Rules of Outdoor Shuffle Board

Outdoor shuffleboard, a modern variation of the old English game shovelboard, is commonly associated with senior adults because of its prominence at senior centers and relative ease of play.

Despite this, the game has aspects of strategy and rivalry that make it suitable for players of all ages. In the United States, the National Shuffleboard Association establishes the regulations for the competitive form. Indoor shuffleboard is available, however, it is played on a table. On a painted court, the outdoor game is played.

What You Need

The dimensions of a regular outdoor shuffleboard court are 52 feet long by 10 feet wide. A baseline and a triangle divided into five sections, each marked with a specific number of points, are included on each end. A “10 Off” area is located beneath the triangle.

The 12-foot area in the middle is marked with “deadlines.” Each player will need a set of colored discs with a diameter of 6 inches and a thickness of 9/16 inches to 1 inch.

Traditional colors are yellow and black, however other colors are permissible. A cue, a rod with two prongs at the end, is also required for each player. The cue must not exceed 6 feet 3 inches in length.

How to Play

Half-rounds are used in shuffleboard. The players alternate using the cue to slide discs from the 10-Off portion of one end of the court to the scoring triangle at the other end of the court for each half-round. The color yellow is the first to play.

Discs that do not reach the far deadline or slide past the 10 Off section, as well as those that are played unlawfully, are removed from play. The remaining discs remain in play.

The goal is to earn points with your own discs while preventing your opponent from scoring by knocking his discs into the 10 Off area.

Keeping Score

At the end of each half-round, the scores are tallied. Any disc fully within a part of the scoring triangle earns the player the indicated number of points. Scores are not given to discs that are resting on a line. Any disc that lands within the 10 Off zone loses ten points.

The game will continue until one of the players has scored 75 points. After that, the play continues until the half-round is completed. If both players attain or surpass 75 points at the end of the half-round, the person with the highest score at the end of the half-round wins.

Penalty Considerations

For tournament play, the National Shuffleboard Association maintains a long list of penalties. Penalties are usually limited to violations that directly influence the half-round score in more informal games.

For example, the Crestview Condos of Washington State penalizes its players for playing an opponent’s disc, shooting while leaning over the baseline, and allowing a disc to hit the 10 Offline before playing it. Before the game, talk to your opponent about the penalties you’ll use.