At the Florida Shuffleboard Association open spring meeting on Saturday, a spirited discussion took place about how to keep shuffleboard strong and healthy.
The discussion was particularly noteworthy for our district (the Southwest Coast district), which suffered an average reduced enrollment of 17 players per week compared with last season. Many opinions were shared.
One suggestion: We need more amateurs. Perhaps some avoid competition because they do not want to move to pro status. This could be because their league refuses to allow pros, or because they doubt their ability to compete at that level.
Some members felt amateurs might develop better if they could play more tournaments that would not confer move-up points. The West Coast district has only eight amateur tournaments per season that confer move-up points, and amateurs attend and play their hearts out, anyway. The Southwest Coast has 15 such tournaments, and its non-sanctioned Black Friday adventure drew participants who knew no points would be forthcoming.
Some believe amateurs playing in sparsely attended amateur tournaments are moving up prematurely. They argue that move-up points should be earned at state tournaments for amateurs or by playing in open tournaments. Four annual state tournaments for amateurs are held in the Southwest Coast District each season.
No vote on any action will be taken before October (the fall open meeting on Oct. 14 at Sebring).
Readers’ views would be welcomed. Local residents with a vote at FSA include Southwest Coast District President Jerry Stannard (860-961-3913), State Delegate John L. Brown (941-756-8548), and Florida 1st Vice President Dave Kudro (330-417-3618).
The published FSA schedule has one change. FL A-01 at Clearwater will be played on Oct. 16-18 rather than Oct. 23-25. This change allows the tournament to be held at Clearwater the same date as FL P-03A. This will enable Clearwater to not open on Oct. 23-25 although it will result in one week with no FL amateur tournament on the schedule one week after the opening one. This will be a gift to Clearwater: We owe them one as they let Sebring test their venue for one year of the Tournament of Champions in March 2018.
Unrelated to the above mentions, on Friday at Bradenton Shuffle Club is the Hoss Collar, starting at 9 a.m. Bring your own lunch, although cake will be provided. The day marks the Southwest Coast District Hall of Fame induction for several new members. Some inductees are famous from the past and it should be interesting.
FL P-23A (March 6): at Ft. Pierce, Ladies Main: 2. Pam Nurnberger. Men’s Main: 2. Ron Nurnberger.
FL P-23B (March 6): at Betmar, Men’s Consolation: 3. Mike Marquis-Bill Batdorff.
SWCD D-20 (March 9): at Trailer Estates, Open Mixed Doubles, 75 points. Main: 1. Lois Wegner-Ralph Lozano; 2. Ron and Pam Nurnberger; 3. Tom and Cheryl Putnam; 4. Mike and Joyce Marquis. Consolation: 1. Heather and George Godson; 2. Ione Fowler-Bob Grissom; 3. Dave and Sue Minnich; 4. Marie Hunter-J.R. Rathburn.
SWCD A-15 (March 10): at Trailer Estates, Any Amateur/Any Doubles, 75 points. Main: 1. Jim Lessard-Tony Souza; 2. Patrick Antaya-Terry McNamara; 3. Charles Stannard-Dale Overzet; 4. Janice O-Sullivan-Helen Lunsford. Consolation: 1. Terry Schwebke-Ed Chapman; 2. Shirley Pendergrass-Elaine Antaya; 3. Rick Hall-Cheri Wargo; 4. Barbara Young-Norm Mead.
FL P-25 (March 20): at Lakeland, Open M/L Doubles, 75 points. No lunch.