By eight in the morning, on a Saturday, a tournament is humming along.
The game is simple enough.
Each player has three discs and a stick. Each turn, a player pushes one of his disks down a slick court with his stick and tries to make his disc stop in one of the scoring areas marked inside a distant triangle. Each disc that stays in the top portion of the triangle is worth ten points. Further towards the base of the triangle, the points awarded are less. A player has to play offense, getting his disc in high scoring areas, and defense, knocking an opponent’s disc out of a scoring area.
” Each court is different, ” one of the onlookers tells me, ” and they break different ways. ”
This is a tournament between the Voyager RV Resort, on the other side of town, and the Rincon Rv Resort.Cursing is kept to a minimum because women are present and all know that tomorrow is another day. As players take their turns, scores are tallied. When the tournament is done there will be certificates awarded and losers will buy beer.
The throwing motion is slow and deliberate. A disc is cradled into the U shaped handle of the stick, the player pauses, takes two steps and leans forward, extends his straightened arm towards the distant triangle. It is a soft motion and the stick, properly used, never leaves the surface of the court. After your throw, you stand back and hope your opponent, who throws after you, doesn’t erase your effort.
This is a game one would think a five year old could play, but they aren’t skilled enough, or devious enough.
Old people might be old, but they aren’t without experience in duplicity.
It takes smarts to get to old age and no one, with any smarts, wants to spend winter in a cold place.
This winter I’m in Arizona again but I don’t try shuffleboard because I’m old enough, yet.