To be, or not to be (said Shakespeare), that is the question.
Last week's column produced several comments from readers. There has been resistance to change for the 21 years of my retirement, much of it from Florida Shuffleboard Association leadership. I have often heard, "The game is perfect now. Don't change anything."
I have questioned this stance with, "If it is perfect, why are players complaining? Why has attendance failed to grow? Why are more people playing in leagues than in tournaments? Why doesn't the rest of the world play 75-point games?"
In fact, some changes have taken place. We now have the option at the district level of limited-frame games. Florida Non-Walking Singles are now 12 frames or 75 points, whichever occurs first.
Another change not realized by many of today's players is the lack of volunteer scorekeepers and referees on every court at every tournament as was the case long ago. The rules used to be strictly enforced by these volunteer referees, and many rules yet assume there is a referee to make some decisions. It is ironic, but a sign of the times. Our society now is so busy that we are lucky if host clubs can find somebody to sweep the courts, let alone wash them properly in advance of a tournament.
In response to last week's column, one reader suggested that if he kitchened someone, he should be the one to decide on the spot whether he got 10 points, or his opponent got 10 off. In a further discussion of this point, another player asked, "What if you put yourself in?" I suppose that could be settled easily by the rule being the same for all kitchens, but even the question appears less simple than first conceived.
Several readers responded positively to the idea of no lagging, eight frames on each color in the third game as fairer and faster than yet another long 75-point game.
If players feel strongly about issues, consider running for office, serving on club or district or even state, national or international boards. These are opportunities to help decide.
This column is open to your opinions as well as my own. I have long maintained that readers can contribute to these discussions. See me at a tournament or call 941-756-8548.
FL P-10 at Lakeland, December 8, M/L/ Doubles, 75 points. Ladies Main: 2. Joyce Marquis. Consolation: 3. Pam Nurnberger-Pat Batdorff. Men's Consolation: 3. Ron Nurnberger-Larry Taylor.
SWCD D-9 at Tri-Par, Dec. 11, Restricted Draw, M/L, 16 frames or 75 points. Men Main: 1. Larry Mardis-Peter Berg, 2. Jerry Stannard-Paul Knepper, 3. Hank Hoekstra-Larry Toole, 4. John Stuart-Ed Leonard. Consolation: 1. Mike Marquis-David Welsh, 2. Nelson Kellogg-Clark Bennett, 3. Delmer Kohorst-Rich Gardner, 4. Vern Wallingford-Bob Kendall. Ladies Main: 1. Joan McCurdy-Margaret Hartzler, 2. Sharon Hoyt-Arlene McCague, 3. Marie Hunter-Letha DeVries, 4. Terri Smith-Linda Wallingford. Consolation: 1. Pat Tomko-Shirley Bootsma, 2. Bonnie Walker-Pam Nurnberger, 3. Bet Pitts-Nancy Ulicny, 4. Emma Searcy-Kathy Boutwell.
SWCD A-6 at Tri-Par, Dec. 12, Any Amateurs /Any Doubles, 16 frames or 75 points. Main: 1. Connie Crawford-Donna Schultz, 2. Tom and Cheryl Putnam, 3. Kay Lynn Duncan-Ron Middleton, 4. Ken and Kathy Laver. Consolation: 1 Bernie Broda-Marilyn Rotman, 2. Dick and Mary Pierce, 3. Carol McLeod-David Patchkowski, 4. Ruby Flickinger-James Nitti.
Tuesday is the second day of FL P-11A at Fort Pierce, and P-11B at Betmar, M/L Doubles, 75 points. Tuesday also is the second day of FL-A8 at Palmetto, Any Amateurs Any Doubles, 75 points.
Thursday, SWCD D-10 at Golf Lakes is M/L Draw Doubles, Restricted to State Ams and Pros, 16 frames or 75 points. Friday, at Golf Lakes, SWCD A-7 Any Amateurs/Draw Doubles, 16 frames or 75 points (State Ams, no points).
When State competitors from the Southwest Coast District consider whether to buy tickets for the Florida Hall of Fame Banquet in Fort Lauderdale on January 19 ($34.00) remember that Joyce Marquis and Jerry Everett are to be inducted. Several of us will be there and will attend the State Winter Meeting afterward.
On Oct. 25-30, 2015, Clearwater will host the 34th ISA World Championship Singles. Players must contact their national President to be a part of this world-class event. Sandi Quinn is USA/NSA President; Her address and email are in the FL Preview. Details will be announced in January on application procedure, but mark your calendar now if interested. This event, last held in St. Petersburg two years earlier, is not likely to be closer in the near future. Clearwater has 26 covered courts with 13 playable outside, and the National and International Hall of Fame Museums. A visit could be enjoyable for area residents, even if not competing.
LOCAL SCOREBOARDShuffleboardMANATEE SHUFFLE CLUB
Bradenton Tropical Palms 9, Village on the Green 6; Terra Siesta 8, Seabreeze 7; Paradise Bay 9, Golf Lakes 6.Three-game winnersRuss Spotto/Terry McNamara, Jeanie Felski, Frank Eller, Mike Gibson/Margaret Gibson, Hartson Blackstone/Dian Darrah, Mac Frazier/Marilyn Rotman.Dec. 10
ResultsParadise Bay 10, Bradenton Tropical Palms 5; Village on the Green 10, Golf Lakes 5; Palmetto 10, Seabreeze 5; Terra Siesta 15, Mt. Vernon 0.Three-game winnersJerry Everett/Bernie Broda, Ed Boley/Gillies Emard, Jim Wiersma/Del Schram.Standings1. Terra Siesta 23, 2. Palmetto 22, 3. Paradise Bay 19, 4. Village on the Green 16, 5. Seabreeze 15, 6. Bradenton Tropical Palms 14, 7. Golf Lakes 11, 8. Mt. Vernon 3.SUNCOAST SHUFFLE MIXED LEAGUE
ResultsGolf Lakes 12, Plantation Village 3; Bayshore Windmill Village 10.5, Floridana 4.5; Heather Hills 8.5, Pescara Lake 6.5.Three-game winnersGolf Lakes -- Paul Ice & Bill Bierema, Myrna Luse & Margaret Gibbons, Andy Sparks & Bob Filary.
Bayshore Windmill Village -- John Clontz & Dick Hayes.
Heather Hills -- Jan Gorsuch & Doris Iffland.Standings1. Heather Hills 47, 2. Bayshore Windmill Village 46, 3. Golf Lakes 43, 4. Floridana 35, 5. Pescara Lake 30, 6. Plantation Village 23.5.Dec. 11
ResultsBayshore Windmill Village 10.5, Plantation Village 4.5; Heather Hills 9.5, Golf Lakes 5.5; Floridana 9, Pescara Lake 6.Three-game winnerBayshore Windmill Village -- Denver Blevins & Bob Heyboer. Ray Gordon & Ed Dewar.
Heather Hills -- Jan Gorsuch & Doris Iffland.Standings1. Bayshore Windmill Village 56.5, 1. Heather Hills 56.5, 3. Golf Lakes 48.5, 4. Floridana 44, 5. Pescara Lake 36.5, 6. Plantation Villege 28.