Outdoor shuffleboard is played on an outdoor court that is 52 feet long. Discs that are 6 inches in diameter and weigh about 1 lb. are slid down the court into scoring areas. Each end of the court has a scoring area in the shape of a triangle. The tip of the triangle is worth 10 points, the next two zones are worth eight points, and the farthest zones are worth seven points. The first team to 75 points wins.
Behind the seven-point zone of the scoring triangle lies the bane of the outdoor shuffleboard player: the penalty zone. Discs that land in this zone receive a penalty in the form a point deduct--by 10 full points. Because the goal of the game is to reach 75 points, you must avoid the penalty zone at all costs. On offense, therefore, you must slide the disc down the shuffleboard court with enough speed to reach the scoring zone, but not so much speed as to travel into the penalty area. The best way to accomplish this is to practice frequently. Also, try to knock your opponents' discs into the penalty zone. If a player has a disc that touches the penalty zone, that player must deduct 10 points from his score.
Block the Scoring Area
In outdoor shuffleboard, the scoring does not occur until each disc has been played. Each player has four discs to slide toward the scoring area. If one or more of a player's discs is in the scoring area, she can use her remaining discs to protect her scoring discs. To do this, slide the discs so they remain on the court and travel past the dead line. The dead line is a line on the court marking where discs must pass; if a disc fails to pass this line, it is removed immediately from the court. Likewise, if a disc tips off the edge of the court, it is removed immediately. Clearly, defense will not work if your discs are immediately removed. Therefore, carefully slide your discs so they block the scoring area, but are past the dead line. This will force your opponent to either knock your discs out (which could backfire and result in your discs entering the scoring zone) or work around your discs.
Based in Traverse City, Mich., George Lawrence has been writing professionally since 2009. His work primarily appears on various websites. An avid outdoorsman, Lawrence holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in both criminal justice and English from Michigan State University, as well as a Juris Doctor from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, where he graduated with honors.