Jun 21, 2013

Everyday I'm shufflin

Until recently, I was letting an old friend stay in my basement while he saved up for his big move out of state. Because of that, I’ve never really talked much about my basement. 

Like any other part of my house, it’s wonderfully vintage. It’s about 85% finished, surrounded in the same beautiful wood paneling that adorns much of the upstairs. There are three sectioned off rooms: a laundry room, a workshop and an office area. There’s even a fireplace and a full bathroom. It’s darn close to being its own house. I often refer to it as my summer home because it stays a constant 66 degrees.  

Most importantly, it has one built in feature of pure unadulterated 1960’s awesome. My friends, I speak of nothing other then in-floor shuffleboard. Complete with the original discs and push sticks. 

Even though in-floor shuffleboard was almost common in many mid-century homes, it’s surprisingly difficult to find rules for this size of floor shuffleboard. Most of what can be gleaned through a Google search is for the full size courts: the kind that my childish imagination pictures being on cruse ships and in retirement communities. Sadly, certain rules don't translate over to the smaller court. For instance, the rule of not scoring if your disc comes to rest on a line sounds like it wouldn't be a big deal. After you play three rounds and no one scores, your tune changes quickly. And don't even get me started about the difficulty of the “over the line rule” when alcohol is involved.

For the better advancement of humankind, my friends and I have chosen to follow a set of made-up rules deemed best for maximum fun value. For anyone who may stumble upon this page in search of rules for their mid century in-floor shuffleboard, or for those of who one day will randomly discover one hidden in your own basement,  I will present them below:

Best played with teams of two. One member of each team stands on either side of the court. (My discs are black and red so I will hence forth refer to teams as either the “black” or “red” team.)

Chose a side of the court to start, the player on the black team shoots first. (smoke before fire)

Play goes back and forth until all four discs are shot. 

Tally score for each team. There is a “ten off” section the disc can land in, but we don't allow the score to go below zero. Negative numbers take away from the total fun factor. 

Best two of three rounds wins. 

Everybody high fives and grabs another beer. 

I know there are many more rules and this is an ultra simplified version but I don't care. I’m playing to have a goofy time with friends. If I want to be serious I’ll spend the day strategically playing Axis and Allies.


  1. I love it! Our basement is straight out of the 60's as well--I still need to show it on my blog. But we don't have shuffleboard! I'm so jealous...

  2. My grandparents, who were somewhat "shuffleboard sharks" from winters in Florida actually had a concrete course poured in the back yard. Some people had pools, my grandparents 1955 house had the shuffleboard court. It was concrete and had benches and blackboards (for keeping score) on each end, with sun awnings made of that classic mid-century corrugated green fiberglass. We played in the evenings when I was a kid, and I don't remember much about the rules except when your disc went into the 10 off segment, that was no man's land, and was referred to being 'in the kitchen'. It was a goal to knock your opponent's disc into the kitchen, then block them in.

    1. Oh what an awesome memory and backyard shuffleboard set up. I lived in Florida for about 5 years, I have a very vivid image in my head of what that must have looked like. Incredibly cool. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Looks like the floor was made by Kentile.