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Playing Rules





Wet Courts

Violations & Penalties

Revised 1997


1. The game of shuffleboard is played by: two (2) persons (called singles), or by four (4) persons (called doubles).

2. The object of the game is to propel discs by means of a cue on to scoring diagram at opposite end of court-to score, to prevent opponent from scoring, or both.

3. A player must be 18 years of age or older, to play in a National Championship Tournament, except specific youth tournaments.


1. Discs shall be made of composition not less than 9/16" and not more than 1" in thickness, 6" in diameter, and not less than 11 1/2 ounces in weight. New discs shall weigh 15 ounces. Four (4) discs shall be colored yellow, four (4) colored black. These eight (8) discs comprise a set. (Other colored combinations may be used. Care should be taken that all discs in a set shall be uniform in weight and thickness.

2. The cue shall not have overall length of more than six feet, three inches (6'3"). No metal part of cue shall touch playing surface of court.

3. Players shall not be required to play with discs, new or old, that are not in satisfactory condition. Defective discs will be replaced by good discs, if available. Any change of discs must be made before practice rounds begin. New discs are not to be used in tournament play, unless thoroughly broken in.

4. Official National Standard Court Dimensional Specifications below.


1. Player or team with lowest chart line number will play the first game with Yellow discs, then change color and play the second game with Black discs.

1a. Before practice begins, each player may shoot two (2) discs to check speed of court. Two full rounds of practice on assigned color are allowed before the first and second games. If a third game is necessary, no practice is allowed.

1b. Color choice for third game is determined by two opposing players shooting from the head of the court to the far deadline, shooting alternately, first yellow removed progressively. The last disc shot by each player shall be left on the court. The disc nearer the far deadline (Lag line) determines who shall have color choice. Measurement is from center of discs to center of line. If the last (fourth) black disc shot touches the yellow disc, color choice goes to player of yellow.

1c. In doubles, each team may change ends of court once immediately, or before practice rounds begin. Team playing yellow discs must make first decision to change ends.

2. To start a game, the yellow disc is shot first. Play alternates yellow then black until all discs are shot. Yellow shall always be played from right side of the head of court, and left side of foot of court.

2a. ERROR IN COLOR LEAD shall be corrected if discovered before the half round is completed, and the half round shall be played over. (The half round is completed when the eighth disc is shot and all discs come to a stop.) Otherwise play continues in order started at beginning of game.

2b. IN SINGLES, after all discs are played, constituting a half round, the players walk to opposite end of court, or foot of court, and start play, with color lead changing to black.

IN DOUBLES, after all discs are played at head of court, play starts at foot or opposite end yellow leading, black following. Color lead does not change until both ends have played (a round).

The second game is started by the yellow at head of court.

The third game is started by yellow at the head of court.

3. All National Tournaments shall be best two out of three 75 points games for the main division and also the Consolation. Also games may be played in 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, or 20 frames.

4. Players shall place their four (4) discs within and not touching lines of their respective half of 10-off area. PENALTY 5 OFF. Penalty not applied to a player until he has played a disc.

4a. Disc must be played from the clear from within the respective half of 10-off area. If disc played touches front or back line - PENALTY - 5 OFF.

4b. If disc played touches side, or triangle - PENALTY - 10 OFF. Offender's disc removed, and opponent credited with any of his discs displaced. All displaced discs shall be removed from court immediately after scoring of opponents displaced discs. Any 10 Offs the offender had on the court that were displaced will be removed before further play and also deducted from the offenders score. DISC TOUCHING LINES. It is common practice with players to jockey or slide the playing disc backward and forward to see if there is any sand which might interfere with disc sliding evenly. NO PENALTY is to be called on this practice if lines are touched or crossed while jockeying. Disc in motion may cross outside line. A disc is played when it is completely in the seven area, but when disc stops between the farthest dead line and the seven area, it is a dead disc and shall be removed before further play. If a disc is touching farthest dead line, it is in play.

5. Player must not touch a foot, hand, knee, or any other part of their body to the court on or over the base line or extension of baseline at any time while executing a shot. PENALTY - 10-OFF.

