When I hear the word “shuffleboard” my mind immediately goes to retirement homes; I see mature folks in black socks and sandals shoving pucks across the pavement with long, wooden poles.
There is another type of shuffleboard, however, that doesn’t involve pavement at all. Table shuffleboard has been around for a long time and is experiencing a revival in popularity. Young and old can enjoy playing table shuffleboard (black socks and sandals optional) in bars, arcades and now in your own home. Regulation-style tables are available for personal use and come in all types, sizes, and price ranges.
As near as anyone can tell, shuffleboard has been around since the 15th century. Medieval shuffleboard consisted primarily of shoving a coin down a long polished table; the object was to get the coin as close as possible to the edge of the table without falling over from the plague.
The infamously bad-tempered Henry the 8th banned shuffleboard during the 16th century because he thought it was sidetracking his soldiers from their military training. In true Henry the 8th style, the ban didn’t stop him from betting on shuffleboard games; there are records referencing his loss of 9 quid to a Lord William. This is probably the real reason he banned it.
Shuffleboard made it to our continent with English settlers. And for a couple of centuries shuffleboard was minding its own business, entertaining patrons of taverns and pubs, until the 1800’s when it was put on trial in Pennsylvania. “The State vs. John Bishop” determined that shuffleboard was a game of skill rather than a game of chance, meaning the game itself was not considered gambling and could be played in bars without having a specific license for it.
Shuffleboard popularity has waxed and waned during the years. Prohibition put a damper on it when all the bars were shut down, but it managed to reappear during the depression. (Alcohol also made a come-back.) During the 50’s it became so popular that there were massive national shuffleboard tournaments. Then we all got televisions. (Some 50’s shuffleboard smack talk for your enjoyment “Slide, slide, slippity slide, your shuffleboard skills have gone and died; nice try old man!”)
The 80’s saw another resurgence of shuffleboard playing and today shuffleboard is back in full swing. Or rather, in full slide. And now you can have your very own regulation table in your home, so take that, Henry the 8th!
Family Leisure has a fantastic assortment of shuffleboard tables. Their line-up includes tables from Hudson, Brunswick, Presidential, Leisure Select, and Plank & Hide.
The Grand Hudson Shuffleboard by Hudson comes in sizes from 9’ to 22’. Hudson tables are often selected for use in professional tournaments. Twenty-seven time World Champion Billy Mays has endorsed the Hudson line of shuffleboards. (Mr. Mays passed away in 2015). The Grand Hudson Shuffleboard features a 3” thick playing surface, a maple and walnut finished cabinet, an electronic scoreboard and the playing surface comes with a lifetime warranty!
The Intimidator, another Hudson shuffleboard table, is completely customizable. You build upon the solid poplar table with your choice of seven finishes and seven sizes.
Hudson’s Cirrus shuffleboard table has been designed and manufactured to be outdoors. The Cirrus is solid hardwood that has been topped by a fiberglass coated playing field and cabinet that will withstand the elements. Jump out of the pool and play table shuffleboard; you don’t even have to grab a towel!
Finally, there is the Hudson Dominator shuffleboard table, which, as its name implies, dominates the shuffleboard scene with your choice of hard woods and glamorous stains. The Dominator is intricately detailed and includes two matching lights.
Brunswick, already a giant in billiards, has its own line of shuffleboard tables that Family Leisure is proud to represent. The 16’ Gunnison shuffleboard table features a traditional appearance with neoclassic styling and a rich Chestnut finish. The Gunnison offers a ¼” thick polymer resin surface and climate adjusters to ensure your shuffleboard game is on the level.
The Pullman shuffleboard table by Presidential Billiards is another “furniture” style table that features beautiful paneled turned legs and paneled details. Presidential specializes in heirloom quality and exotic hardwoods, both of which you see in the Pullman. The African mahogany hardwood is finished in a hand-rubbed mocha finish which highlights the hand-carved elements.
A more modern offering by Brunswick is the Delray, available in both 12’ and 14’ versions. The Delray offers a contemporary design that is simple and striking; the cabinet is matte black and is highlighted by silver textured laminate.
Leisure Select offers a budget-friendly Premier 12’ shuffleboard table. This simply designed shuffleboard table provides built-in storage for your accessories; it’s ideal for a smaller house or room.
Plank & Hide offers a trendy, industrial flair to their Ryker and Isaac shuffleboard tables. Both feature steel accents and rustic finishes. Plank & Hide produces regulation tables with 3” thick and 20” wide playing fields that are available in 12’ and 14’ styles.
Add interest to your game room with a shuffleboard table; the game is simple, and any skill level or age can enjoy it, which will make for some genuine family fun.
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