We Tell You A Good Deal About Early Brazil Shuffling. We Tell You a Good Deal about Michael Zellner.

In the Run Up to the 36th ISA (World Shuffleboard Championship) I am going to give you a variety of articles related to the ISA; related to Brazil; and specifically relevant to the 36th!!  Progress was not always easy for Brazil, but progress was made. Brazil hosted the 24th ISA in Rio de Janeiro in Sep. of 2005, and of course, the 36th this July, 2017.  At the time of the 24th ISA in Brazil, 2005, Michael Zellner lived in Brazil, and was the President of Brazil.  Michael will be participating in the 36th ISA this July.  (Click on any pic to expand.)

Stan speaking in 2017: I am inserting this article to give “new shufflers”, i.e. new to Brazil, many who will be attending the  36th World Championship, some appreciation of Brazil’s progress with regard to competing in the 36th Shuffleboard World Championship! 


Stan speaking circa July August of 2005. It is instructive to read the article and consider the progress that Michael and the Brazilian Shufflers have achieved in the intervening period ~~ 2002 to 2005. Not only has Brazil done well playing “catch up”; they now have a website; and to top it off, after a first-class performance in Mesa, AZ in 2004, the Brazilians are hosting the 24th ISA Event in Rio de Janeiro ~~ September of 2005!!! Brazil brings a new dynamic to the sport of shuffling.  All International Shufflers will benefit from a “read of this article” by Michael. Do Enjoy!! Stan 2005 09 06

The 1st President of Brazil; and, the CURRENT PRESIDENT OF BRAZIL!!

The 1st President of Brazil; and, the CURRENT PRESIDENT OF BRAZIL!!

Michael writing in response to a question from me. 2017 06 28.   Stan: The article is 100% correct. Amazingly the exchange rate is close to 4.0 and the airfare is not much more than $1200 to Miami.  This was written when Brazil and Australia were forced to compete in the B-Division to simply accommodate us in internationals. 

We were competing against amateurs, bus drivers and kitchen helpers. Some knew even less than we did about the strategy of the game. 

Once we had a full team we went to the A- Division and competed as a normal member nation against USA, Canada, and Japan the only 3 ISA nations in A division.

Australia remained in the B-division for a while longer. Once Joe Messier was elected ISA President I immediately approached him and convinced him to do away with this 

Division thing all together and I presented a proposal for the creation of UN Teams where those newer nations or any nation short of players could continue to participate and have a competitive team.

Australia has utilized this many times.   Michael 2017 06 28. 

Here is the original article by Michael, written sometime after the 2002 Clearwater Tournament, and 7 months prior to the Mesa, AZ Tournament.  Stan writing on 2017 07 02.   

Michael in 1972 Serving His Country. .

MICHAEL ZELLNER 3rd Vice President of the ISA and President of Shuffleboard Brazil writes: following the 2002 Clearwater Event.  REFLECTIONS BY MICHAEL FOLLOWING THE 2002 CLEARWATER FL ISA EVENT.

Dear Stan & Alf: Congratulations on your absolutely fantastic site.

The Japanese site is also great ~~ worthy of congratulations also.

As for Brazil, unfortunately, I am not as well prepared as you are. Shuffling has not progressed in this particular area. At this particular time, we are high on enthusiasm, still learning the game but playing catch up with regard to the application of Shuffling on the Internet. Down here 386 computers are state of the art.

Michael, son Gabriel, wife Ivone, and daughter ISAbella, Midland

Michael, son Gabriel, wife Ivone, and daughter ISAbella, Midland in 2007.

Many of your readers will not realize that Shuffling in Brazil operates under a handicap especially since we are a DEVELOPING nation. I brought Shuffleboard to Brazil in 1996 and founded and registered the Associaçao Brasileira de Shuffleboard that same year. One year later, in 1997, I was formally recognized by the ISA and invited to bring a team to the International at Hendersonville, North Carolina. We attended and played or should I say attempted to play in the newly created B-Div for countries with less than the minimum required players. This was historic for the ISA and indeed a step in the right direction motivated by then Pres.John Barnett.

