We Repeat a 2017 Article! We Invite You To Sumbit Your Reaction?? Your Suggestions??

EARL BALL STARTED THIS SUCCESSFUL DISCUSSION BY SAYING THIS in 2017: TOURNAMENT PLAYERS NEEDED.

We Ask You in 2020:  Do You Think the Suggested Change Would Increase Tournament Participation??  Might You Have A Different Suggestion?? Please respond in the Comments Section >> OR send an e-mail to Earl at earlballzhills@gmail.com

Earl Speaks: I was at the FSA Tournament in Bradenton yesterday and before the draw President, Dave Kudro, told me the tournament was down 12 teams. I don’t know if that’s men’s and women’s combined or just men but that’s 24 players. We’ve been taking a hit yearly for a long time but much more so this season. I know all the excuses but that’s just what they are, excuses! We, the FSA, need to take action and I believe that we need to give an incentive to those that have stopped playing the tournaments. I know and you know that many players have stopped playing the tournaments because they realize they can’t win anything. It’s time we start giving a point for each match won starting with the round of 32; you must win the match by playing. Yes, we would be giving out more points but that is the incentive and yes, over time it may help some get to the Hall of Fame but that’s not a bad thing when you look at it from the health of the game tournament wise. I wouldn’t change consolation, after all you lost the 1st match; I’d also leave the payout alone except maybe giving something for the quarters in a large tournament, size would need to be determined. It seems we need to give an incentive to bring back our great players that have stopped playing. We all know many players stop playing some or all tournaments when they make the Hall of Fame; 200 points. It seems like we need to give some award for every couple hundred points so the carrot is out there.
It would require a program addition and the tournament director to fill out more spaces on the report form but the tournament director has time available after the initial rush the 1st morning.
This would also cure the small tournament point problem.
There’s not a one of us that doesn’t know that waiting cuts into our tournament fields significantly, I listened to all the gripping yesterday, and yet we don’t do the simple things we can do to help the problem. I was VERY impressed with the lecture Delores Brown, the tournament director, gave before the tournament. She told us to get the scorecard in immediately after the match is completed. That we would have 20 minutes for lunch from the time the card is turned in. That if you are put on notice that you are next up for a court that that was when you needed to go to the bathroom and get everything ready that you need to play. We know that putting the byes at the top of the chart eliminates having a number of teams waiting and looking at each other, in frustration, with courts empty. In a large tournament, like we used to have, spreading the byes was OK because we didn’t have enough courts anyway; that is rarely the problem anymore. Little things like a two-block lag instead of four and 75 points difference is a game shows we recognize the situation and are trying to make changes that will help.
We have been on the verge of losing our game from a tournament point of view for some time. We must act or we will no longer be on the verge! If you don’t like what I’ve said, fine, then you say something but don’t stand by and watch it go down the drain while you were silent! Earl Ball.

Larry Brown Speaks: “I sat down at my computer this morning, as always I went to the Shuffler website. The lead story is Earl speaking his mind on tournament players needed. I read the article 3 times and I knew I had to respond. I’ve been involved with shuffleboard on the district board for a number of years and a State Representative for a number of years. This is the first time that I have ever heard a shuffler of superstar status address the biggest reason why state tournaments attendance is in decline.
Over the many years the State Board has tried many different venues, through advertising more, encouraging more prize money etc. Earl has hit it squarely on the button why a large number of shufflers do not play in many state tournaments.
I use myself as an example. I’m not a Hall of Famer, I’m not a superstar, I’m an average player, to every once and a while, a good player. I have quit going to State tournaments because I realize I have no chance of winning. Now, I know all the superstars will say “practice more, practice more”. There are a large number of players, like myself, that could shoot a 1000 discs a day and probably would not improve over 5 percent.
Now please understand, I’m not taking a shot at the FSA, because the first time in a number of years our president, Dave Kudro, is working hard to come up with ways to help attendance.
Earl has hit it squarely on the head. Until they find a way for average players like myself, and many others to get a point or two, attendance will continue to decline.
I congratulate Earl for speaking his mind on this topic. I, for one, believe he is right on.
Ruth and I wish everyone a Happy New Year.
Larry Brown, CD State Rep. 2017 12 29

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8 Responses to We Repeat a 2017 Article! We Invite You To Sumbit Your Reaction?? Your Suggestions??

  1. Terry Rainwater says:

    I’ve been out of the game for a few years now but enjoy staying in touch by reading what’s happening. Fact, I’m still a paid member of ZSC. Regarding points for playing; it’s my opinion that is like giving kids a participation trophy. It’s meaningless and I don’t like the award just for showing up. I played tournaments to win, but if not I kept coming back because I enjoyed the game. It’s always been my opinion that the FSA State rules are a bit too strict. More ‘fun’ needs to be introduced into the game. Coaching for instance, it’s part of the game in Curling so why not shuffleboard. Separate men & women divisions, stupid. The Women are just as capable and show it all the time in the district tournaments. In fact, the Central District draw tournaments were much more fun than the State Tournaments. Things could be learned from the Royal Palms Club in Chicago. I could elaborate, but basically, add fun, relax some rules, you’ll more players.

