Rotary Fun and Fundraising
The Rotary Club of South Foreland recently organised its traditional Shuffleboard Evening. This was held at St Margaret’s Village Hall and combined an American Supper with a Shuffleboard Tournament and a grand raffle. Seventy-five people attended and generously contributed to raising the sum of around £1,200. Half of this will go to supporting Rotary’s End Polio Now Campaign and half to local charities.
The earliest references to table shuffleboard are from Tudor England when ‘shovelboard’ tables were common in wealthy households: Henry V111th was said to be partial to the game. As billiards became popular in the 17th Century it displaced ‘shovelboard’, but variations such as ‘shove-groat’ (later ‘shove ha’penny’) and bagatelle could be found in public houses. These were still popular in Victorian England in homes as well as inns and they are still around today.
A Dutch variation of shuffleboard or ’Sjoelbak’ emerged in the 20th Century and in 1966 a standard board with discs was introduced in response to the growth of clubs and tournaments. This is the team tournament version now played in the UK which is a popular and enjoyable way of fundraising.
Teams of 3 people compete in a tournament, and the number of teams determines how many tables are needed. With 75 people 9 tables were needed and these were in constant use (except at the half-time break) as teams took it in turn to play 4 games over the evening. Teams were divided into 3 groups: A, B and C. When group A were playing volunteers from the other two groups were needed to score, just one to each table. Those not involved can eat, drink, chat or watch.
A game consists of the members of the team taking turn to slide by hand the discs (there are 30) along the 9-foot-long narrow table to get as many of them as they can through apertures into the four numbered compartments (2,3,4,1) at the end to score points. (See photos). The scorer has confirm the points scored and record that number on the team’s scorecard. The team with the highest accumulated score over 4 games is the winner and receives a prize. The winning team for this year with 335 points was ‘The Local Yokels’ who were much unfancied but demonstrated what yokels can do.
It was an enjoyable evening as everyone joins in playing shuffleboard which is a fun game even if you have not played before: you are part of a team and there are plenty of people to tell you what to do. It is also helping to raise money for good causes.
Rotary has been working to eradicate polio from the world since 1985 when the Global Polio Eradication Initiative was established. Then polio was endemic in 125 countries but now only in two, Afghanistan and Pakistan. We are close to achieving the goal of a polio free world, but it is crucial to keep other countries polio free through vaccination and surveillance programmes. That is why Rotary clubs throughout the world will continue to fundraise for the End Polio Now Campaign Fund.
Thanks to all who organised and attended the Shuffleboard Evening. We hope to continue the tradition in 2024.