To have a complete knowledge of Shuffleboard rules is the interest of every sport junkie. The following article discusses shuffleboard rules & regulations, equipment, playing guide along with tips and suggestions for better play.
What is Shuffleboard | Types & Playing Methods
I am not wrong if I say that Shuffleboard is one of the easiest games on the planet. It is a sport that is convenient for everyone, regardless of age and physical ability.
But it’s also a game of strategy and you are never too old to keep improving your skills. Shuffleboard is played on indoor (on tables) and outdoor (surface) courts. Shuffleboard courts vary in dimensions.
The standard size of outdoor court is 52 feet long and 10 feet wide. For playing on surface, players hold stick like paddles to propel the pucks (biscuits/discs) into a numerical area that shows lines with specific scoring points. This game can be played as singles (one vs one) and doubles (two vs two) on a grounded as well as tabled court.
You may come across different versions of the game and its multiple names. As, it is the oldest game with rich history behind. Some call this game as shovel-board, deck shuffleboard, Sjoelen (Dutch Shuffleboard) and shuffleboard. Shuffleboard resembles bowls, carrom board and air hockey.
Shuffleboard Rules; How to Play Shuffleboard
Following are the rules of playing shuffleboard games in its different types. These rules are explained with pictures and image for better understanding.
1. Starting the Game
Shuffleboard starts with flip of the toss. The winner gets the chance to propel his puck first. The service goes on with alternate turns.
- The winner of each round is allowed to make a move in next round.
- Every player has to make his move after the puck of his opponent has reached its final position.
- Players have to alter the side of the court after the completion of every round.
2. Scoring in Shuffleboard
Scoring is quite similar to lawn bowls. It is counted at the end of each round. Each round ends after the serving of all 8 pucks (each player has 4 pucks) by players.
Players propel the pucks towards scoring area on alternate turns. If any puck remains behind the foul line, that lies before scoring zone, it is removed and no point is scored. In case, a puck lags behind scoring area, no point is scored. It is important to make the pucks reach scoring zone for getting points.
It is permissible to aim at opponents’ pucks so at to remove them from the court or make them enter in 10 off zone, and thus causing opponents to lose 10 points.
If opponents’ pucks are thrashed into 10 off zone, he loses 10 points as a result of penalty. In case, the player, in an attempt to sideline opponents’ puck from the court, propels his puck forcefully and that unluckily goes off the court, he loses 10 points.
Additionally, if a puck, after being propelled by the player, goes directly inside the 10 off zone, the player loses 5 points a result of penalty. In case a player mistakenly plays his opponent’s puck, he loses 10 points as penalty.
In table shuffleboard, there are three scoring areas with different numbers: 1, 2 and 3. These represent the number of points. You can see a scoreboard attached at the side of the table for maintaining the record of score
While in surface shuffleboard, you can see one 10 point box, two 8 point boxes, 2 7 point boxes and one 10 off box. The boxes represent the number of points. 10 off area is considered to be the danger zone since it costs loss of points when a puck enters this area.
Lets see how scoring works in shuffleboard. The first red puck in the zone of 2, gets 2 points, the second blue puck in the zone of 3, gets 3 points and the last puck that is hanging at the edge of the court gets 1 additional points, mean 4 points.
The hanging puck is known as hanger. The rest of the pucks that are out of the court are dead and produce no points at all. The fallen pucks are either knocked-off or on
3. Deuce in Shuffleboard
When both the players or sides score equal points at the end of complete 10 rounds, it is called a deuce or a draw match. Here is a fine example of a round being drawn. Each player has amassed 6 points after the end of a round.
There are multiple scoreboards for counting points. These scoreboards are attached with the table.
What is the winning Target?
A game can last as long as you want with scoring to an agreed number of points or ends. Usually, the winning target is 75 points, after the completion of 10 rounds. Each round is either of 15 points (short round) or 21 points (long round).
The player with maximum points, after 10 rounds, is declared winner. In case both the players or teams have scored equal points, 75 points, at the last round, the player or side getting highest points in that round is declared winner.
- a. When a disk, after being propelled, enters into 10 off area. It costs 5 points reduction. You can see a yellow disk inside the penalty area, the 10 off.
- When disks fail to cross the foul line and lag behind it. The are usually removed from the court and avail no points at all. In picture 1, yellow disk is at fault, and in picture 2, blue puck is lagging behind the line
- c. Players should not step inside the kitchen zone while attempting shots. If they enter, their feet might get burnt (kidding).
- More specifically, to enter in the green zone or even touching its white bordering lines with your feet or any part of the body is not allowed. Players should be inside the purple area when they are attempting shots.
