RUSSE,LL L. JACOBSEN PRESIDENT, TEXAS STATE SHUFFLEBOARD ASSOCIATION Welcome to the world of shuffleboard.
We are here at the shuffleboard facility of Fun N Sun R.V. Resort at San Benito, Texas. Twenty excellent well lighted courts in an air conditioned building. Fun N Sun R. V. Resort is a modern up to date R.V. and Mobile Home Resort with wonderful facilities and a complete activity program. Usually this place is busy, but play has been suspended during the filming of this video. My name is Russell Jacobsen. I have lived in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas since 1967. I have been involved in the development of shuffleboard in Texas for some 20 plus years. I wrote the constitution and by-laws which the Rio Grande Valley Shuffleboard Association adopted when it was organized, was chairman of the Rules Committee that was charged with the responsibility of writing the rules to be used in tournament play. These rules as amended are still being used for all tournament play in Texas. I have served as President of the Rio Grande Valley Shuffleboard Association for 16 years, have been President of the Texas State Shuffleboard Association since it’s inception in 1982. Served one two yearterm as President of the lnternational Shuffleboard Association. ln 1986 was nominated and elected to the National Shuffleboard Hall of Fame in the player category. ln 1993 was named to the lnternational Shuffleboard Hall of Fame. ln 1992 I suffered a stroke which ended my playing days, but I still continue to teach and manage Tournaments. A couple of years back I managed the largest shuffleboard tournament that has ever been held according to the best of my knowledge. We had 949 entries in a singles tournament; 409 ladies and 540 men. We had enough courts in the Weslaco, Texas area to put 540 men on the courts at one time. We completed the tournament in four days of play. It is required that a State have a State Shuffleboard Association in order to be a member of the National Shuffleboard Association. At this time there are 13 member States. Each State has its own rules of play. AII rules are based on the National Rules. lf you learn to play under any of the State rules you would have no trouble playing under the National or any other State rules. Since I was involved in establishment of the Texas State rules, this video is based on Texas Rules. There has long been a need in this sport for some teaching tool to be made available to those who want to get a shuffleboard program started. This video is an attempt to deal with that subject. I have also written an article on how to build a shuffleboard court and scoreboard. There will be information at the end of this video as to how the article and this video may be obtained. Shuffleboard is a game that can be played by people of all ages. lt does not require a lot of physical strength or stamina. Strategy and skill are required and of course like any other game there is a certain amount of luck involved. lt is one sport where women can play as equals to men. Let us look first at the equipment involved. At this point let me introduce my good friend Vern Demars. Vern is going to point out or demonstrate what I am talking about as we move through this video. The game is played with I discs per court, usually 4 yellow and 4 black, because these are the most easily identified colors, especially when play is under artificial light. Each disc is 6 inches in diameter. A new disc weighs approximately 15 ounces and is approximately 15/16 inches thick. There is some wear of the discs and they are legal discs at Page 2 not less than 9/16 inches thick and not less than 1 1 Yz ounces in weight. Discs are made of a composition material, and are almost indestructible. I have seen only one broken disc in all the years I have played. They will normally last for years. Real hard shooting causing the discs to slam into concrete will sometimes cause the discs to chip on the bottom edge. You will see experienced players examine the discs before starting play in a tournament. A cue is used to propel the discs down the court to the scoring area at the other end. The only restriction on this cue is that it shall not be more than 6’3″ in length and no metal parts shall touch the court. ln the early days of shuffleboard the cues were made of wood. ln the 1970’s I had a partner who played with a bamboo cue. Today they are made of anodized aluminum, fiberglass or graphite, full length or collapsible for ease of transporting in a car. The cue has a head attached at one end which has two runners either fixed or swivel which slide on the court and push the disc. There are also heads available which have small rubber tire wheels as well as a cue which rides on top of the disc and does not touch the court. The other end of the cue has a rubber tip to help as a handhold. To gather discs the cue is reversed and this tip is used, this saves wear and tear on the swivel heads. Now, let us look at the playing court. At each end of the court there is a 4′ deep, front to back concrete seating area. The level of this seating area is 2″ above the level of the court area to provide a 2″ backstop to contain the discs which are shot thru or knocked off the court. This seating area is a must, so that players may sit and relax while play is undenruay