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  2. stanistheman says:

    Glad you are following Terry. We can always count on you for a “good” comment!! Stan

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  3. Mike Collins says:

    Hi my name is Mike Collins from the FSW DISTRICT
    I’m a new player basically, I’ve played three years.
    I’m a very thick skinned guy, but my real frustration is the lack of places to go to learn the game.
    What shot should I take now and why?
    I find others especially during tournaments don’t want to help because they want to win.
    So when is the time to learn and from whom?
    I’m told to watch the good players, which I do, but I really can’t pick up on the whys and when’s of the right shots at the right time. The risk and reward shots?
    I think any sport that is successful has a great minor league system where you can learn the game and have fun along the way until you can get good enough to play with the Elite Players.
    But as I watched Amauteur Tournaments last year,there were not enough players at some of them for even the winners to get any points. I realize that if there is no one coming up there will be no tournaments in a few short years.
    I believe we need to set up some sort of system to encourage the better player, to help the newbies.
    The game is more fun, the more you learn.
    But their help is needed more than once per year.

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    • Earl A Ball says:

      Hi Mike,
      It distresses me that you aren’t getting help. In Zephyrhills you are expected to help others and you are only limited by your willingness to listen, try and put the time in. We have a few that don’t take part but very few. When I started I got lots of help and not always in a nice tone but I learned. Lots of players have moved to Zephyrhills because they know they’ll become far better players.
      Earl

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    • susanzlewis says:

      Hi Mike. I agree with some of your comments, I was actually one of the amateurs this past season who won a tournament but received no points because there were only 7 amateur teams. I did feel like I learned much from the Shuffle University held at Bradenton, and we have a couple in our park who hold lessons once a week. It would be great to see more like Shuffle University that focused on specific topics—like you mentioned: when to take a specific shot, strategy, etc. Thanks for the comments—it made me think more about this.

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  4. john Houghtaling says:

    I can certainly appreciate Both what Earl B. stated 2 years ago and what Terry R. has recently commented to regarding the point system!! At the present time there is a 10 day notice that is on the docket for a vote this Oct. (2020) from Henry Strong addressing the point system to encourage people to attend State Tournaments. In my humble opinion, I believe that winning a match especially in a large field event should warrant a point as Henry’s 10 notice has proposed. If nothing else, a player and his partner of average abilities could go home with a single point, assuming they lost in the next round and be encouraged to perhaps attend the next event. There are other scenarios in Henry’s 10 day notice to address the point system that would take up too much space and time for me to continue on but I believe what he has proposed, in addition to what I have stated, definitely has merit! Terry’s idea of coaching during play, especially in the am ranks, men/ women divisions together and taking a page from the New York/Chicago style of play are certainly worth discussing.
    There are other underlying issues why tournament play has not had the player participation that we would all like to vision; the traffic situation here in Florida is getting more congested each and every year as Florida explodes in population and it’s not going to get better!. As a result, “more” time is needed to get to venues than it once was discouraging many not to travel. Another thought that I have heard mentioned to cut down on travel time is to perhaps have a discussion about the size of the districts thus limiting driving times on the road
    Yet, other problem issues persist including entertainment that has come on the scene in the last several years, pickle ball, smart phones, computers and just a lack of wanting to participate in “anything” are all part of the bigger picture that the sport has to deal and compete with.
    The above comment made by Mr. Mike Collins is another issue; we, as individuals, groups, clubs, districts need to encourage “all” of our district ams and state ams to come out to enjoy the game more frequently!
    The St. Pete, Avon Park and Sebring area has worked very hard and has experienced an increase in the number of people picking up the game which is encouraging. The Zephyrhills area, including Betmar and ZSC has been able to maintain its base as well. In addition, here in Zephyrhills for example, Glenna Earle/Linda Marshman devote some of their precious time to put on a clinic once per year for those who are new comers to the game. There is an area tournament here in Zephyrhills that David Earle generously gives his time to each year where more than 50 players took part this past season. Woodbrook (in the Lakeland area) hosts an am tournament led by Glenn Monroe, David Earle, Jannette Harvey and the Woodbrook folks all of whom take time out of their busy season schedule to coordinate. Pres. David Kudro and the FSA board created a TOC for ams 2 years ago that has been well attended and I know that one of Pres. Kudro’s pressing issues is to get more folks involved with the sport.
    In closing, together, we all need to dig these ams out from park play and/or go into parks and do some teaching and have beginning players play the game correctly as Mr. Collins points out above in his comments so that we can keep replenishing the am ranks and help players learn exactly how intriguing this game we all love truly is!!

    Respectfully, John Houghtaling, Central District President

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    • Terry Rainwater says:

      A comment about Mike Collins inquiry. Thinking about his comments/question about where to get help with the game, I have to wonder if one part of the ‘access’ problem is the individual clubs rules across the state. For example, in Zephyrhills, as far as I know, only the ZSC is open for membership from anywhere. I lived in Betmar and was President there for a couple or three years. Only Betmar residents could become members. Actually, the Park association rules stated that only member residents could play unless that member had overnight guests. While I was President there, the park board was pressing the rule about non residents playing which would have prevented us from hosting tournaments. I vigorously fought them as some Betmar members may recall, and the issue died. My point/question is, how many clubs in FL are open to non resident members? I sense that most are closed clubs which could be a contributing factor to reduced tournament size. Shuffleboard competes with so many other sports that are actually a larger attraction to residents. Allowing members from parks with no courts would help, but park boards I’m sure would resist. My thoughts.

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