Dr. Bob Jones Speaks: Why do we travel to play shuffleboard? ISA President Myrna Bilton quoted my hometown hero Jesse Owens during the opening ceremony, “Friendships are born on the field of athletic strife and are the real gold of competition. Awards become corroded, friends gather no dust.”
Owens also said, “If you don’t try to win you might as well hold the Olympics in somebody’s back yard. The thrill of competing carries with it the thrill of a gold medal. One wants to win to prove himself the best.”
So shufflers from around the world have gathered in High River, Canada to cement old friendships, forge new friendships AND compete for the gold medal. Being born and raised on the concrete courts of Ohio, a challenge for me when traveling is to adjust to different styles of courts. In High River we are playing on roll out courts on the floor of a hockey arena. Half the courts are eastern speed, approximately 7.5 sec from kitchen to kitchen; the other half are western speed, about 18 seconds. All the courts are curvy. Tennis and golf play their major championships in contrasting venues and the best players adjust. Shufflers need to do the same. I love the challenge of figuring out the nuances of playing a different style of game. In my opinion, the eastern courts reward complex strategic thinking and creativity, while the western courts require phenomenally precise physical shotmaking. What do you think?
2-3 times a week, I drive by East Tech High School in Cleveland where Jesse Owens attended, so one more quote, “Find the good. It’s all around you. Find it, showcase it and you’ll start believing it.
Stan Speaks: Thank You Dr. Bob Jones. 2018 07 18.