from the other end of the court. Some kind of protection must be made available to keep the disc from slamming against the solid concrete backstop. National specifications allow 2″ X2″ lengths of wood loosely fastened together, 1″ rope or garden hose to be used. I recommend that 3/4″ garden hose be used. lnsert 112″ iron rod or rebar inside the garden hose to hold it in place and keep the disc from rebounding. The area from the backstop to the first line across the court is called the approach area. This area is level across all the courts involved. This area is used by the players in delivering their shots. The first Iine across the court is called the baseline. There is an intangible extension of this line across the gutter on each side of the court. Player must not step on or over this baseline or intangible extension thereof in executing a shot. To do so will incur a penalty. Player may cross this line to call a disc, remove a disc, or to gather discs preparatory to shooting, Player may also cross this line to walk down the gutter to the near foul line in order to see the arrangement of the discs at the other end of the court. National Rules do not allow player to do this. National rules allow player to cross the baseline only to gather discs, remove a leaning disc, or to look at a disc to make a call. From the baseline to the 7110 off line is an area 18″ deep called the 10 off area. Any disc coming to rest in this area and nottouching any of the lines is a minus 10 points forthat color. Shuffleboard is the only sport that I know of where once points are made it is possible to lose them. lt makes for a great equalizer. ln the center of this 1lloff area there are two narrow lines joined at the front to make a narrow inverted V. A straight line 3/4″ wide is also acceptable. This center line or angle is a divide line for shooting only and a disc coming to rest on this line and not touching any other line would count a minus 10 points, The inverted V or single 3/4″ line shall stop 3/4″ shorl from touching the baseline or the 7110 off line. The reason Page 3 for this is if the lines joined and a disc came to rest at that spot it would be difficult to determine whether it was or was not a counting disc.. Players shall place and play their discs from within and not touching any of the lines of their respective half of the 1O/off area. The 10lofl area is commonly referred to as the “kitchen”, the origin of this is really not known. One explanation I have heard is “if you are in the 10/off area you are in hot water therefore you must be in the kitchen”. The explanation I like best is “a player shot his disc to the other end of the court and it came to rest in the 1lloff area. His partner indicated such by a stirring motion of his cue held in a vertical position, while at the same time saying to his partner” you’re in the soup”. lf you were stirring the soup naturally you would be in the kitchen. The next line across the scoring triangle is called the 8/7 line. This line is 3’from the 7/10 off line. This area is divided in two by the center line and bounded on the outside by the angle line of the scoring triangle. This creates two scoring areas. Any disc coming to rest in one of these areas and not touching any line counts as 7 points. The next line across the scoring triangle is known as the 10/8 line. This line is 3′ from the 8/7 line. This area divided by the center line and bounded on the outside by the angle line of the scoring triangle creates two scoring areas. Any disc coming to rest in this area and not touching any line counts as 8 points. The point of the scoring triangle is 3′ from the 10/8 line and creates a triangle. Any disc coming to rest in this area and nottouching any line counts as 10 points. The centerline extends from lhe7l10 off line to the 10/8 line creating the 4 scoring areas. Experienced players sometimes refer to this as the idiot line. lf you keep the court clean and then put your hammer shot on the center line it infers you are an idiot. Three feet from the point we have a line extending across the court called the near foul line, then we have a 12′ space and another line which is completely across the court and this is called the far foul line. Any disc which touches or crosses this far foul line and stays on the court remains in play. lf the shot disc stops short of touching this far foul line, it is a dead disc and is removed by players at the other end of the couic before further play. Beyond the far foul line we again have the 12’area containing the scoring triangle. The’lS” kitchen area. The 6’6″ approach area and the seating area. The entire court area from backstop to backstop is 52′. The actual playing area from baseline to baseline is 39′. There is a gutter along each side of the court. The purpose of this gutter is to contain the discs knocked off the court. I think it is obvious that if you did not have this gutter, discs would be flying all over the place. The game of shuftleboard is played from the scoreboard. So let us take a look at the scoreboard. The one most commonly used is 2′ X 4′ most generally made of plywood. Frame the plywood in back with 2X2lumber to keep the plywood from warping. The plywood can be painted but what seems to work best is to fasten 26 gauge sheet metal to the plywood and paint and