Jan Watson

Shuffleboard at Sooke Legion provides table-top fun

The shuffleboard season at the Sooke Legion is in full swing, and there’s no better time to join, said league president Jim Parsons.

The shuffleboard season at the Sooke Legion is in full swing, and there’s no better time to join, said league president Jim Parsons.

The league, created 25 years ago, started in the beginning of September and runs right through to March.

“We can always use new members because some people go away to Hawaii and we’ve got to replace them, so we have a list of spares,” he said.

Playing on Wednesday nights at 6:30 p.m., this has been one of the busiest years with seven teams signing up. There are three table-top shuffleboards and six of the teams take turns playing with two a side for a total of three matches. Every seventh week, one of the teams takes a bye.

The object of the game is to be the first team to reach 21 points. Players slide “rocks,” or coloured weights made out of metal, down the 16-foot waxed wooden surface of the board. There are three horizontal lines at the end of the board that score from one point at the line closest to the player, to three points closest to the end of the board. Only the team with the rock closest to the end of the board scores points. Each game typically lasts about an hour.

The league supplies everything, and the only thing members — who don’t have to belong to the Legion to join — have to bring is $3 per play that pays for the speciality wax that needs to be applied to the boards to help the rocks slide, similar to what they do to the lanes at bowling alleys.

Parsons has been playing for five years, and signed on as vice president two years ago.

“They voted me in,” he said with a chuckle. Parsons ran Sooke’s Meals on Wheels program for nine years and said he met a lot of players during that time.

Besides playing amongst themselves, the league periodically hosts other leagues to come and participate in tournaments and vice versa. Last week, Duncan brought several teams to the Sooke Legion, and Esquimalt is coming on Dec. 1. In March, Sooke is travelling to Duncan.

“Duncan has their own bus for seniors, we don’t have a bus. We rent Esquimalt’s.”

He said Sooke’s rival is Langford who they “have a hard time with.”

“We only have 36 people, Langford has three or four leagues and they pick their best players out of the three leagues. We’re up against a rock and a hard wall type of thing.”

Most of the members are between 50 to 80 years old, but the league open to all adults. To join, pay a visit to the Legion on game night.

 

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