6. Player may stand behind baseline extension in the alley between the courts, before or while shooting, but not on adjoining court. PENALTY - 5-OFF.

6a. The area between the baseline of the court and an imaginary line, even with the back of the bench, and bounded on the sides by the farthest line of each adjoining alley, should be considered part of the court.

7. In doubles, players must remain seated when play is to their end of the court until all discs are shot, score announced and official has called "Play" or signaled, or otherwise authorized them to do so. PENALTY - 5-OFF. In Singles, player must not cross the baseline to proceed to the other end of the court until official has called "Play" or signaled, or otherwise authorized them to do so. PENALTY - 5-OFF.

8. Player must not leave the court during a game without permission except to gather discs at end of half round. PENALTY - 10-OFF.

8a. No penalty if leaving court between games. Player may not be gone more than 10 minutes. PENALTY - 10-OFF. A game is concluded when the referee announces the score, the score is recorded on the scoreboard, and the scores are recorded on the players card. The referee on the court shall start the time when the game is concluded. Additional penalties may be awarded for further infraction. See Rule C19.

9. Players shall not stand in the way of, or have cue in the way of, or interfere with opponent while he is executing a play. PENALTY - 5-OFF.

10. Players shall not touch live disc at any time. PENALTY - 10-OFF plus any 10-Offs the offender has on the board. Other good discs of offender shall not count. Opponent's good discs on the court shall be credited to opponent's score, except any 10-Offs and the half round shall be played over, unless game point has been reached by offender's opponent.

11. Players must not talk or make remarks to disconcert opponent's play.

12. Any remarks or motions to partner which indicates coaching his play is prohibited. PENALTY - 10-OFF.

13. Player shooting before opponent's disc comes to rest. PENALTY - 10-OFF offender's disc removed, and opponent credited with any of his discs displaced. All displaced discs shall be removed from the court immediately after scoring of opponent's displaced disc. Any 10-Off the offender had on the court that was displaced will be removed before further play and also be deducted from offenders score.

14. For intentional delay or stalling. PENALTY - 5-OFF.

15. A cue slipping from player's hand which touches or displaces any live disc, the player penalized 10-Off and opponent credited with any of his discs displaced, and that half round shall be played over unless game point has been reached by offender's opponent. If cue does not touch or displace any live disc, no penalty.

16. NO HESITATION SHOT ALLOWED. Forward motion of cue and disc must be continuous or accelerated. Any 10-Off's the offender had on the court that were displaced will be removed before further play and also be deducted from offender's score.

17. NO HOOK SHOT ALLOWED. The shot must be delivered in a straight line with continuous forward motion of cue and disc. PENALTY - 10-OFF, offender's disc removed and opponent credited with any score of any of his discs replaced. All displaced discs shall be removed from the court immediately after scoring of opponent's displaced disc. Any 10-Offs the offender had on the court that were displaced will be removed before further play and also be deducted from offenders score.

17a. Regarding a hook shot, hesitation shot, shooting off the line there will be no appeal, as there is only one person who can tell if you have shot off the line or made a hook shot or hesitation shot, and that is the referee. That is strictly a judgment call by the referee, and once he has made the call, it will stand. The only time a divisional should be called is if the referee isn't sure of the penalty or gives a wrong penalty, then the player will make an appeal.

18. Any player playing two consecutive discs. PENALTY - 10-OFF, plus any 10-Offs offender may have on court. Other good discs of offender will not count. Opponent credited with all good discs on court before second disc was played (except 10-Offs) and that half round played over unless game point has been reached by offender's opponent.

19. In case of improper action of a player not specifically covered by the rules, the tournament director will ascertain the facts and may assess a penalty. He will also just insure that the offender gains no advantage from his improper action and, in addition, impose a penalty of 10-Off.

20. A disc or discs returning or remaining on the playing area of the court, after having struck any object outside the playing area, shall be removed before play. It is called a dead disc.

20a. If a dead disc rebounds and touches a live disc, or causes another dead disc to touch a live disc, the half round shall be played over. PENALTY - 10-OFF will be assessed the player shooting the offending disc causing the replay.