We have limited facilities here in Brazil… 3 courts in Rio de Janeiro, 2 courts in Sao Paulo and one more under construction in Sao Paulo and they are spread out at 4 different locations and we are still working at improving our organization. Unfortunately I can not get a team together for Canada. The 2003 ISA International is only 7 months from last years 2002 ISA tournament held in Clearwater, Fla. and the 2004 ISA tournament to be held in Arizona will be only 8 months after the 2003 ISA tournament. Our Shufflers just cannot justify the significant expenditure–the return airfare to the 2003 ISA tournament alone is $1200. With the ISA scheduling these tournaments almost back to back and less than 12 months apart they drastically reduce the possibility of foreign countries traveling to them for financial reasons and most importantly for my young team vacation requirements from employment. As some of your viewers are aware, our currency has been under considerable stress and this compounds an already difficult situation. * At present the exchange rate is 4 Brazilian Real to 1.00 US dollar.

The 2004 ISA Tournament will be held in Arizona in March. I have decided to concentrate all efforts and will mount fully competitive teams for 2004 Arizona with both A Teams and a B Teams of men and women.

If I cannot be accommodated with my B Team, I will be forced to skip Internationals until a way can be found to support these new nations like Brazil. In Arizona, it appears that we will have Australia, Denmark, Ireland and Brazil, as well as The Big Three!! Do you not agree? That for us to be truly International, one must include all 7 countries.  It may even be more fun to play in the B Division against all the countries rather than only in the Big 3!!!! I myself, an experienced and competitive A-Div player, find this extremely exciting and many of my players have expressed a desire to play in a B Division against every country–big and small, and this is the reality the International Shuffleboard Association must come to realize. I have a great farm team (B-Div) and each year I move these players up to become my A-Team and then I select replacements for them in the B div and bring them to compete for their country alongside the best players of my country.. Players who compete in these Internationals against, the best of the best, have to start somewhere. If they walk in off the street they will be slaughtered and leave with their head between their tails and never return. In 1998 at Goderich, ON, Can. I had 2 teenagers on my team, a boy 17 and a girl 16 who played against adults. In 2001 in Clearwater I had 2 young men on my team one 22 years old and the other 23 years old in my B-Div. This is how we will continue this game. With respect to one player, Earl Ball, who brought his fantastic son Tony to Clearwater to compete in B Div., no other country has ever made any effort to support young people in this game. Earl Ball is a sign of the future of Shuffleboard and we love him down here.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we need to work from the bottom up not rely on the top down to continue this truly special but dwindling membership game called “Shuffleboard”.  

Respectfully yours, Michael, President, Associaçao Brasileira de Shuffleboard.  

Stan Responds to Michael: Let me say that all who read your article will be disappointed to hear that Brazil will not be competing in the 23rd International. I remembered something I had written about the Brazilian team during the Clearwater Tournament. The beauty of the computer is that you can “click-click”, not only to confirm what you wrote, but also to immediately incorporate it to the article you are now writing!! I apologize for that digression, but then no one said we have a conventional website?? The paragraph I wrote then, highlighted below, is a part of what we all shall miss.

“Michael Zellner, and Dr. Luiz Pimentel of Brazil both contributed significantly to the success of the evening. The Brazilians presented gifts to all who had provided support to this event. The charm, joviality and demeanor of the Brazilians is always 1st class!! “

We can only hope that you have not completely closed the door, time is on your side and I know that everyone hopes that something will occur to permit the attendance of the Brazilian Team!!  Stan of THE SHUFFLER.


This “Run Up” Article, Article Run Up 1 to the 36th ISA03. , posted by Stan McCormack, 2017 07  03

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3 Responses to We Tell You A Good Deal About Early Brazil Shuffling. We Tell You a Good Deal about Michael Zellner.

  1. Michael Zellner says:

    Beautiful history review of beautiful times and memories involving many beautiful people who have unfortunately passed away. Each and every one has left a special void in my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Earl A Ball says:

    Lots of water has flowed under the bridge!
    You’ve done so much for the game and as most don’t know are still contributing by teaching new players on the west coast of Florida. I appreciate you for You, for your contributions to shuffleboard and for being a wonderful friend all these years.


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