Shuffleboard tournament in Island Park brings in players from around the state of MI

Corey Micho - Morning Sun
Several players from around the state came to Island Park to take part in the Mt. Pleasant Shuffleboard Club’s annual state tournament on June 11, 2018. The tournament was played with a cash prize at stake. Several players from around the state (of MI) came to Island Park to take part in the Mt. Pleasant Shuffleboard Club’s annual state tournament on June 11, 2018. The tournament was played with a cash prize at stake.
The Mt. Pleasant Shuffleboard Club hosted its annual shuffleboard tournament in Island Park on Monday, bringing in 44 players from all around the state.
Teams of two used the full-sized shuffleboard area at the park to compete against each other.
Organizer and club member Jerry Jones said that the tournament has been an annual event for around 10 years. He also said that the tournament has brought people from other clubs to Mt. Pleasant.
“Anyone who is a member of a shuffle board club can play in this tournament,” he said.
The teams of two put in their entry forms the morning of the competition, according to Jones.
The winner of the tournament gets a cash prize, which is determined based on how many people entered the tournament.
The tournament attracts players at both the professional and amateur level, according to Larry Whalen, professional shuffleboard player and Central Michigan University graduate.
Playing out of Caro, Whalen has a history with shuffleboard that goes back to his father.
“My father was a professional player,” he said. “His girlfriend was in the Shuffleboard Hall of Fame.”
Currently, Whalen is a professional player in both Michigan and Florida. He has been playing for 11 years.
Being considered a shuffleboard professional depends on a point-based system. In order to be considered a professional in the state of Michigan, you must maintain three points over three years, according to Whalen.
In order to get into the Michigan Shuffleboard Hall of Fame, 75 total points must be earned over the span of a career.
“This tournament counts towards your standing,” Whalen said. “It used to be that the only place that you could get points in Michigan was the state tournament in Battle Creek.”
Whalen also said that some of the other people at the tournament were in the Michigan Shuffleboard Hall of Fame.
“You get to play against some of the best players in the world,” Whalen said.
The club meets at the shuffleboard course in Island Park every Tuesday and Thursday morning. Their typical season goes from May until October, with it sometimes lasting until November if the weather is nice enough.
Jones said that the club currently has roughly 30 members.

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