- d. When a player mistakenly plays his opponents puck instead of his own. He loses 10 points as a result of his mistake.
5. Carrom Shuffleboard Rules
Shuffleboard resembles Carrom board. Both the games use disks, pucks or biscuits for playing. Both games have similar surfaces to play. Though scoring and playing mechanism are different.
Here is a variant of shuffleboard which is known as carrom shuffleboard. You can clearly see the following table which contains numbers that represent points.
6. Dutch Shuffleboard
Dutch shuffleboard is known as Sjoelen. It is played on following table. It is another variant of shuffleboard. In this game, players have to make 30 wooden pucks enter in the holes that lie on the other side of the court.
Score is counted on the number of pucks being entered in the doorways. These doorways or holes are numbered from left to right. In this image, the number of boxes starts from 1, 4, 3 and ends at 2.
Each puck gets 2 points on 1 entry. The maximum number of points one can reach is 148. This game is popular in Netherlands and Belgium.
7. Rebound Shuffleboard Rules
You can see a table below. This table is used for rebound shuffleboard. In this game the winner has to score 21 points before his opponent for winning the game. Each player has to select one colored puck out of two available colors.
In rebound shuffleboard, the pucks do not go to the other side of the court for getting points, rather they have to hit the back bumper of the table and return to the other half of the table where lies the scoring zone. This is slightly different from one directional shuffleboard.
8. Knock off Shuffleboard Rules
It is permissible in shuffleboard to knock the pucks of ones opponent off the court. When a puck is knocked off the court during a round, it becomes dead and thus avail no points.
So, the knocking off opponents pucks is as important as scoring. Here you can see a blue pucks knocking the red puck off the court.
9. Off the Court in Shuffleboard
A puck or disk is off the court when it goes beyond the specific lines of the court be it surface shuffleboard or table shuffleboard. The blue disk, beyond the yellow border, is out of the court in following picture. It is certainly off the court.
10. Shuffleboard line Rules
A puck must cross the scoring lines for getting score. If a puck cannot manage to cross the line properly, and stops on scoring line, this pucks is given points in lower quantity. Lets have a look down below. The red puck is over the line and thus it gets 2 points.
11. Shuffleboard Rules hanger
In shuffleboard, the puck that hangs on the edge of the court is said to be hanger and it is the shot that offers 4 points, the maximum points per shot. The red puck in following picture is a hanger.
12. Shuffleboard Referee
Shuffleboard is monitored by a referee, who keeps a hawk eye on the court as well as players. He is the supreme authority in the game.
He keeps on informing the players about principles of the game. He keeps a close eye on scoring process as well. A referee is authorized with judging and announcing scores with precision.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is Shuffleboard Sand or Wax?
Shuffleboard sand, also known dust, powder or wax is used on the court for reducing its friction. Wax or sand make the court smooth and easy for the pucks when they are shot from one end to the other end of the court.
2. What is Shuffleboard Rule of 21 Points?
This rule is observed by two players who decide to set the winning target at 21 points. When a player reaches 21 points, he is the declared winner. It means the game ends once a player reaches 21 points. Hence, this rule is at the disposal of both the players playing the game.
3. What is Crazy eight in Shuffleboard?
This is undoubtedly unusual in shuffleboard to allow a player play with 8 pucks. Traditionally, each player has 4 pucks at his disposal. But in crazy eight, this tradition is somehow sidelined. Isn’t is crazy?
4. What is a foul line in Shuffleboard?
This is a line that lies between the scoring and starting zone. Every puck should cross this line for getting point. In case a puck or disk lags behind this line, it is not considered a qualified shot and hence removed from the court.
5. What is hammer in Shuffleboard?
The shuffleboard is started with the toss. The winner of the toss gets two rewards. Firstly, he is credited with first shot. Secondly, he gets the last shot of the round. This last shot of the round termed as hammer. The last shot may prove to be game changer because it can hammer down or knock off the pucks of opponent.
Shuffleboard is a game of less effort but more strategy. So, lesser physical ability doesn’t create hindrance in playing this game.
This game makes you fall in love with it since it offers you the joy as well as entertainment. It also requires less number of equipment to play. All you need is a court, 8 pucks, 2 sticks for outdoor, a tabled court and 8 pucks for indoor shuffleboard. One can play it singles and doubles. The one who scores maximum points, after the completion of 10 rounds, wins the game.
Shuffleboard is not complicated when it comes to its rules. It is fairly easy to command it with some practice. Best of luck for your adventure with this new but heavily entertaining game.