line this which provides a smooth writing surface. Use of a 2′ X 4′ scoreboard allows ‘for a 4 %X 4 /, square for one frame. This is large enough to allow for numbers easily visible from the other end of the court. Looking at the left hand side of the scoreboard we see alternate yellow and black squares in a Page 4 vertical row. The square on top is yellow and this row of frames is the player on yellow at the head of the court. The head of the court is the scoreboard end. The next square down is black and this is the player on black at the head of the court. The next yellow and black are the players at the foot of the court. ln singles play there would be two matches per court. ln doubles play there would be only one match per court but you keep individual scores and add the two yellow or two black scores together to find the team score. As we look at the scoreboard we see ten frames horizontally the same as a bowling score sheet. The squares across the top are alternately yellow and black. lf we are going to score in the first frame a glance at the scoreboard shows yellow on top of the first frame which means yellow shoots first. ln the same way black shoots first in the second frame. Here in Texas if we are playing a fun game we usually play a ten frame game. ln tournaments we play 20 frame total score matches. At the start of a match the winner of a coin toss gets color choice to start and at the end of ten frames players switch colors taking their score with them. The reason for changing color at the end of ten frames is that some courts because of the drift favor one color or the other. ln this way players get to play the same number of frames on each color. The game always starts at the head end of the court with yellow shooting first. We have covered the equipment, the court and the scoreboard. Now let us go to the game itself. I am going to try to give you the benefit of my 20 plus years as a player and teacher. There will be some who disagree with me on certain aspects of the game just as I disagree with some of the statements made in books which have been written on the subject. What I am going to tell you and show by demonstration worked for me and I am sure it will work for you as well. In my opinion the game of shufileboard is divided into three parts. The first part being the delivery, the second pad strategy and the third part the execution. We can teach delivery and strategy. The execution is based on the individuals natural ability and skill. These talents can be honed by practice. I am now going to talk about the delivery, which includes how you hold the cue, backswing and follow thru, stance, footwork and balance. lf you have ever had a bowling lesson, the first thing you are told is to square your feet and shoulders to the foul line. The same is true in shufileboard except that you square the feet and shoulders to the target. The target might be to the extreme right or extreme Ieft at the other end of the court. Try to maintain the shoulders square to the target all the way thru the delivery. The arm swings from the shoulder like the pendulum of a clock, the hand almost brushing the leg as the delivery is made. Do not lock the arm physically, but let the arm and the wrist hang straight but relaxed from the shoulder. Never bend the elbow during delivery. Bending the elbow will cause you to miss your shot. Hold the cue loosely in your fingertips at the rubber tip end of the cue. Never curl your fingers under the cue, not even the least little bit. Curling the fingers under the cue has the tendency to lead to gripping the cue in your fist during the delivery. I like to curl my little finger behind the rubber tip and actually push the cue with the little finger. This is individual preference and many players hold the cue in their fingertips without doing this. There are three reasons why the cue is held in the tips of the fingers. The first is you want to aim the cue and not steer it. lf you have the cue in your fist you can actually move the disc Page 5 from side to side and steer it. lf you have the cue in the tips of your fingers you must aim the shot and this is what you want to do. The second reason is you want the fingers to swivel on the cue during the backswing and follow thru. lf you hold the cue in your fist you are limited to the flexibility of the wrist during the backswing and follow thru. To me the backswing and follow thru in making a shot are just as important is shuffleboard as they are in bowling or golf. The third and most important reason for holding the cue in the fingertips is that as you follow thru you will find that the cue becomes a straight line extension of the arm which increases your accuracy. lf you were holding the cue in your fist, your arm and the cue would not be a straight line and you would have to compensate for this if you expect to make the shot. After you have the cue properly held in the hand, you place the cue head against the disc. You must never lose this contact with the disc during the delivery. lf you do draw the cue head back away from the disc during the delivery, as it comes forward it might not contact the disc squarely and therefore you would miss your shot. As the cue head contact is maintained look down at your hand holding the cue. The V between your thumb and first knuckle