20b. EXCEPT, if it was the result of the last disc, which is the eighth disc, played in the half round, then, that half round is not replayed, and score that was on the court immediately before the rebound shall count.

20c. If a dead disc coming from another court moves a live disc that half round shall be played over with no score credited to any player. PENALTY - 10-OFF will be assessed the player shooting the offending disc causing the replay. NOTE: It shall be the responsibility of the host club to install proper backstops, preferably 2X2's loosely anchored to prevent rebounds.

21. Any disc that clearly leaves the court beyond the farthest base line, or goes off the sides of the court is a dead disc.

22. A disc which stops less than 8 inches beyond the farthest baseline shall be removed.

23. A disc that is leaning over the edge of the court and touching the alley shall be immediately removed.

24. A match will be forfeited after the third call of 5 minute intervals, total 15 minutes.

25. There is to be NO SMOKING on the courts during a National Tournament Match.


1. Scoring diagram-one 10 point area; two 8 point areas; two 7 point areas; one 10 Off area.

2. After both players have shot their four (4) discs, score all discs on diagram within and not touching lines; separation triangle in 10-Off area not considered. Judging Disc; when judging disc in relation to lines, the official shall sight DIRECTLY DOWN. A mounted disc, or disc resting on top of disc, happens sometimes when players use excessive force in shooting. Each disc shall be judged separately according to scoring rules.

3. Play continues until all discs have been shot in that half-round even if game point has been reached.

4. If a tie game results at game point or over, play is continued in regular rotation of play, until two full rounds in doubles or one full round in singles are completed. At that time the side with the highest score wins, even if it has less than 75 points or the number of points specified as game point. If the score is tied again, play continues as above outlined.

5. In tournament play, the winner of a match must sign the score card, thus approving the record entered thereon.

6. If an error occurs in scoring of a score on the scoreboard at the end of the half-round and it is discovered before the next half-round is completed, the error must be corrected. Otherwise the score as scored on the scoreboard must stand, unless both sides agreed on the correction.


1. Officials in tournament play shall be: Tournament Director, Assistant to the Tournament Director, Divisional Referees, Court Referees, and Court Scorers.

2. THE TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR shall have complete charge of all arrangements of the tournament-namely, conduct the drawings, pairings, assign the courts, officials, set time for starting games and matches, inspect all courts and equipment etc. and all other details which enter into tournament play.

3. An assistant to the Tournament Director may be appointed as desired by the Tournament Director. He shall render final decision on any question of fact and no appeal from such decision may be made.

4. DIVISIONAL REFEREE-One or more divisional referees shall be appointed, number dependent on how many courts are in play. The divisional referees are aides to the Tournament Director, and shall carry out his orders regarding assigning officials and players to courts. He shall see that discs, indicators, pointers, chalk, score cards, and other necessary equipment are at each court. He shall inform officials of any special rules and regulations which have been made for the conducting of the tournament. He shall collect all score cards at finish of matches and shall return them to the Tournament Director. He shall have jurisdiction only on the section of courts assigned to him. Divisional Referees shall be informed by court referees of all Player appeals, and if decision made by Court Referees is not justified or not according to rules, may overrule him.

COURT REFEREE shall have complete charge of play on court assigned him. He shall consult his Divisional Referee on appeals from Players. He shall be sole authority on decisions and scores, except as noted above. He shall determine and announce winner of color choice. He shall inform players of any rules and regulations made for tournaments. He shall give signal for start of play, shall call disc good or no count, shall remove dead disc from play, shall announce score at end of each play, shall have charge of color indicator and announce color lead. He shall announce any violation of rules to player and instruct scorer as to penalty of same. He shall supervise the scoring and assure himself that it is correctly done. He shall not touch live discs in determining whether they are good or no count. If he should disturb a live disc, half-round is played over. Except at end of half-round, protested discs must be moved in order for half-round to be played over. He shall not gather discs for players. He shall sign score card at end of match and verify that scores are correct. For any rule violation seen by referee, a fine must be mandatory, with referee giving no warning at any time in all tournaments.

