EARL BALL STARTED THIS SUCCESSFUL DISCUSSION BY SAYING THIS:
TOURNAMENT PLAYERS NEEDED
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 score card 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
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 super star 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 super star, I’m an average player,
to every once and awhile, a good player. I have quit going to State tournaments because I
realize I have no chance of winning. Now, I know all the super stars 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
6 Responses to Earl Speaks His Mind!! We Offfer You The To Speak
- Michael Zellner says:
2017-12-27 at 22:53 (Edit)
I wholeheartedly agree. Points don’t cost anything and the dividends by giving a few more
out outweigh the dwindling participation.
Liked by you
- Maureen Bryan says:
2017-12-28 at 10:58 (Edit)
Hi Earl, do you really think giving more points will entice more people to play
shuffleboard? This will only give those who play for the point system more available points
to their already goal. A lot of shufflers play for the enjoyment of the game, getting more
involved starts at the district levels. When you think of it how many top pros play with
beginners? How many play at the district levels. I know some of the best players won’t play
district, how are the beginners ever to learn the strategies of the game if these great players
won’t play with them. Do you ask these other players why they have stopped playing these high tournament games? Many do not like the long drives to the areas, tournaments can
take 2-3 days, some have the expense of hotels, and many do not the long waits they have
to endure at a tournament. Some have even said it feels more like a job. Tournaments are
not for everyone of course, but putting more points into the system is not the answer in my
opinion. I myself have backed off in the travelling this year, I may do more next year. I do
like the competition and like seeing all the friends we make along the way. For right now I
play a lot in my own district. Regards Maureen Bryan, Fort Myers.
- Bob Jones says:
2017-12-28 at 11:41 (Edit)
I always appreciate Earl’s comments and insights and agree. I hope major championships
remain two out of three 75 point games. There are always some little things to increase
efficiency such as shorter practice and lags. Enforcing length of time between matches.
Engaging players with byes with activity to keep them feeling busy and appreciated. I am
intrigued by the idea of ending a game with a 75 point differential, although I have seen
such deficits reversed many times. Points for wins in early rounds will motivate some.
I am sure there are lots of smart people with ideas worth trying. It starts with listening to
new players, friends, neighbors, and other sports. Non-championship events need to
become incubators for change. Some innovation will succeed, some will not. In my opinion
from Ohio, for elite level shuffleboard to thrive, we need to develop and grow a large base
of recreational fun shuffleboard which might look very different from the tournaments we
- douglas schmitt says:
2017-12-28 at 14:19 (Edit)
since the 1 day play a certain number of frame games “tournaments” are so popular how
about somehow using that format to reduce the field on the first day to top 8 singles or
doubles teams and the second day quarters through finals played as traditional tournament. players or teams with the most wins on first day advance to second day.
maybe 5 games of 24 frames doubles switch colors in middle for first day as an example.
break ties for advancement to second day with a playoff at end of first day would be pretty
exciting. not for all tournaments but a good way to transition one type of player to the next
level and still have the best players compete the second day for points and money.
o Rosaire Cote says:
2017-12-29 at 10:14 (Edit)
I disagree with Earl about changing the points system, but I agree about giving an award
every 200 points !!!! like Gus Bondi told me one time “Points are hard to come by” Thank
you. Rosaire Cote
- Sue Krynak says:
2017-12-29 at 15:29 (Edit)
I totally agree with all Maureen Bryan’s comments. I love the game of shuffleboard and
thrive on tournament competition , but traveling long distance and fighting rush hour
traffic is just too much. As she said, feels more like a job. I don’t play for points. I play for
love of the game.
Glen Peltier Reacting to Earl’s Proposal. 2017 12 30.
All my career I have heard, make changes. In the point system, in the 75 point game etc. I
think the fsa have done a great job of keeping our game healthy for so many years. It is not
the Hall of Fame, the green jacket etc that is as important as the wonderful game itself. The
fsa is made up of 7 district complete with each having full boards. The entire fsa do what they think is best for our game. Every sport has it,s ups and downs. Instead of complaining,
there is much to be done in every club to help. Our Clearwater club has many members who
give much to the club and work hard to make it a success. I get tired of hearing negative
things regarding our game. If people think it is too hard, there are many who will fill your
shoes. Shuffleboard will survive. I would like to see the PRO circuit to stay strong. There are
many places to play shuffleboard at a lower level. We need one level that is strong and the
envy of every other shuffleboard association. I am over the hill but will continue playing the
game at the highest level I can. Clarence Wright said at his farewell speech, the toughest
think being president was dealing with all the newest players wanting changes only to
change their minds once they become good. We have a great game, Someone made it great
before we came along. Let,s not be the one who make it an old mans game. Glen Peltier.
Henry Strong Speaks: I have read all the comments and really hesitate to get involved, but
here I go. I will share my view on shuffleboard.
When I first started playing shuffleboard I played it because I loved the game and didn’t
know anything about points, district, state, national, international I played because I loved
the game and believe it or not played more then, than now.
My wife and I would go to a dinner dance at our park with Don and Linda Raymont and
after dinner Don and I would bring our ques along and play shuffleboard while our wives
would line dance.
I know players who are close to getting into thr H of F and are saying once I get in I will be
cutting back playing tournaments(don’t know it is because they are in the H of F or tired of
The FSA board should follow pro sports model when they brought in the salary cap in
certainly levelled the playing field and made every team competitive.
I suggest the FSA board take a stand that if you are in the top eight players (qualify for the
state masters) for three consecutive seasons you can only play a maximum of 5 tournaments
together the following season.
This would force them to find another partner who other wise would never get the chance
to play with the so called best players and would encourage the new partner to want to
improve and also give him hope.
The worst thing that could happen to shuffleboard is to change the state pro tournaments, it gives everyone wether am or pro a chance to play.
There is many different levels of shuffleboard where one can find his or her level of
I am one of those people who don’t play many district tournaments because frame games and
they are draws, I am not going to complain about it because it is what it is and just because I
don’t like it that doesn’t mean it needs to change it means I need to find something else I
want to do that I enjoy more.