should be directly over the top of the cue. You now have the cue held properly and maintaining contact with the disc. The next step is the proper footwork. Some players use only a one step delivery, the majority of accomplished players use the two step delivery. I teach and recommend only the two step delivery. The two step delivery has these advantages. You are able to get a proper backswing, you are able to get to the proper release point, you are able to keep your shoulders square to the target and it is easier to maintain your balance with two shorter steps than with one long step. Position yourself so that with two normal or slightly longer than normal steps your toe comes within 6 inches of the baseline. This is called the release point and should be as close as possible to the baseline. The reason for this is, you are as close as you can get to your target. lf you release at the baseline and your opponent releases from a point two feet back, simply put, you are playing on a court 39′ long and your opponent is playing on a court 41′ long. The two differences in the length of the court might be the difference in making or missing a shot. Several of the books written on shuffleboard state to take a short first step. I call this a stutter step and I emphatically disagree with this. The length of the first step dictates the length of the backswing, and as stated before, in my opinion the backswing in shuffleboard is just as important as the backswing in bowling or golf. lf you are right handed you step off with your right foot and deliver off your left foot. The procedure is just the opposite if you are left handed. Aright handed bowler will always deliver off the left foot regardless of whether they use a three, fouior five step delivery. As you step off with your right foot, the disc and cue do not move, all that happens is your body moves fonvard and the arm comes back to provide the backswing. As the ieft foot comes fonruard the arm comes fonruard sending the disc down the court. Follow thru as though you were going to reach out and pick up the target disc or spot on the courtEnd the snoi wittr the cue laying on the court surface and held between the thumb and second finger. Many beginners say to me “when I hold the cue loosely like this I feel like I am going to drop it.” Don’t worry about this, the only time you might drop the cue is at the end of the shot. There is no penalty for this and the shot has been completed. I have been asked many, many times what i toot< at during a shot. My answer has always been the same. First I decide how I want to hit the target disC or at what spot on the court I want my disc to come to rest. I then look down at the disc to see that my cue is in contact and as I start my delivery I look up and pick up Page 6 my target and let my instinct aim the shot. lt is like shooting a shotgun at a moving target. You let your instinct aim the gun and squeeze the trigger. The entire delivery should be made in one continuos motion. Some players stand erect during delivery, others like to crouch real low and use a lot of knee bend. This is a matter of individual preference. I do think that a certain amount of knee bend helps to maintain balance and it is certainly important to maintain your balance during the entire delivery. ln summary let me repeat. Square your feet and shoulders to the target. Position your self so that in two equal steps your toe comes as close as possible to the baseline without stepping on it. Hold the cue loosely between the thumb and finger tips with the arm and wrist in a straight line. Never bend the elbow. Place the cue in contact with the disc and never lose this contact during delivery. Now let us talk about the second part of the game which is the strategy you use. Webster defines strategy in the dictionary as the science of planning and maneuvering forces into the most advantageous position. You do this by placing your discs in the most advantageous position conducive to keeping your opponent from scoring while scoring as many points as possible for yourself. I think the word adjust must also be a part of your strategy. You must adjust your game to match the type of game your opponent plays. You must also adjust your game to fit the court you are playing on. Each player has their own four discs to shoot in each frame. Discs are shot from within and not touching any of the lines of their respective half of the 1O/off area. The discs should be placed and shot from about an inch from the 7/10 off line. The reason for this is that in shooting from this position you are as close as possible to your target. This is only a little thing but if all the little things are added together they become a big plus. I like to number the discs from the center to the outside as yellow one, two, three and four and black one, two, three and four. lf later on I refer to a disc as being shot from the yellow number one position you will know I am referring to the yellow disc next to the center line. The majority of your shots will be made from the number one or two position. The reason for this is the center of the court is played more than the outside and usually runs more uniformly than the outside. So when there is no disc in the way you use the number one, or two position. The only time you use the three and