Tuesday, March 27, 2007

It's Not Just For Senior Citizens Anymore!

Shuffleboard. Have you ever seen an under-55 with a shuffle cue in their hands? It's a rarity, and I can't figure out why that is. Even though it had been more than 25 years since I'd played a game of shuffleboard, I remember how fun it was and jumped at the chance to play again while we are down here.

The rules are pretty simple and it doesn't require a buff physique to play.
You have a cue, which is a long stick with a semi-circle on the end for pushing the discs down the court. The court is 52 feet long and six feet wide. The idea is to 'shove' four weighted discs from one end of the court to the other, into the scoring area. The scoring area is triangular, with five sections for scoring points: 10, 8, 7 and -10. Each player shoves their discs to the other end eight times and scores are tallied. Discs touching a line don't count. The player with the most points wins.

Uncle Bob got the cue sticks out, including one that belonged to my Grandpa. It made me smile when I looked at it and I thought to myself, "My grandpa's fingerprints are probably still on this." He was killed in 1968 in a car accident, the day before my 11th birthday. It was a very sad day in my life, since I spent a great deal of time at my grandma and grandpa's house. He was a very good shuffleboard player and even won some tournaments down here.

We went down to the court, which is just half a block from my aunt and uncle's place and we drew numbers to see who we got to play with. There are some die-hard shufflers here and I'm sure they didn't want to have to play with me. Romie is pretty good at whatever sport he attempts, so no worries there. But it was all just for fun today and we kept individual scores instead of the usual team scoring. Everyone was really nice and helped me relearn the game.

I won't go into all the miserable gutter shots I had, or the ones where I ended up in the kitchen (the -10 area), and most of all I won't tell you about the times I knocked my good-score discs out of the scoring area. I am my own worst enemy, I tell ya. And my last partner's best friend. He had the highest score he's ever had while playing with me. He's a very good player, but I gave him half his points. I couldn't knock myself into scoring position, but I was pretty good at doing that for him. He thanked me very kindly.

The mailman stopped by while we were playing and I think he felt sorry for me, because he whispered in my ear that he'd help me. Okay. I needed all the help I could get. When I started the final game, he stood on the court and formed a 'V' with his feet so my discs would go right into the small triangle that scores 10. When I got three of my discs in that triangle, there wasn't room for any more. No problem. Did you know that you can still score a disc if it's on top of another disc? In the first frame, I had 40 points! They wouldn't let me keep those points, though. Geesh. Even with them, I wouldn't have won.

I ended up with a grand total of -4. But the fun factor was way up there.


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