Several players recently complained about waiting.
Sometimes we don't get a court because more games are scheduled than the number of courts available at that tournament venue. Other times we have a single bye, so another match must finish before that bye has any opponent.
Other reasons for waiting include slow play, kitchen play and large numbers of unproductive frames where no score can be recorded.
During the past 20 years, efforts have been proposed, but not allowed by the associations, especially the Florida Shuffleboard Association.
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Among possible ways to speed up play:
1. Change the kitchen from 10 off to 10 on for the opponent who put you in. This would likely cut two-hour games down to about one hour.
2. Play frame games instead of point games. Seventy-five point games are popular only in Florida or states influenced by Florida, mostly in North America east of the Mississippi River longitude. Western Canada and the United States as well as all other countries play 12 to 20 frames. In Florida, a frame is eight discs, or once down the board. Point games sometime seem almost endless.
3. Limited frame games could help a lot. We already use 12 frames or 75 points, whichever occurs first, in Non-Walking Singles in Florida. Historically, many Florida voters (officers and delegates) have been loath to give up the 75-point game. Many leagues already play frame games, and this appeals to those who want to play shorter periods.
4. Eliminate lagging for color choice by making the third game, if needed, eight frames on each color, regardless of the score. This would give each side an equal chance on courts which favor one color, usually a function of drift, occasionally a function of unequal discs.
5. Free Guard Zone. The Olympics accepted curling as a sport in the 1990s and made the sport more TV friendly by establishing a Free Guard Zone. Clear the board and score the hammer (last shot) tends to be boring and time consuming. Theoretically, prohibiting clearing the first two discs set up as guards, would encourage more board play with less clearing, thus shortening the game. Such a plan was promoted by Roy Norman more than 15 years ago, but FSA refused to try it.
If any reader has a better idea, feel free to mention it, as some good players might be tempted back to tournaments with less waiting,
Dec. 2, FL P-9A at Hawthorne, M/L Doubles. Ladies Main: 2. Terri Smith. FL P-9B at Boynton Beach. Ladies Main: 1. Judy Taylor, 2. Pam Nurnberger. Men Main: 3. Dwayne Cross. Also FL A-6A at Clearwater, Any Amateurs/Any Doubles. Main: 3. Lowell and Debra Williams.
Dec. 4 SWCD D-8 at Bradenton, M/L Doubles Restricted to State Ams and Pros. Ladies Main: 1. Pat Tomko-Sue Minnich, 2. Ann Wedel-Judy Taylor, 3. Margaret Hartzler-Kathy Boutwell, 4. Evelyn White-Heather Godson. Consolation: 1. Nancy Sclafani-Marilyn Everett. 2. Kathy Smith-Terri Smith, 3. Sharon Olmstead-Bonnie Walker, 4. Marcia Brazier-Joan Curwin. Men Main: 1. Dave Kudro-Freeman Gingerich, 2. Charlie DeVries-Ed Leonard, 3. Jim Rathburn-Larry Toole, 4. Levi Miller-Clark Bennett. Consolation: 1. Ralph Lozano-Nelson Kellogg, 2. John L. Brown-Bill Duggan, 3. Jim Smith-David Welsh, 4. Clare Mitchell-Elmer Heisler.
Dec. 5 at Bradenton, Any Amateurs/Any Doubles. Main: 1. Tom and Cheryl Putnam, 2. Dian Darrah-Charlotte Brod, 3. Brad Thomas-Bill Rials, 4. Larry Boelsley-Marilyn Spica. Consolation: 1. Donna Schultz-Connie Crawford, 2. Terry Schwebke-Ed Chapman, 3. Mary and Dick Pierce, 4. Gib Stannard and Charles Stannard.
Tuesday is the second day of FL P-10 at Lakeland, M/L Open Doubles and FL A-7 at Avon Park National Amateur Mixed Doubles.
Thursday at Tri-Par, M/L Draw Doubles, Restricted to State Ams and Pros, 16 frames or 75 points.
Friday at Tri-Par, Any Amateurs/Any Doubles (State Ams/no points).
Next Monday, December 15, M/L Open Doubles, FL P-11A at Ft. Pierce; FL P-11B at Betmar. Also next Monday, December 15, FL-A8 at Palmetto, Any Amateurs/Any Doubles.
Two weeks ago this column noted John Mickle and Wolter Bootsma placed fourth in the Main at Lee County, making Mr. Mickle a new Pro come Oct. 1, 2015. Now we realize that Wolter Bootsma also becomes a new Pro Oct. 1, 2015, as a result of the same tournament. We apologize for this oversight and offer equal congratulations to both.
At SWCD-A5 on Dec. 5 at Bradenton, Tom and Cheryl Putnam of Trailer Estates placed first in the main event, their first first in district play. Congratulations to these two Michiganders. Pat Tomko of Maine and Tropic Isles also won her first first in a main event in D-8 at Bradenton. Very nice.
On Dec. 4 at Bradenton, SWCD celebrated the 100th birthday (Dec. 1) of Gib Stannard with a presentation and cake for all. Gib says as long as he feels this well, he wouldn't mind living forever.