Outdoor shuffleboard is a descendant of shovelboard, a table game popular in the 18th century. The US National Shuffleboard Association sets the rules for outdoor shuffleboard. You push 6-inch discs over a 52-foot-long by the 6-foot-wide court with a long-handled cue.
Each end of the court is divided into a shooting region, an “Off” area, and five scoring sections with points values ranging from 7 to 10 points. The goal is to get your discs into a scoring zone at the far end of the court and/or knock out your opponent’s discs.
Begin by standing at one end of the shuffleboard court in the shooting area. The first 6 1/2 feet of the court are dedicated to the shooting area. The 10 Off zone is located just beyond the firing area.
One of your discs should be placed in the 10 Off zone. Push the disc down the court, toward the scoring spots on the opposite end, with your cue. While making your shot, you must remain in the shooting area.
Take turns shooting with your opponent. Each of you has four discs, with one player’s disc being yellow and the other’s being black. In outdoor shuffleboard, the first round of play, known as an end, continues until each side has shot all four discs.
Add up all of your points from the first half of the game. Points are awarded only to discs that are totally inside a scoring area.
You might be able to knock one or more of your opponent’s discs into or out of a scoring area with your shots during the game. This has no bearing on the scoring because only the discs’ final location is taken into account.
Subtract any points you’ve been docked. Take ten points off your score if one of your discs lands in the 10 Off zone. If you mistakenly fire an opponent’s disc or overstep the shooting area while taking a shot, you will be penalized 10 points. Shooting a disc onto the side of the court results in a 10-point penalty.
After you’ve recorded the scores, play another end. After each round, players usually switch ends, though this is not required. The game will continue until one team has amassed enough points to win. To win a long game, you’ll need 100 points. In a short game, the person who scores 50 points first wins.
Outdoor shuffleboard can be played by two-person teams as well as lone players. Doubles shuffleboard follows the same rules as singles shuffleboard. During each end, the players on each side swap shots, so that each player fires two discs.
When taking a shot, avoid touching or crossing the baseline to avoid penalties.