It’s the equivalent of the “walkoff” home run, the buzzer-beating goal in basketball or the last-quarter rally in football. That’s how some describe the strategy in shuffleboard.
Chuck Lancaster spoke about strategy during the NW La. District shuffleboard competition Tuesday (May 10) at Bellaire Fitness Center, shortly after he had felt the sting of a loss on the last shot of his match with Ted Hardan for the men’s 75-79 Gold Medal.
“We learned that a few years ago in the state (LSOG) competition in Baton Rouge. Down there, players would not go out playing offense (shooting to build score) all the way, but would wait until they had the advantage of the last shot of an inning when their opponent had delivered the last of his four discs.” The rules call for each contestant to have four discs per inning and with each inning players alternating who goes first in a one-black-one-yellow sequence or vice versa. Lancaster had just come away from a gut-renching loss to Hardan in which the last shot was the decider.
Lancaster and Hardan split two matches in the best-of-three format. In the final match, Lancaster reached the final effort of the match with a chance to win. But his shot knocked his opponent’s disc out of a seven area (that’s good) but continued into the “kitchen” (that’s bad). Score for a disc in the “kitchen” is a minus 10. “I felt I had him beat until that happened,” Lancaster said.
“It’s the first time I’ve played shuffleboard,” said Hardan. ‘ So I really didn’t have a strategy,” he said. “I know now it takes skill to play the game, but you have to have your share of luck too. It helps when your foe makes a mistake.”
Ted’s son Art, listening to his father’s ideas about the game, added the best advise he could come up with about being successful: “Stay out of the kitchen,” he chortled as he headed for his automobile.
The Hardans came away with a Gold Medal each as Art defeated Gary Depanion in the title match of the division for men 50-54.
The Lancaster family didn’t go away empty-handed. Jeri claimed the gold medallion in women’s 75-79. When our cameras passed one of her matches, she misfired on a shot, sending it off the mat, leaving her with a smile at her misfortune She recovered to post a 4-0 record for the day, beating out Red Fletcher (3-1) for gold. Barbara Wheeler took bronze.
Female–(Ages 55-69): Donna Cole Gold. Theresa Lambert Silver. Betty Dark Bronze. 70-74: Ginny Bates Gold. Annette Burch Silver. Sherrie Vullo Bronze. 75-79: Jeri Lancaster Gold. Red Fletcher Silver. Barbara Wheeler Bronze. 80-84: Jackie Conner Gold. Marie Fitzgerald Silver. Delores Gentry Bronze. 85-89: Maxine Thomas Gold. Phyllis Page Silver. Betsy Wainwright Bronze.
Male–(Ages 50-54): Art Hardan Gold. Gary Depanion Silver. 65-74: Dennis Bamburg Gold. Lionel Brangham Silver. Ronny Comstock Bronze. 75-79: Ted Hardan Gold. Chuck Lancaster Silver. 80-84: Dick Hainey Gold. Les Brosett Silver. Gary Price Bronze.