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  • Indoor Shuffleboard Table Basic Rules

    Before the game begins, it is considered a sign of good sportsmanship for all players to shake hands.  Players can flip a coin to decides who goes first.

    P130306--2013 LEGACY SHUFFLEBOARD --5Shuffleboard is played with weighted pucks, colored red or blue to indicate which player or team they belong to.  Players alternate sliding their puck down the shuffleboard table.  The main idea is to get the pucks as close to the end of the board as possible, without them falling off the end.

    The center of the table is divided from each end by two lines called the “foul lines”.  If the puck does not pass the foul line closest to the shooting player, it is considered to be in the ‘illegal zone’ and removed from the table.  The table is surrounded by a gutter, called the “alley”.  Pucks that fall into the alley remain out of play for the rest of the round.

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    It is possible to hit the pucks of your opponent when sliding your puck down the table.  Ideally, you can hit your opponent’s pucks into the alley, and therefore out of play, while moving your pucks into a higher-scoring position.  If your puck passes the foul line, but then bounces off a puck and goes back into the illegal zone, both your puck and the puck of your opponent are removed from play.

    Each player slides a total of four pucks to complete a round.  At the end of the round, only the player whose puck is closest to the edge of the table can receive points.  For your puck to score points, it must be on the table, over the foul line, and closer to the end of the table than any of your opponent’s pucks.

    If the puck is overhanging the edge of the table, it scores four points.  A puck that sits in one of the scoring zones receives a score of one, two, or three points, according to that zone.  If a puck is touching the line, it receives the score from the lowest zone (for example, a puck in the second zone that is touching the line for first zone would receive one point).

    In a two-player game, the first player to get fifteen points is the winner.  In a four-player game of ‘doubles’, the first team to get twenty-one points is the winning team.

    There are certain violations that will cost a player one point.  To avoid any penalty points, ensure that you do not, in any way, rub your hands over the playing surface.  Also, avoid extending the lower half of your body past the end of the board.  Do not hold a playing puck in your hand while your opponent is shooting.  While it is permissible to touch the frame, avoid touching the actual playing surface with either hand before, during or after making a shot.

    In a singles match, it is permissible to go to the other end of the board to see the position of the pucks.  When playing in teams, however, teammates stand on the opposite end of the table and play every other round, shooting from alternating ends of the table. The players are effectively playing two games at once, and combining the team scores.  If you want to know about a puck’s position, you must ask your partner.  Going beyond the foul line at any time during the round results in a penalty.

    While anyone else is shooting— whether it’s your opponent or your partner—touching a puck that is in play is not permitted, nor is touching the playing surface or the frame of the table. Avoid touching any pucks in the gutter until the round is finished. Causing any vibration on the table will result in a penalty, even if the vibration is accidental—for example hitting the table or floor.  As a rule, when it’s your opponent’s turn, it’s considered good etiquette dictates to stand far back and give her lots of room with no fear of interference.

    Now that you know how to play, consider browsing our shuffleboard table selection.

  • How does one win a game of shuffleboard?

    Players play until an agreed upon score, typically fifteen or twenty-one.  It should be noted that scores for each round are not official until the entire round is finished and scores have been tallied.

  • How does one keep score when playing shuffleboard?

    Only one player scores at the end of each round.  The player that scores is the one whose disks are furthest down the table.  Only the disks between the edge of the table and the opponents furthest disk are counted.  A disk overhanging the edge of the table scores four points.  Disks that are completely inside a scoring area (3, 2, or 1) score the point value associated with that area (three points, two points, or one point).  Disks that are touching a line receive points from the lower scoring area (for example, if a disk is mostly in the scoring area marked 3 but is touching the line for 2, it receives two points).

    For actually recording the score, pencil and paper can be used, or a variety of different “scoring units” are available in different styles.  Some are simple sliding beads not unlike an abacus, and others are electronic units.

  • Where did shuffleboard originate?

    Shuffleboard is said to have originated in England, descending from a game called *Shoffe-Groat”, where players would slide large, thick coins called “Groats” down a long table.

  • What are shuffleboard tables made of?

    The best shuffleboard tables are made from hard maple wood, as these are less susceptible to warping over time.  Russian birch and Canadian soft maple are considered good quality materials, and the least expensive tables are made from rubber wood, poplar, or Chinese birch.  When buying a table, it’s important to ask what type of wood the table is made of.

  • How do I level a shuffleboard table?

    Start by leveling the cabinet, then use climatic adjusters to adjust the play surface.  A typical shuffleboard has between four to six climatic adjusters fastened underneath, and these can be adjusted by tightening the nuts on the bottom.  The methods are slightly different depending on whether the table is concave (table is positioned slightly upward, like an arch or convex (table dips slightly downward, like a valley).

    For a concave table, if the dip in the middle is too severe, the distance between the climatic adjusters needs to be decreased, making the table more level.  Loosen the two bolts in between the climatic adjusters, then very slowly (a couple turns for each nut) turn the outer two bolts in a clockwise motion.  After a couple of days, check the board and repeat the adjustment if necessary.

    For a convex table, the process is similar but the instructions are opposite.  Loosen the two bolts on the outside of the adjusters, then slowly tighten the inner bolts, pushing the climate adjusters farther apart.  As with concave, make sure to adjust very slowly (only a couple turns per bolt) and test the board after a couple days and repeat if necessary.

  • When did billiards come to America?

    It is believed that the Spaniards introduced billiards to the Americans in 1565, although the game was not very popular initially.  Between the years of 1878 and 1956, however, the game skyrocketed in popularity, with players becoming famous by competing in annual championships.

  • When was billiards first played?

    The origins of billiards are lost with the passing of time, although early records by Greek traveller Anacharsis indicate that a very preliminary version was played by Egyptians as early as 400 BC, which was then adopted by the Greeks.

    The word “billiard” is derived from French, where the word “billart” means stick, and the word “bille” means ball.  In the 15th century, the earliest record of how the game was made was recorded.  It started as an indoor version of croquet, which could explain why the pool table felt is traditionally green (to represent the grass from outside).  The first billiards table was found among the items belonging to King Louis XI.  The Shakespeare play “Anthony and Cleopatra” makes use of the word “billiard”, suggesting that the term was well-known to people living in the Elizabethan age.

  • Where is the billiards hall of fame located ?

    The Billiard Congress of America, based in Broomfield, Colorado, maintains the BCA Hall of Fame.  The New England Pool & Billiards Hall of Fame is located at 53 Ashburton Street in Providence, Rhode Island.

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