Dr. Bob Jones Speaks from the 37th ISA , High River Alberta, 2018.
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.”
Bob ALSO contributed the report below.
Ohio State Shuffleboard Association 2020
OSSA President Bill Hoyer has been a COVID shuffleboard hero in 2020! Very early in the year, as soon as it became clear the COVID-19 pandemic was spreading through our country, Bill worked the phone tirelessly with OSSA board members, club leaders, as well as leaders from USA-NSA and other state associations. Infection control protocols were established. Some tournaments were cancelled, some were rescheduled. Game and match formats were adjusted. The 2020 OSSA season was not your typical season. We hope there will never be another season like it, but perhaps it was our most successful season ever. Players embraced wearing masks, playing in a socially distant fashion, and new formats at each tournament with grace and kindness. The shuffleboard was competitive. The safe fellowship was much needed by all. Turnouts were often greater than expected and included new players. Our friends at Shuff.io recorded the National Finals at Lakeside; the women’s singles final is already posted on YouTube.
Due to the abbreviated season, it was decided to not have an official 2020 Roll of Champions. Players still earned points at OSSA tournaments to be added to their lifetime totals, as well as amateur move up points.
2020 top points earners:
1. Chris Cermak
2. Marvin McConnell
3. Bob Hoskins
1. Dianna Allen
2. Mamie Morton
3. Connie Mallory
Chris Cermak and Bob Hoskins surpassed 350 lifetime points and earned induction into the Ohio Hall of Fame in 2021. They join Dianna Allen who achieved the Hall of Fame milestone during the 2019 season.
Connie Roop advanced to Expert status.
Join me in congratulating all the winners with a 2020 virtual elbow bump!
Sent from my iPhone