four position is if you wish to take advantage of an angle or wish to make a passing shot. Discs can be moved around and shot from within any position in your half of the 10/off area. As the discs are shot they are known as the first thru the eighth disc out. You must be aware at all times what number disc you are shooting since the number of discs your opponent has to shoot dictates what your strategy should be. Play of course alternates between yellow and black. lf yellow shoots first the black has the last shot of the frame or eighth disc out. This is known as the hammer shot. Having the hammer shot is of course a big advantage since if you are able to score you get to keep the score since opponent has no more discs to shoot. lt is common practice when you have the hammer shot to keep the court clear, that is knock all of opponents discs off the court and score your hammer shot. ln starting play an experienced player would not consider placing a disc in the scoring area. Their first shot would be to place a guard block. Shuffleboard was brought to its present level of play in the state of Florida. So the guard block position are named after Florida Cities. We have two types of guard blocks. The first is called the St. Petersburg or St. Pete for shot1, block. This is also known as the cross block because in placing it the disc crosses the center line of the court. The second is called the Tampa or sometimes called the point block because in placing it the disc should come to rest in the area of the point of the scoring triangle. We are Page 7 going to be using the head end of the court for our demonstration so the players would be shooting from the foot of the court. We are going to move the discs to the area of the far foul line for the foot of the court. This is so Vern can reach out and get a disc when he wants one to demonstrate. We are going to ask you to imagine these discs as being shot from the 10/off area at the foot of the court. We are going to talk first about the St. Pete or cross block. Yellow at the foot of the court is on the left hand side if you were shooting from the foot. lf yellow is shooting first, imagine a box on the right hand side at the head of the court. This box is approximately 4′ long starting at the foul line and extending past the point of the scoring triangle. The inside line of this imaginary box is 8 to 10 inches from the point, the box is ’10 to 12 inches wide. lf player on yellow was to shoot a disc from his number one position and have it come to rest within this imaginary box it would be a good St. Pete block. The criteria as to whether or not it is a good Olocti is ifopponent leaves it there and yellow can go to their number four position and hide a counting disc behind it you could say it was a good block. lf black is shooting first the imaginary box is of course on the opposite side of the court. Now let us talk about the Tampa block. lf yellow is shooting first imagine a box on the yellow side of the court. lmagine a box 8 to 10 inches wide only 2′ long extending one foot in front of the point and one foot beyond the point. The inside line of this box in the exact center of the court. Any disc placed within this imaginary box is an excellent Tampa or point block. lf black were shooting first the box would be on the other side of the point. The Tampa block is a very good block but much more difficult to place than the St. Pete and that is probably the reason that the St. Pete is used more often. The question is what do we do as defense against the St. Pete block. What most players do is hit the guard block at an angle shooting hard enough to insure that both discs go off the court. Some players like to hit the guard block on the inside and just slightly off center hoping that their shot disc will roll to the opposite side of the court leaving them a St. Pete hide. Shooting for this hide just as often you give your opponent a Tampa hide. I prefer to hit the guard block on the outside causing the object disc to go in one gutter and the shot disc in the other gutter. Once in a while you will run into a player who plays the plug game. You put up your St. Pete block and opponent puts a plug block in the path that you would use to hide a counting disc behind your St. Pete block. lt is now up to you to decide what you want to do. You could elect to hit your guard block and promote it into the scoring zone. This is a low percentage shot! ln my opinion you should elect the second option. lf the plug block is even with or deeper than the guard block you clear the scoring path by hitting the plug block on the inside and taking both the plug and shot disc off the court. lf the sequence is repeated, namely opponent places a plug block and you clear until you get to the point where you are shooting the 7th disc out which is the so called hammer shot. You now have a situation where your St. Pete block and opponents plug block are covering one side of the scoring zone. What you do now is cover the scoring zone on the other side of the court as best you can, making it difficult for opponent to score. lf the plug block is higher than the guard block you move to your number four position and see if you can hide a disc. Even if you can not hide a counting disc, many times you can set a disc on the center line in the eight