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Grasp These Rules of Shuffleboard - The World-famous Indoor Game

Shuffleboard Rules
Read all about the interesting game of shuffleboard, and how to play it, in this article.
Puja Lalwani
Last Updated: Sep 25, 2017
What started out as a sport traditionally played in England by the elderly, has now become popular worldwide as an indoor and outdoor game for the youth and elderly alike. Shuffleboard is a game where disks are slid across a board or a court with a cue. One may even participate in shuffleboard tournaments that are organized at various levels across different age groups and countries. To understand all about shuffleboard, take a look at these basic shuffleboard rules and regulations.
Indoor Shuffleboard Rules
Indoor shuffleboard is played on a long table, and its rules are simpler than outdoor shuffleboard.
Indoor Shuffleboard Equipment
  • A shuffleboard table is usually between 12 feet to 22 feet long. The length is generally an even number.
  • The width of the table should be about 20 inches, and it should be at a height of 30 inches from the ground.
  • The surface of the table should be wooden, and polished.
  • A foul line is drawn 6 feet from either end of the table, across its width.
  • At a distance of 12 inches from the edge of the table, another line called the 2 point line is drawn.
  • At a distance of 6 inches from the table, a third line called the 3 point line is present across its width.
  • Four marked, metal disks known as weights are used, that are slid down the table by players.
How to Play Indoor Shuffleboard
  • The decision regarding which player begins is decided by a coin flip.
  • The winner of the first round gets to play first in the next round. If there is no score, the second player gets his turn.
  • Using a cue, players alternately slide the weights to the opposite end of the table, without allowing it to fall.
  • The weight has to pass over the foul line completely in order to be counted for score. If not, that weight is eliminated from the game.
  • A player may also deliberately knock weights that have already been played, so that they fall out of the board, and his weights are placed in a safe position.
  • Points are scored when all the weights have been pushed down the board. The player whose weight is closest to the end of the board wins the 'end' and is given points, while the other player is not.
Indoor Shuffleboard Scoring Rules
  • The weight must be on the table at all times in order to score points.
  • As mentioned above, unless a weight crosses the foul line completely, it cannot be counted for score.
  • The weight has to be as close to the end of the table as possible.
  • If any weight is overhanging at the edge of the board, it is given 4 points.
  • Weights in the first, second, and third section are given 1,2 and 3 points respectively, with the third section being at the farthest end of the board.
  • If a weight is on a line, and across two sections, it will score points pertaining to the section of a lower value.
  • If a weight does not cross the foul line it means it is not in a scoring section, and therefore will not be given any score.
  • Any player who scores 11 points first wins the game. In case of doubles, the team to score 21 points first wins.
Outdoor Shuffleboard Rules
Outdoor shuffleboard is played in a court, and obviously has more complicated rules, as it is more elaborate.
Outdoor Shuffleboard Equipment
  • Outdoor shuffleboard is played in a court that is 52 feet in length.
  • A line at a distance of 6½ feet from the end of the court is drawn across, and is called the baseline.
  • Another line, at a distance of 1½ feet from the baseline, is called the 10 off area, the edges of which are reduced by the scoring triangle. This area is split into the left and the right side by a small central triangle.
  • The second line is a distance of 9 feet away from the 10 off area. This is called the scoring area. Five areas are demarcated in this triangle. From the tip of the small triangle, a line is drawn 3 feet away, which forms another small triangle marked 10. Further demarcation of the scoring triangle is done by dividing the triangle both, horizontally and vertically. The areas next to 10, are called 8, and the two areas next to 10 off are called 7.
  • A dead-line is marked 3 feet away from the tip of the scoring triangle, which have to be crossed by the disks in order to score.
  • The disks have a diameter of 6 inches, thickness of 1 inch, and weigh at 15 ounces.
  • Four disks in sets of two different colors are used. Traditionally, these colors are yellow and black.
  • A cue is used to slide the disks, which should not be longer than 6½ feet, and should have 2 prongs at the end, which are slightly narrower than the diameter of the disk.
How to Play Outdoor Shuffleboard
  • The game begins by placing the yellow disks in the left half of the 10 off area, and the black disks in the right half, divided by the small thin triangle in the center of the 10 off area. Players alternately slide the disks with the cue, starting with the yellow disk.
  • Each disk should begin in the 10 off area, and land up within the scoring triangle, to finally reach the dead line. If it does not reach the dead line, the disk is eliminated from the game.
  • If a disk falls off the edge of the court, it is eliminated.
  • Players push their own disks into the scoring area, and also knock their opponent's disks out of the game or into the 10 off area.
Outdoor Shuffleboard Scoring Rules
  • Points are scored when all the disks have been played, and are given according to the area they have landed in.
  • 10 points are deducted if there are any disks that are inside the 10 off area.
  • Also, the disks should be completely within any section of the scoring triangle, and not touching any edges. They get scores according to the numbers allotted to that section.
  • Disks that are beyond the 10 off area are not considered in the scoring process.
  • Even if one disk lies upon another, they are given points.
  • Officially, once the total score reaches 75, the game is completed and won by the player or team to first achieve it. However, this is not possible in a game. Thus, in the final game, once all the disks are played, the scores are calculated and the team or player with the highest score, wins.
You will now find yourself prepared to play this wonderful game, whether indoors or outdoors, and have a great time.
senior man playing shuffleboard
outdoor Shuffleboard