“Sweet Spot,” by Mike Sugerman
NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — When you think of shuffleboard, you probably think of retirees and Florida.
Well, get ready to change your point of view.
First of all, this story takes us to Brooklyn, where a group of 30-somethings has become the new face of the game.
The Royal Palms shuffleboard club is home to the new crew of mostly young professionals and heavily tattooed and bearded hipsters.
“The comradery of your teammates, the competition, and just the general atmosphere of this place,” shuffleboarder Chris Maceria says.
League nights are crowded, and on weekend nights there’s a several hour wait for one of the regulation 52-foot-long courts.
“While we’re by no means as old as people’s idea of shuffleboard players — elderly people down in Florida — our physical gifts are receding at an alarming rate, ” Andrew Mulligan, of one of the top teams, says. “It enables us to be competitive without sweating, or being sober.”
Not that it’s new to all the players.
“My grandparents all lived in Delray Beach, god’s waiting room, where one plays shuffleboard,” another player says.
It started at Royal Palms three years ago after owner Ashley Albert and her partner Jonathan Schnapp played during a trip to Florida.
“We thought, ‘oh my god, this would kill in Brooklyn,'” she says. “It’s a completely level playing field. You’ll never meet anyone who’s an All-State shuffleboard player in high school.”
Still, the older players are the best, and there’s even a move to get shuffleboard into the Olympics. One problem? With all the medications they take, the top players would probably never pass the Olympic doping tests.