Throughout this week, more than 150 of the world’s best players (and yours truly) will descend upon the St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club, the largest in the world with 65 courts, founded in 1924. Players from 14 countries will be participating in the Men and Women’s Singles competition — and I’ll be one of them.
At 27, I know what you’re thinking — no, I’m not too young to compete.
I won’t even be the youngest competitor, thanks to Brazil making all of us feel old by bringing in a few teenagers. How does one qualify for the Shuffleboard World Championships you ask? If you’re me, you find out your local club has been granted one entry into the male singles competition. Then you win a play-in tournament consisting of three players. In any case, I’m in. With a little over a week left until the round-robin style tournament begins I have much to work on — blocks (both the Tampa and St. Pete variety), kitchening, clearing the board, etc.
My goal is to finish in the top 10, with not totally embarrassing myself coming in a close second.
When it's all over, you can come play and celebrate the historic milestone of the games' history and St. Pete tournament at the St. Pete Shuffle World Tournament After Party and Art Show on Fri., Oct. 25, 7-11 p.m. The free soiree includes local art from CL Art Director Todd Bates, Chad Mize, Natty Moss-Bond, Christine Page, Frank Strunk III and many more. Bands 6 Volt Rodeo and DieAlps! perform, too. Some 15 nations will be participating; salute them at the party with hearty high fives.
The St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club is at 559 Mirror Lake Drive N.,St. Petersburg.
Schedule and other details at world-shuffleboarding.org.