What is Shuffleboard?
Shuffleboard is a popular game played on a shuffleboard court. Players use cues to push discs towards numbered spots on the board. After eight discs have been played, the scores are added up for a frame. There is also an indoor version of shuffleboard played on a table with the same rules. This game is accessible for all ages to play and understand.
Shuffleboard has roots that date back to 15th century England. In these early times, players would slide a groat, which is a British coin, down a table. As the game became more popular, it followed the British settlers to the colonies and became one of the most popular sports of early America. As time has gone on the game has evolved, and both the indoor and outdoor versions have been popularized.
How To Play
While there is both an indoor and an outdoor version of shuffleboard, many of the rules are the same. The game starts with a player throwing a disc towards a scoring area. In the indoor version, these areas are worth one, two, and three points. In the outdoor version, they are worth seven, eight, and ten. The teams alternate throws. After each team has thrown 4 discs, the total scores are added up. Indoor games are usually played to 21 and outdoor games can be played to 75.
Here is the essential shuffleboard equipment you should have:
Board or Table: A table or a board with a proper scoring area is the most important item for a shuffleboard game. This can be created with paint or chalk, and must have a scoring area.
Cue: The cue is an instrument that is only used in outdoor shuffleboard. The cue is a stick with two pegs on each side of the bottom that the disc is meant to fit between. Players use the cue to push the disc towards the scoring area. In the indoor version of this game, the cue is replaced by the player's hand.
Disc: The disc is what is thrown in a game of shuffleboard. Players send the discs down the board and try to land them as close to the scoring zone as possible.
The main objective of shuffleboard is to get to a certain number of points before the other team or to get more points than the other team in a specific amount of rounds. This is done by pushing the discs towards higher scoring areas or knocking the other team’s discs away from these areas.
Rules and Regulations
Shuffleboard is a simple game that doesn’t have too many rules. That makes it easy to be played by all ages.
Here are the most important shuffleboard rules you should know:
- Players have to shoot their shots from their own side of the board. When players take their shots, they are not allowed to cross the end line.
- The discs must be a certain size to be official shuffleboard discs. For the outdoor version of the game, they need to be six inches in diameter to be regulation size. For the indoor version, they need to be two and five sixteenth inches.
To be successful in shuffleboard, there are certain strategies players can use. Here are the best ones when trying to win a game of shuffleboard.
- While the goal of the game is to put the discs in the scoring area, discs can also be thrown in front of the scoring area as blockers. These discs are thrown in front of the scoring area and prevent the other team from having a clean shot.
- Other discs can knock out discs in the scoring area. If they are knocked out of the scoring area, they do not count as points. This means that discs only count for points if they are in the scoring area at the end of the round, so it is wise for players to knock their opponents’ discs out.
Here is the common terminology and slang in shuffleboard:
- Frame: A frame is a set of turns where each team shoots their discs. There can be an unlimited number of frames within a match.
- Hammer: The hammer is the last throw in a frame. The team that possesses the hammer has an advantage in any given frame.
- Hanger: A hanger is a disc that hangs over the edge. When this happens, the team who achieves it is awarded four points.
Here are the most famous shuffleboard players you should know:
- Billy Mays: Widely known as the best table shuffleboard player ever and a Hall of Famer. He is credited with keeping the game alive before there were National Tournaments.
- Diana Hagen: The only female currently in the World Shuffleboard Hall of Fame.
While shuffleboard has not yet caught on as one of the most popular sports, experienced players can still find leagues to play in. Along with local leagues, here is the most famous league that exists for shuffleboard players.
USA NSA: The United States National Shuffleboard Association runs a season every year for the best shuffleboard players America offers. This is the best shuffleboard league in the country and players come from all over to compete against the best of the best.
Events and Competitions
While there are large professional leagues in shuffleboard, most events are run by the Table Shuffleboard association.
Here are a few of their most popular tournaments:
January Shuffleboard Fest: Held every January in Tulsa, Oklahoma, many of the world’s best players come to show off their skills.
PNW Championship: This event held the last weekend of May is the final stop for the PNW tour. Players compete all season for a spot in Anacortes, Washington so they can compete.
Is it better to play shuffleboard inside or outside?
Shuffleboard can be played both indoors and outdoors. Both are fun versions of the game and one is not better than the other. Even though some rules differ, these games are similar enough that you can play both of them if you know the rules to one.
Can shuffleboard be played without a board?
Shuffleboard can not be played without a board but that doesn’t mean that players can’t play if a board is not directly available. Boards can be made quickly if necessary with paint or chalk. As long as cues and discs are present, shuffleboard can be played anywhere.