The Rules of Shuffleboard
How to score shuffleboard? There is an outdoor and an indoor version of Shuffleboard, and both rules are given along with the ancestor of both – Deck Shuffleboard. Sjoelbak and Indoor Shuffleboard rules are available separately from Master Games.
Note: 1 yard = 3 feet = 36 inches = 0.9144 metres.
An outdoor shuffleboard court consists of a long rectangle with scoring areas at either end. The court is 52 feet long and the following areas are drawn from either end. A line is drawn six and a half feet from the end of the court. The area between the baseline and the end of the baseline is known as the “shooting area”. From this line to the next line, one and a half feet beyond is the “10 Off” area. The edges of the 10-off area are reduced slightly by two slanting lines at the same angle as the scoring triangle. The 10-off area is divided into left and right sides by a small thin triangle located in the center. The second line forms the base of an isosceles triangle, the scoring area, whose point is nine feet further down the court. A line is drawn three feet from the tip of the scoring triangle, and the small triangle it delineates is marked “10”; the remaining area of the scoring triangle is divided in half both horizontally and vertically to form four sections. There are two areas next to the 10 areas marked “8” and two areas next to the 10 off areas marked “7”. Approximately 3 feet from the tip of the scoring triangle is yet another line across the court, known as the “deadline” – disks must cross this line in order to be counted as in play.
Discs are usually six inches in diameter, nine-sixteenth to one inch thick, and weigh 15 ounces. Two sets of four disks in contrasting colors are used to play the game – yellow and black being the traditional shades. To slide the disks, the cues consist of a long pole with two short prongs at the end, spaced just less than a disk’s width apart. The cues must not exceed six and a half feet in length.
During a game, the Players (or teams of two players, one at each end) alternate going first. To determine who plays yellow and who plays black, flip a coin; yellow starts the first end. Players alternate sliding disks. To begin, four yellow disks are placed within the right half of the 10-off area and four black disks within the left side with the small thin triangle defining the middle boundary of each side. Each disk must be played with a cue, and the sliding motion must begin inside the 10-off area and end inside the scoring triangle. If a disk does not reach the furthest deadline, it is immediately removed from play. A disk that tips off the edge of the court is also immediately removed from play.
In general, players aim to push their own disks into the scoring areas or strategically advantageous positions while they also attempt to knock opponents’ disks out of play or into the 10-off zone.
- Disk touching 10-off area line before being played – 5 off.
- Disk touching the sideline or side of the triangle while being played – 10 off.
- Any part of a player’s body that goes over the baseline or touches it while playing a disk is deducted 10 points
- Shooting an opponent’s disk – 10 off.
Illegally played disks are immediately removed from the game. Disks that were displaced by the offending disk are also immediately removed. Any such opponent’s disks are given back to the opponent to be replayed. The offender has penalized 10 points for any disks removed, which were lying within the 10-off area before the foul shot.
When all eight disks have been played, the scoring occurs according to the areas marked on the court, with 10 points deducted for any disks in the 10-off area. A disk must be entirely within one of the five areas and not touch the outside lines of that area in order to score the amount marked within. Disks lying beyond the 10-off area are ignored. The small triangle delineating the left and right halves of the penalty 10-off area is ignored for scoring purposes. Disks still score if they are on top of another disk. For judges to determine whether or not a line is being touched, the eye should be positioned directly above any disks that are controversially positioned.
The game is won by the first player to reach 75 points, although this cannot be achieved during a game – all eight disks must be played and the scores calculated before a player can claim victory.
is also known as Peel Billiards and Deck Billiards.
Typically, a Deck Shuffleboard court consists of two oval scoring areas separated by 30 feet. The middle portion of each oval is comprised of a square divided into nine subsquares that are scored from left to right as 8, 1, 6, 3, 5, 7, 4, 9, 2. Each diagonal or orthogonal row of 3 numbers adds up to 15 – it’s a magic square. The top and bottom edges of the square are the straight sides of two adjacent semicircles attached to the top and bottom of the square. This forms an oval shape. The far semi-circle typically scores 10 points, while the near one typically scores -10 points (penalty points). Each oval scoring area is 6 feet from front to back. Gentleman’s line is afoot behind the far apex of each oval. 2 feet in front of the near apex of each oval is the Lady’s line.
The game is played with eight wooden disks, around 6 inches in diameter which are pushed along the deck with long cues by the standing players. Each cue is a stick with a “shoe” at the far end. The shoe is a rectangular piece of wood with a semicircle cut into the far side so that it fits snugly around a disk. 4 disks are marked with one color, the other four with a different color.
Players toss a coin to decide who starts first (note – it is advantageous to play second) and then slide disks alternately towards the target area from behind the Gentleman’s line. It is legitimate and often desirable for disks to knock into each other. This will change the position of one’s own disks for the better or opponents’ disks for the wretched. Any disk which does not reach the Lady’s line is immediately removed from play.
Once all disks have been pushed, any disks that are completely within a scoring area and not touching a line, score the value indicated. Players then start a new “end” by playing from behind the Gentleman’s line at the opposite end towards the other target area.
The first player to reach the winning total, usually 50 or 100 points, wins. The game lends itself to doubles with each partner playing from the same end throughout the entire game.