International Shuffleboard Tournament Comes to Lakeside, Ohio

Six Countries Will Shuffle Into Ohio for International Competition

LAKESIDE, Ohio, Aug. 10 /PRNewswire/ — Over 100 International Shufflers from six countries will descend upon Lakeside, Ohio August 17th, 2006, for the official start of the 25th International Shuffleboard Team Tournament. The seven-day tournament will see representatives from the United States, Japan, Canada, Brazil, Australia, and Germany compete for the team championship.

Opening ceremonies will kick off the tournament at the Steele Memorial Bandstand at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, August 18, 2006. Rounds one and two of play will follow the ceremonies at 1:15 p.m. & 3 p.m., respectively, with tournament action continuing through August 22. On Friday evening at 8:15 p.m. in Hoover Auditorium the River City Brass Band will play as a Grand March of players enters.

The International Shuffleboard event is open to the public. Lakeside entry costs depend on the length of stay. Per person it is $3.75 for three hours or $14.50 for a daily gate pass good until 7 p.m. the following day. There is a $5.00 auto daily fee per car.

A Rare Opportunity

Shuffleboard is a game that can be played at any stage of life. It transcends age, gender, and strength. Shuffleboard is often misunderstood, but has a character that few other games do. It is easy to play, yet holds a unique challenge, as it can never be fully mastered.

“This is a great opportunity,” said Rich Phifer, Lakeside Shuffleboard President, “for people to see shuffleboard in action, in their backyards, at such a high level of play and spectacle.”

According to Reba Bishoff, Vice President of Marketing at Lakeside, Lakeside property owner Lary Faris has the best record in international play. “The quality of these shufflers is amazing,” Bishoff reported, “and that makes it so much fun to watch and learn about the game.”

The United States leads all other countries in popularity of the sport. Shuffleboard is most popular in the United States in Florida. In the early 1900s, St. Petersburg, Florida boasted a club with 110 courts and 5000 members. Today those courts are numbered at 65. Arizona and Texas come in at a close second in popularity. “The modern version of the sport was invented in the United States,” said Bishoff, “so it makes sense that it has the biggest following.” Canada also has a large shuffleboard following.

The Lakeside Shuffleboard Club was founded in 1928, and has over 100 members. The club belongs to the Ohio Shuffleboard Association, which facilitates tournaments throughout Ohio. The United States National Shuffleboard Association, to which Ohio clubs belong, plays its Summer National Championships for adult and youth at Lakeside each year.

Timeless Game in a Timeless Setting

The rich history of the game lends itself perfectly to the pristine setting at Lakeside. The International Shuffleboard Association President, Joe Messier, was impressed with Lakeside during a visit last summer. During that stay, it was mutually decided that Lakeside would be a great venue for the 25th Anniversary International Shuffleboard Team Tournament in 2006. The International was held once before at Lakeside in the summer of 1995, with three countries participating. The Tournament was held in Brazil in 2005 and will be in Canada next year.

Truly an International Game

Shuffleboard’s history is as diverse and as international as the 100 players that will shuffle into Lakeside in August. The sliding of the discs across the court is symbolic of the downs and ups of the game’s popularity since its inception.

Shuffleboard roots trace back to 15th century England as a tabletop game. Anyone who was anyone played and the wealthy commissioned intricate tables to be crafted for home use and fashion. By the 1600s it had fallen out of favor and was found mostly in taverns.

The game crossed the pond along with early settlers to America. The sport saw a decline in popularity during Prohibition as many taverns were shut down. However, the following Depression and Second World War led to a resurgence of the game. This resurgence led to a huge rise in popularity in the 40s and shuffleboard hit its peak in the 1950s as Hollywood stars saw the appeal of the game.

Shuffleboard evolved from the table-top game into the court game of today during the 1840s. The Peninsular and Oriental Cruise Line charged its staff to develop innovated and entertaining deck games for the passengers. A creative employee rose to the challenge converting the table-top coins into discs and developing long cue sticks for shoveling discs down the court. The first on- shore courts were built in Florida in 1913.

Lakeside is located on the Marblehead Peninsula, a one-hour drive from either Cleveland or Toledo. For more information, directions, and other event listings, call toll free number 866-9LAKESIDE or visit http://www.lakesideohio.com/.

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