section. This is a good shot because any time you have a disc in the scoring area it is always a potential score. lt is now up to your opponent to make a decision. Opponent knows that if you have the opportunity you are going to attempt to double the disc that is in the scoring area. lf this option is elected there is the chance of Page 8 making your disc good. Opponent may cover up the center line disc and in doing so may leave you a Tampa hide. The possibilities are many and varied. No two situations are exactly alike. You must analyze the situation and try to do what is most advantageous to you. Say to yourself “if I do this what will my opponent do”. Again you must at all times be aware of what number disc you are shooting and how many discs opponent has to shoot. Always plan ahead. What you are always hoping for is a mistake by your opponent which you can take advantage of. There is no defense against the Tampa block except to take it off the court. A common procedure in shuffleboard is the player who has the hammer shot takes all the discs off the court and attempts to score with the hammer. One of the dangers in clearing the court is hitting the object disc squarely and leaving the shot block as a guard block for the opponent. lf you have a counting disc covered by a guard block and your opponent uncovers it you immediately cover it up again. Any time you have an unprotected counting disc on the court you try to save it by putting a cover block in front of it. ln covering a counting disc, always stay out of the scoring area with your cover block. I repeat always stay out of the scoring area with your cover block. lf you go too deep with the cover block it is too easy for opponent to take both of the discs off the court. ln blocking the scoring zone; or covering a counting disc, always shoot from the number one position. The reason for this is that in shooting from the number one position you stay in opponents line of flight as long as possible. There is one time that you might not want to cover a counting disc. lf you have a counting disc deep in the scoring section and in covering it, you would provide a guard block for your opponent, you might elect to place another scoring seven or eight on the opposite side of the court. lf opponent has only one disc left to shoot you would of course cover your scoring disc. You would put the second scoring disc on the court only if opponent had two or more discs to shoot. Now let us talk about doubles. lf it is your turn to shoot and you have a disc sitting on the center line in the eight section. This is a potential double. Some players make the mistake of trying to make two eight’s out of this situation. This is a hard shot to make because you have to hit it perfectly and the weight is very critical. lt is a much easier shot to make an eight and a seven for your double. Always shoot at the side of the disc which has the most exposure from the center line. You try to maneuver so that you have this shot for your hammer. This is called the center line double. I do not recommend that you try to double a disc on the center line in the seven section. This is a low percentage dangerous shot. lt is too easy to roll into the kitchen. Then we have the 10/8 and 817 doubles. They are quite easy to make if Yz or more of the disc is in front of the line. lf you make these doubles ahead of the hammer shot they are quite easy for a competent opponent to take ofl the courl because they are usually in a fairly straight line and close together. What you hope for is the opportunity to make a double with your hammer shot. Strange as it may seem there are times when you might want to cover your own non counting disc in the scoring area. Let us say you have one of your own disc on the 8/7 line in position for an easy double. The temptation is to make the double now, which is easy for your opponent to take out. Consider instead the possibility of covering this non counting disc and saving it for a later double which will be covered. Page 9 We hear the term passing shot used. lf opponent has a counting disc only partly covered and you decide to go for it, this is called a passing shot. ln making a passing shot be sure that you hit one of the two discs. Do not miss both. You usually do not go for a passing shot with your hammer unless you can see almost all of the counting disc. lt is hard to hold a score on a passing shot and there is always the danger of rolling into the kitchen especially if the counting disc you are shooting at is in the 7 area. ln every club or park we have some players who are referred to as kitchen players. These are players who regardless of where you put your disc on the court attempt to put this disc in the kitchen area. We have a saying in shuffleboard and that is “Kitchen players do not win tournaments”. The reason for this saying is that while kitchen players might be tough to beat on their own courts which they know well. When they get on strange courts they can not handle them as well and many times end up giving you 7’s when they attempt to kitchen you. lt is obvious that the way to beat a kitchen player is to stay out of their way. Do not give them anything easy to kitchen. An example of kitchen play would be the following sequence. You are out first and put out your St. Pete block preferably