Modern day Table Shuffleboard is particularly popular in North America, but you would be wrong to believe this is where it all started. Although it is hard to define exactly when or where things began, the earliest recognised form of the game was played in 15th Century England.
Known initially as shove-groat, or slide-groat, the game consisted of sliding large coin called a groat down a table. Later, new currency called a Half-Penny, saw the game take on a new name, and one which has stood the test of time. Shove Ha’penny is more widely known, and even played today.
King Henry Viii is known to have played a form of the game called shovillaborde. Records show he lost money gambling on it in 1532, and by 1542 was intent on banning it. It was believed the popularity of the game was in danger of keeping people from going to work. Needless to say, all attempts at banning it failed.
In the early 1900’s a Dutch version of the game called Sjoelbak emerged in the UK. It is a table-top game, and increased in popularity to the extent that in 1966 a standard specification was created for club and tournament play.
500 years on from the first known examples, the most high tech version of the game is table shuffleboard. Played with stainless steel weights, down a very accurate table simulating ice, it is popular in North America, and is soon to show a come back in the land where it all began.