EARL BALL
Stan caused me to re-read the article “Tournament players needed”. REACTION TO EARL BALL’S CHANGE SUGGESTION. 2017 12 I resisted doing this back in December but I guess now is a better time. The FSA had their final State meeting in March and I’m quite sure not a single change brought up in the article by me or the six players that made comments will show up next season. We aren’t really serious about addressing the concerns that are necessary to draw more players into tournaments. We did an analysis early in the season and it showed we were down 20%; I didn’t review the entire season but I’m sure we took a big hit. Over the last several seasons, before last season, we have been down 5-6% a season. That doesn’t seem like a lot each season but 15% over three seasons is a lot.
The Tournament of Champions was moved to the center of the State to draw more players but we only drew 75% as many players as we did the previous season in Clearwater. I surveyed Zephyrhills players as to why they didn’t play and the answer was why, I’ve got nothing to gain. Now is a good time to stop and look at the situation from my personal perspective. There are those that will think I believe change should be made because it will favor me. That’s wrong! The best thing for me is to leave things alone; I’m doing pretty well but that might not be the best for tournament shuffleboard.
Look at the comments by Maureen Bryant and Sue Krynak. Both say they like playing shuffleboard but traveling to the tournaments is discouraging because of the traffic, I agree. Now what kind of incentive does it take to get you to attend more tournaments. Maureen points out that the better players should play with less experienced players; fine, change the rules. She points out that the beginners need to learn the strategies of the game; fine, change the rules to allow open coaching so they can learn. Bob Jones points out that major Championships should remain 2 out of 3 – 75 point games; good point but maybe only Major Championships. He is intrigued by the 75 point difference ending a game; just think what he would feel about a kitchen being 10 points for the other team, not a deduction. Try this sometime; games go very fast and are exciting because there are big swings in score. Bob points out there are lots of smart people with ideas worth trying; I wonder what he thinks now that we have, again, done nothing. Doug Schmitt brings up a good point. Devise a system that allows everyone to play all day long the first day and only those that do well come back the second day for maybe the quarters, semis and finals.
We have lots of reasons to do nothing but we have one big reason to do something, SURVIVAL!
My experience tells me that there are plenty of shuffleboard players. I live in Betmar and we have 275 members. We get 30 to 40 new members each year and lose about the same number for various reasons. The challenge is what do you use as an incentive to get players to play more than the occasional tournament. Our players like playing at 7:00 each morning first come first serve, they like playing round robin a couple of times a week, they like playing turkey shoot before coffee hour, they like league play (three games), they like mixed doubles one afternoon a week, they like Citywide open shuffle one evening a week and they like Hoss Collar. Hoss Collar is a good example of what an incentive can do. It costs a dollar to play and after the three games they give back two dollars to the highest scorers until the money is gone. You should see the excitement in a winner’s eyes, the smiles on their faces and the applause by the other players and everyone stays until all winners have been recognized. Wouldn’t that be great for the winners in Shuffleboard Tournaments.
Earl Ball. 2018 04 16