Shuffleboards enjoy a long history starting with the shove groat games of the 15th century in England. Back then a penny was slid down a table rather than weights being pushed down the shuffleboard. This quickly became a way for royalty to pass the time, and while it became popular among the royalty it was rumored to have been banned among commoners due to the fact that it stopped a few of them from going to work each day.
Shuffleboards have been noted in American history as early as the days of the colonists although this was likely more along the lines of the shovel groat that came over from England. True shuffleboards as we know them today did not start to emerge until the mid to late 1800’s as a popular activity in taverns and hotels. By the early 1900’s the popularity of shuffle board had increased greatly and was a standard fixture in all the first class hotels in the east.
Prohibition brought with it a decline to the popularity of shuffleboard, partly because it may have been related to drinking behavior, but also because people were encouraged to spend all their time working on their businesses or jobs rather than indulging in games of skill. Of course when prohibition was repealed the shuffleboard players again began to play their game. After prohibition and during the great depression taverns changed their design, taking out dining rooms in front, changing them into their lounges and creating shuffleboards in the backroom, this was the first step in their next rise in popularity.
Shuffleboards ended up being a cheap past time that people could afford and taverns would be packed with people coming in for shuffleboard matches. As World War II took men over to Europe the passion for shuffleboard in the states increased as men learned to love the game overseas, it was during this time that Shuffleboard began to enjoy its high point as its popularity came to an all time high. Hundreds of manufactures began to make boards and the equipment that went with them as the demand began to grow.
As interest began to grow in the sport, it also become more refined, shuffleboards went from 32 feet down to 22 feet, weights changed from heavy brass to the stainless steel weights that are still used today. The practice of using sand to add speed turned to using silicone. Soon tournaments began to spring up with the first national event being held in 1948. By the 1950’s shuffle board became as popular as it had ever been, you could find a shuffleboard just about anywhere you went.
Today Shuffleboards are yet again becoming popular, not only as an activity on cruise ships or in senior centers, but in bars, activity centers and homes. Leagues are forming once again, and the sport continues to evolve by today’s standards. Hudson Shuffleboards manufactures quality affordable shuffleboards for your home or business and offers a full line of supplies to go with them. Their shuffle boards are Tournament quality and compliant with the rules necessary for tournament play.