Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Orlando Shuffle offers fun for the whole family.


Old Game, New Year! The Orlando Shuffle  is being played on renovated courts at Beardall Senior Center (800 Delaney Ave, Orlando, Florida) on the first Saturday from 7pm to 9pm and third Saturday from 3pm to 5pm of every month. The Orlando Shuffle is free, and it’s family-friendly.  Retro attire is encouraged. The courts are located just south of downtown. This family friendly sport is gaining in popularity. Many shuffle board courts sit abandoned all around Orlando.  There are shuffle board courts at the Maitland Art Center but those courts are covered with dead leaves and I was told they are set to be demolished. There were some leaves on the Beardall courts but a young volunteer whisked them clean with a broom. City Commissioner Patty Sheehan was proud of the recent renovations to these courts that she helped spearhead. After speaking to me for a bit, she went off to play a heated match.

The game was played and gambled over by King Henry VIII of England, who prohibited commoners from playing; evidently he did not always win. The objective of the game is cue, called a tang to slide, all four of one's Weights alternately against those of an opponent, so that they reach the highest scoring area without falling off the end of the board into the alley. Furthermore, a player's Weight(s) must be farther down the board than his opponent's Weight(s), in order to be in scoring position. This may be achieved either by knocking off the opponent's Weight(s), or by outdistancing them. Horse collar, the most common form of the game, is played to either 15 or, more typically, 21. Only the weights in front score.

I watched a husband, wife and their two children play. The wife was fiercely competitive and she won every game by a rather high margin.   There was some controversy about weather a weight on a line counts as a score. I couldn't pick up all the basics just by watching and sketching. One gentleman really embraced the retro attire look with a sporty cap and vest. If you are looking for something playful to do on a Saturday night, I would definitely put the Orlando Shuffle on your calendar. I considered playing a game to see if I had any shuffle skills but instead decided I should get home to Terry to finish off my Saturday night..


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