Saturday, August 4, 2012

A whole lot of empty courts

I visit a lot of retirement communities seeing patients. Without fail, they all have shuffleboard (also called shovelboard) courts. The full history of shuffleboard is not known but we do know the following:

"The game was played and gambled over by King Henry VIII of England, who prohibited commoners from playing; evidently he did not always win, as the record of royal expenses for 1532 show a payment from the Privy Purse of GB£9, 'Paied to my lord Wylliam for that he wanne of the kinges grace at shovillaborde' -contemporary translation: 'Paid to Lord William, for he won, by the king's grace, at shovelboard' (reference: Masters, James, 1997. The Shovelboard Family History and Useful Information)."

The picture below is a great example of what I usually see:  a beautiful court (s), in a beautiful setting, with no one in sight playing. Maybe all the residents are commoners? I'll have to start asking the folks I see. Maybe I'll also ask anyone I see playing if they have any royalty in their background.

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