Lois Cooke releases a shot during the Memorial Team Shuffleboard Tournament at the Innisfail Curling Club.
Shuffleboard a sport for all ages and abilities
Players from across Alberta play in weekly tournaments
By Kristine Jean Oct 9, 2018
INNISFAIL – The Alberta Canadian Shuffleboard Association has wrapped up another successful season.
Every week between May and September, shuffleboard players from across Alberta, including Innisfail, Bowden, Red Deer, Olds and Delburne gather to play shuffleboard and compete in weekly tournaments.
“The second Monday of the month is when we play our tournaments,” said Jack Sell, president of the association.
Two major tournaments are held every summer, including the Memorial Team Shuffleboard Tournament at the Innisfail Curling Club in mid-August.
“We get people from across Canada and a few from the United States (who) come up for our major tournaments in June and August,” he said, noting the events run several days each.
The August tournament, known as the Memorial Team Tournament, has about 120 participants from across North America and is divided into 12 teams with 8 to 10 players per team, who compete in a round robin format.
“It was originally designed for one of our members that passed away and rather than just name it after him we thought we would name it in memory of players that we’ve had over the years that have passed on, but made a great contribution to our club,” said Sell. “So we call it a memorial tournament.”
The Art Scott Singles Tournament is another big event in June that includes 128 players in four divisions.
“We have a plaque at the curling rink showing all the winners of the tournaments over the years,” said Sell, noting players usually range in age from 55 and up.
“Most of our players are all retired or semi-retired. It’s a weeklong tournament,” he said. “You play two games a day.”
Sell said shuffleboard is a popular sport in Alberta that has both social and physical benefits.
“It’s quite competitive, but it’s a friendly type of competition,” he said. “I say it’s a family of 500 people.
“It’s a lot of fun. It’s not overly physical as a sport,” said Sell. “We’ve had people in wheelchairs that play, with walkers, crutches, canes and with prosthetic parts to their body. They’re all able to play this sport and do well at it.”
It’s a sport said Sell, that is open to everyone at every age and ability.
“For seniors, there’s a lot of opportunity in all sports, including shuffleboard,” Sell concluded.