as high as possible. lf opponent tries to kitchen this they must hit it dead center leaving their disc as a guard block for you. lf they are successful you must try to take your 1)lof’f disc out of the kitchen. lf they are not successful and leave you a guard block you hide a counting disc. lf they elect to disregard your guard block and put a counting disc on the other side of the court they are of course inviting you to play kitchen with them. I recommend that you disregard the opponents counting disc and go ahead and hide your own counting disc. lt is now up to opponent to decide on a shot. They are not going to cover up their own disc because they put it there hoping that you would shoot at it and make the mistake and stick a disc which they could then put in the kitchen. They will probably attempt to take out both your guard block and counting disc. lf they take your guard block off and leave your counting disc, then of course you cover it up again. lf they are successful in taking both your discs off the court then of course you take their counter off the court as well as your shot disc and you are now back to square one. As you can see it is like a game of cat and mouse. You are always waiting for your opponent to make a mistake. Never pass the opportunity to hide a disc if you are left a disc to hide behind. As previously mentioned many good players use the strategy of keeping the court cleared and scoring their hammer shot. lf the execution is good, that iJif the clearing shots are made and the hammer shot is scored, the player will win a high percentage of matches played. Most beginning players do not shoot hard enough when clearing the court. True they kitchen an opponent now and then but just as often they end up giving the opponent points. I like to use “kitchen weight plus” when clearing the court. lf you use kitcnen weight only and fail to hit the object disc squarely, you end up giving the opponent points. lf you uie “kitchen weight plus’ and hit the object disc squarely it goes on thru the kitchen Uut it you make a mistake and hit the object disc off center you may get a kitchen to one side or the other but you do not give the opponent points. Use “kitchen weight plus” in clearing the court. There are times when you are forced to play kitchen. Say you were in the 12th or 13th frame of a20lrame match and you were 15 or more points down. You could not expect to win by just clearing the court and making your hammer shot since your opponent can do the same. lf the opportunity presents itself put a counting disc deep in the seven count area hoping that in ciearing thls disc opponent will stick the shot disc giving you the opportunity to put it in the Page 10 kitchen’ ‘A warning here, NEVER play kitchen when opponent has the hammer. Kitchen shots can be reversed by a competent opponent. I repeat, play kitchen orty when you have the hammer. A situation sometimes arises when opponent makes a mistake and ends up with a disc in the 10 off’ The common approach is of course cover the 10 off disc so opponent can not get it out of the kitchen’ There is an alternative.to covering opponents 10 count disc. you mustfirst determine how deep the disc is in the kitchen. v6u 9b this by asking your partner, or in singles the player at the other end of the court or ask the referee. ltine oisiance fiom the front edge of the disc to the 7110 off line is more than the width of a disc which is 6 “, you might consider scoring on the other side of the court as far away as possible form the 10 off disc. Opponent made can not get both.9it9-t except by an extremely lucky shot and urp”ri”n”e will tell you that shots to take a ’10 missed off disc out of the kitchen ir” noi always successful. sometimes the shot is or the disc is hit squarely and the shot disc stays in the kitchen. lf opponent is successful in getting the 10 off discout of the kitchen then you coveryorr.ounting disc. There is a shot called a “snuggle shot”. lf opponent has the hammer and is putting counting 7,s 91tf ” court, oppo-nent is inviting you to play kitchen. lf the counting i i” 12,,or less from the 817 line, instead of trying to take it off the court you could elect to la! a counting 7 in front of opponents 7. Opponent can not take your counting disc off the court without tJfin! ori f,i, o*n counter and the shot disc would stop on the 8/7 line for a non counter. you have held opponent from not making more than the hammer shot. Situations arise where one side of the court will be covered by non counting discs and opponent has a counting disc on the opposite side of the .or.t. or peirrap! nas a disc on the 817 line that can be doubled if left. ln either situation you will want to take this disc off the court. ln doing so attempt to hit this disc on the inside hard enough so that your shot disc will roll to the other side of court for a counting hide. Experienced pllyers try for this at every opportunity. There is something that I think even experienced players do not do enough of. Too often with their 7th disc out they will try for an almost impossi’ble hide when the opportunity is there to block the court and prevent opponent form scoring. Preventing tne opfonent irom scoring is as good as scoring yourself. I r- l ln teaching I am often asked “What do you do with your 6th disc out”. lf