5. COURT SCORER shall tally clearly the score of game on scoreboard at end of court, tallying only score called by court referee after each half-round. He shall also record on the official score card the final scores of each game of the match, sign and return it to the divisional referee.


1. Either player in singles, and either player in doubles at end of the court to which the discs are played, may request permission from the referee to examine any close disc, as to good or no count or ask the referee if a disc is close and the referee responds "Yes" this is automatic approval for the player to examine it without approval. In singles when there is no referee on the court, a player may go and examine the disc as to good or no count, and also to gain information concerning location of disc.

1a. If a player wishes to make an appeal on any close disc, as to whether it is good or no count, it must be made before another disc is shot by either player, and the decision made shall be final and cannot be again appealed at the end of the half round, unless such disc or discs have been touched or moved by another disc after decision was made.

1b. If referee and divisional agree, there will be no third call. If they disagree, there must be a third call by the director or his representative.

1c. If there has been no request by either player to examine a close disc until after the half-round is completed, then the half-round is played over if either player protests the referee's call and the protest is sustained by the Tournament Director, unless such disc or discs protested is the result of the last disc played. No live disc will be moved after a disc has been protested after the half-round is completed, until the protested disc has been finalized. PENALTY - 10-OFF.

1d. Shooter may ask referee to have partner check close disc. If there is no referee, shooter may ask partner to check the close disc.

2. Player or players making appeal without sufficient reason shall be PENALIZED 10 POINTS OFF SCORE.

3. Players may request official to give them information concerning location of disc. Player shall not be permitted to examine these discs.

4. A player or team may protest any one or more officials assigned to their court, provided such protest is place before the Divisional or Tournament Director before the match begins.

5. To refuse a referee, a player or team must have a good and valid stated reason. (NOTE: Tournament Director or Divisional Referee must appoint other officials to serve in place of those protested, which appointment must stand.)


1. Once a tournament starts there will be no substitutes allowed in any tournament. Tournament starts when the draw is completed.


1. If it starts to rain during any unfinished half-round of play, players will not be required to complete the half-round. All discs will be removed from the court to a dry place. In case of rain, score keeper will write on the back of the score card the scores, color lead, and at which end of the court play will resume. If the Tournament Director decides that the game is to continue after the rain ceases, play will then be resumed at score and color lead where play ceased. (If half-round was not completed, then half-round will be played over.)

2. If Tournament Director shall deem it necessary to discontinue play on account of weather conditions, any unfinished game or match shall be resumed later, at score and color lead where play ceased.


C-4 Disc not in starting area 5-Off

C-4a Disc not touching front or back line 5-Off

C-4b Played disc touches side or triangle (see Rule C-4) 10-Off

C-5 Player stepping on or over base line or extension of baseline while not in the act of shooting 5-Off

C-5a Player stepping on or over baseline or extension of baseline while in the act of shooting 10-Off

C-6 Player may not stand or step on adjoining court while playing, except to gather discs 5-Off

C-7 Player not remaining seated. 5-Off

C-8 Player leaving court without permission during game. 10-Off

C-8a Player leaving court between games and gone over 10 minutes. 10-Off

C-9 Standing in way of, or equipment in way of opponent. 5-Off

C-10 Touching live disc. 10-Off

C-11 Remarks disconcerting opponent. 10-Off

C-12 Any remark or motion to partner. 10-Off

C-13 Shooting disc while opponents disc in motion (see Rule C-13). 10-Off

C-14 For intentional stalling. 5-Off

C-15 Cue slipping from players hand (See Rule C-15). 10-Off

C-16 No hesitation shot allowed (See Rule C-16 & C-17a). 10-Off

C-17 No hook shot allowed (See Rule C-17 & C-17a). 10-Off

C-18 Player shoots two consecutive discs (See Rule C-18). 10-Off

C-19 For improper action not covered, Tournament Director may impose penalty which prevents any advantage to the violator, plus penalty. 10-Off

C-20a Dead disc rebounds touching live disc. 10-Off

C-20c Disc coming from another court. 10-Off

F-1 Moving disputed disc before inspection. 10-Off

F-2 Appealing without reason. 10-Off

© 2001 International Shuffleboard Association Inc.

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