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News From St. Louis by Stu Cassell.
Prior to the Coronavirus, the St. Louis Shuffleboard Club played year round. In the late fall and winter we play indoors in a hall at the Salvation Army Citadel Community Center. During good weather months we play at Des Peres Park, in Des Peres, Missouri.
This past year the City of Des Peres began a huge renovation project which included tearing out the 3 concrete shuffleboard courts as well as the tennis courts. Their plan was to redo both, build a restroom near them, and new pickle ball courts.
As part of their plan, they removed all of the 60 foot trees around the shuffleboard courts and instead of 3 separate slabs, poured one big one. Those trees provided much needed shade during the hot, humid, St. Louis summers, and we will dearly miss them.
We have been playing indoors about a year due to the construction project at Des Peres. So far, they have regraded part of the area, and have poured all of the concrete slabs.
Obviously, because of the Coronavirus, we wouldn’t be able to play at Des Peres even if the courts were ready. Locally, the St. Charles Golden Games have been cancelled, and the St. Louis Senior Olympics rescheduled until September. A few of us have been able to continue to play shuffleboard, both in conventional and novel ways.
Club members Melody and Joe Blumenkemper are so passionate about shuffleboard that last year they expanded their patio and purchased their own outdoor court. They held a big party for everyone in our club, and we had a pot luck lunch and of course played shuffleboard. They have been playing outside whenever weather permits.
Meanwhile, at our house we got creative. Inspired by “mini-courts” I saw on line, I designed a modified court for our unfinished basement. It’s about 7 feet short of a regulation court in length, but the court itself is regulation size.
I started by measuring the longest unobstructed diagonal in the basement. Then I downloaded a diagram with a regulation court dimensions. Due to size limitations I had to make it a one sided court. I penciled it in first, and used painter’s tape to form the court. On the side opposite the court I created a “shooting line.” We don’t mind all the walking, we just consider it good exercise.
Surprisingly, there’s just a little drift on the left side, and the disks move smoothly across the floor. The one seam the disks cross is so thin that it doesn’t affect play. We also have a “waxing station.” It’s actually a table that my wife uses to fold laundry, but on days when we play shuffleboard it has a different purpose. We use an auto waxing buffer on the disks after we apply the wax.
We play every day, 2 to 4 games. Several years ago I made score sheets and bought a set of disks, so we had everything we needed.
Our “home version” of shuffleboard is keeping us sane and from killing each other during this period of self-quarantine. We’re pretty evenly matched so the games are competitive and something we thoroughly enjoy. As they say, “Any port in a storm.” In the picture of our shooting line our dog Jack is sitting in the middle of the court. He’s not usually there while we play.
Please be safe everyone, and remember, you can’t be too cautious.
St. Louis Shuffleboard Club