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When the temperatures drop and the first flakes of winter start falling outside, your initial instincts may be to bundle up, grab your sled and spend an afternoon in the winter wonderland that was once just your backyard.
However, after a few big storms and an achy back from shoveling, you’ll learn that the novelty of playing in the snow wears off rather quickly. This makes winter the perfect time of year to either join or start your own shuffleboard league.
In the United States and Canada, there are official leagues and brackets that enforce certain guidelines. The Shuffleboard Federation, one of the larger organizations devoted to the game in North America, offers a distinct set of rules on their official website that dictate how each tournament should be conducted. Sportsmanlike conduct is a key component, so make sure the participants in your home league agree to play fair and shake before each match.
Set up your league using a table built with quality craftsmanship needed for tournament play. Some designs, like our Veneto shuffleboard table or Montana shuffleboard table, are wonderful pieces that help set a design aesthetic in a given room. For continuous play in a league, however, incorporate a model like our Tournament II shuffleboard table, which is the perfect length at 12 feet featuring a bare-bones design that will handle the abuse. Because it is made from the finest Michigan maple, this model table is both durable and attractive.
Schedule official matches for your league and play games that require varying skill at each tournament. For starters, stick to basic knock-off if you are just getting the league going. Take bets later in the season to raise the stakes on games like Crazy Eights. It’s a good way to sit-out winter and warm up after shoveling the walk.