Recently, the history of Shuffleboard has been printed from the St. Petersburg centric point of view. The Northern District has a little different take on how things happened in the early days of shuffleboard. For example, Daytona Beach claims to have had the first shuffleboard courts in use. A gentleman by the name of Arthur Baldwin from Deland was an early promoter of the game and was part of the Mirror Lake meeting where the FSA and districts were formed. On February 6th 1935 they created 4 Districts – Southeast Coast, Ridge or Central, Northern and Western.
From a handout describing the Northern District History, several other interesting dates and events where mentioned. 1940 saw the approval of the 10 off penalty for leaving the court without permission. 1941 FSA certificate for club membership, sanctioning of tournaments, standardized scoreboard, and the shuffleboard player mold for trophies. 1942 saw 39 member clubs and if you held a state sponsored tournament the host club provided the prize money with no entry fee. From 1943 to 1945, no tournaments were held because of the war. 1948 they created Open and Closed Divisions in State Sponsored tournaments and created an age requirement of 50 years which was changed to 60 in 1949. Another note was that the winter season ran from January to Mid March. In 1959 the West Coast District was split to make the Southwest Coast. 1960 the Hall of Fame was started at the Orlando Shuffleboard Club which was in the Northern District. 1961 the Southeast Coast District split forming the Central East Coast. The last note on the material had the Southwest Coast District being split to form the Southern District in 1989.
Doris Hanke found the two pages of material that was called Northern District History as she was looking through old shuffleboard materials for something totally unrelated. As an ex school teacher she thought it was neat and gave me a copy, and sent a copy to our current President Glen. As an ex school teacher I thought it was neat, so it has been condensed and sent on to the shuffleboard world. If others find old history, I’m sure many of us would like to read about what it used to be like in the shuffleboard world.
Bob Robinson – Hawthorne. 2010-03-28
THE SHUFFLER: Thank you so much for yet another thoughtful article!! History is important; history is interesting; many shufflers appreciate it a great deal.
Thoughts By Rob Robinson, Chair, Hawthorne Club.
Each fall we return to play shuffleboard and hear the news of friends and spouses of friends who have passed during the summer that will not be with us this new season. We reflect on the good times and laughs that were shared on and off the courts with these fine people, and pray that the burden of loss their families feel will soon be replaced by the memories of lives well lived. This past summer we lost 3 members who were tournament players and known to many in the Northern District and on the State tour: Earl McAleer, Jo Senia, and Harold Ferry. Betty Mc Aleer has chosen to honor Earl’s memory by sponsoring both divisions of the October 30th State tournament at Hawthorne. For those of you that have played at Hawthorne, you have had the opportunity to play with discs that were waxed on machines that Earl donated to the club many years ago. Earl didn’t donate just one; he gave the club one for each set of 8 courts.
Other Northern District tournaments are also being sponsored at Hawthorne this season; Doris Hanke sponsored the Mixed Doubles tournament as a memorial to Bill Hanke; Bob Robinson sponsored the No 2 Pro tournament in memory of his parents Don and Thelma Robinson, and Bill and Marion Lohbusch sponsored the Men’s/Ladies’ tournament. Shuffleboard is a sport, a social event, and a great place to make new friends. How we contribute to the game can come in a hundred different ways. We have people who make the coffee, bake the pies, give the lessons, some who recruit new members, or even create a website called The Shuffler. From Hawthorne, we say thanks to all of you.
Bob Robinson, Chairman Hawthorne Shuffleboard Club. 2009-10-28.