How to Keep Score in Shuffleboard

By Jean Frances

Shuffleboard is a game to be enjoyed by children and adults. It can be played indoors or outdoors, making it an ideal game to play year-round. The game will provide healthy exercise and help to develop good hand-eye coordination. The outdoor shuffleboard court can be painted onto the flat surface of a floor, with stencils and spray paint. Portable roll-out courts can also be used, both indoors and outdoors.

Familiarize yourself with the scoring triangles, positioned at each end of the playing court. There are five scoring sections in each triangle. The tip of the triangle is worth 10 points. The middle of the triangle has two sections, each worth 8 points, and the bottom two sections of the triangle are worth 7 points each. A wide area attached to the bottom of the triangle is marked "10 Off."

Decide how many people will play: Shuffleboard is usually played with two or four players. When playing with four players, divide the players into two teams.

Each player has four discs. Usually the colors are yellow or black. Other colors may be used, but each player or team should have a different set of colors. Each player has a stick, called a cue, which helps to push the disc along.

Before play begins, decide if the score will be 50, 75 or 100. The lower the number, the shorter the game will be. The person with the yellow discs goes first. A coin toss may be used to decide on who has which colors. When playing with two players, both stand at the same end.

Place the disc into the cue stick. Start the shot in the "10 Off" box. Push the disc toward the opposite triangle. The disc has to be completely inside one of the numbered boxes of 7, 8 or 10 for points to be scored. If the disc lands in the "10 Off" area, 10 points are deducted from the person who shot the disc.

Take turns sliding a disc across the court. You are allowed to knock the discs of the opposing player or team out of a scoring box or into a scoring box. If a disc stops in the neutral zone, which is marked by two lines between the two triangles, the disc is immediately removed from play.

When all of the discs have been shot, points are totaled for each player or team. Only the discs that are in a box and not touching any lines at the end of the round are counted. Players then switch sides and play another round. When playing with four players, two opposing players will go from one end of the court first, followed by the other two players at the opposite end. Continue to play in this way, until a player or team reaches the decided score.

Tip

Rules may vary depending on the game. Other rules and penalties may be added to the game to make it more complex. It is an advantage when playing shuffleboard to go second. Rules for table-top shuffleboard will vary from the outdoor court.

About the Author

Jean Frances has been a freelance writer since 1998. She writes both fiction and nonfiction and has been published in various magazines and the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" book. She has completed courses in short-story writing, nonfiction writing and book writing at the Institute of Children's Literature.