opponent has a score or a possible double on the court you of course take it off. lf you have the’6th Oisc to s[oot tnis means you have the hammer. lf the court is clear there is no object in putting a guard block out since opponent only has one disc to shoot, the 7th disc out. I suggest you consid-er putting this 6th disc out on the centerline high in the 8 section. Opponent probably takes this disc out because if it is left there and opponent does not score you have a centerlin e 7lg double. What to do with the 7th disc out. Of course if there are opponents scoring discs on the court you try to take them out. lf there are no discs on the court many players will try for a high g, or high 10′ What we mean by high is close enough to the line so inrt opponent can not hit it and stick a scoring disc. The high 8 and 10 shots are low percentage shots and you run the chance of going too deep. There iJnothing a good player likes bette, than to have opponent give them a deep 8 or 10 to stop a score on and perhaps out the object disc in the 10 oit. Rgain-consider putting your 7th disc out on the center line high in the 8 section. By doing this you-are Page 1 I decreasing the scoring area pathway by a couple of inches and if opponent makes just the slightest eiror in scoring the hammer there is the possibility that they might touch your center line disc and make it a counting disc. The next subject I would like to talk about is scoring your hammer shot. We are talking about a situation nowwhere there is no counting disc on the court and the 8’h disc out or the hammer shot is to be made. You will see many players shoot their cross court scoring attempt from the number one position. ln shooting from this position they are paralleling the center line and a slight miscalculation will leave their disc on the center line. Why not move to the number three poiition for this shot. From the number three position both the center line and the outside line open up the deeper you go in the scoring area. ln shooting your hammer shot it is not advisable to shoot ai opp-onents non counting disc. The only time you might consider shooting at opponents non counting disc when you are shooting the hammer shot is if you are behind in the score and opponents disc is in a favorable position for you to hold a score and perhaps put opponent in the kitchen. All rules provide that when you have completed your shot you step to the rear of the court and hold your cue in an upright position. This is a courtesy rule and is the rule which is broken more often than anY other. We have not talked about proper procedure in calling a disc. lf you have a disc in close proximity to the center line and were to look at it while standing in the opposite gutter you might call this disc good because the disc’s are slightly beveled on the bottom outer edge. The proper way to make a call on a disc is to place yourself so that the disc is between yourself and ih”‘lin” in question. Come up over the top of the disc and look straight down to see if disc is or is not touching the line. ln shuffleboard we have hand signals that we use to save yelling back and forth to the other end of the court. lf a disc is being called the caller will point at the disc or raise one finger in the air indicating the disc in quesiion is good. lf the disc is not counting, caller will make a sweeping motion from side to side at waist level with hand palm side down. Caller will indicate number of counting discs by raising one or more fingers. May also point at counting discs with cue. To indicate a counting disc in the kitchen, caller will make a circular or stirring motion with cue held in a vertical position. Coaching your partner is prohibited. You may advise score, indicate counting discs, or advise the position of discs if so asked or converse about color choice at the start of a match. Any word or motion indicating coaching is prohibited. We have covered basic strategy fairly well. As stated before there are no two situations exactly alike. you must analyze the situation and make the decision which will leave the discs in the position which is the most advantageous to you. The following are basic rules of strategy which you should always remember: 1. your guard block and cover block shots are always made from the Number 1 Position. 2. Play kitchen only when you have the hammer shot’ 3. Do not shoot at opponents non counting disc with your hammer shot. 4. Take out any of opponents counting discs, also take out any of opponents discs that can be doubled. Page 12 5. Never pass the opportunity to hide a counting disc, unless you have to clear opponents counting or possible non counting double. 6. lf the opportunity presents itself always consider the possibility of blocking the scoring area ahead of opponents hammer shot. The third part of shuffleboard is execution. I have given you the information on what I consider the best delivery, given you tips on basic strategy. Execution is dependent on your natural ability and the skill you develop. Your skill can be honed by practice. The ability to execute based on the proper strategy is what makes shuffleboard such an interesting game. ln closing I would like to say that the game of shuffleboard has been rewarding to me. I hope it will do the same for you. Happy shuffling to all of you.