Lary Faris began shuffling when he was three years old at Lakeside, Ohio, where his family had a summer home. He is now in his 75th year of shuffling. Needless to say he became one of the games top players and was inducted into the National Shuffleboard Hall of Fame in 1980, over 30 years ago. Since that time he has also been inducted into the International, Florida and Ohio Halls of Fame. No other male player has won more National Championship, 15, than Lary. He got involved with International Shuffleboard and had a perfect 11-0 record in Yokohama, Japan in 1988. From that point on, besides playing and writing, he became intricately involved with the scheduling of games in International Tournaments.
Lary starting writing weekly articles about “game situations” and other shuffleboard topics in 1989. These articles were printed in many Florida newspapers and Lary was known as the Shuffleboard Coach. He continued writing for 14 years, until 2003, creating about 700 articles. Many of us as shuffleboard players never had a chance to read the articles, but now we will get that opportunity. I know we will enjoy each and every one of them.
I consider Lary the ultimate Professional at everything he does and for all he has contributed to the game.........Earl Ball.
Editors note: You are encouraged to comment or post an inquiry on “Ask the Pro’s” regarding any of Lary’s articles.
ZEPHYRHILLS SHUFFLEBOARD CLUB
5209 8th Street
Zephyrhills, Florida 33542
Sadly, Lary Faris passed away April 25th, 2017
I will continue to publish Lary's articles until I complete the second round of posting
I only ask one thing of my partner. My request is simple. All that I require is that he or she “Never give up.”
Mistakes are going to happen and I can forgive them. Bad shots will happen and I can forgive those. Bad days will happen and I can forgive those. But “letting down” and “giving up” doesn’t have to happen. I avoid partners that won’t do their absolute best regardless of the score or circumstances.
“Never giving up” is something I require of myself, too. Sometimes we players get mad at ourselves after bad shots. We should forgive those because they will happen. But we should never, never let down. We should play as well as we can and as hard as we can to the very end.
In some sports, I suppose, giving up is appropriate. But these are time limit sports. For example in football, if the Cincinnati Bengals are behind the Tampa Bay Bucs, 50 to 3 at the end of the third quarter, the Bengals are probably justified if they just play out the game. They can’t possibly win, even against the Bucs.
In other sports, there is always some chance. Baseball is a prime example of a never give up sport. As Yogi Berra gets quoted, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.” The other pitcher can be pitching a no hitter and you can be behind by 10 runs, but there’s always a chance. There could be a error, an umpires mistake, or a grand slam. Yogi’s right because baseball is a sport without a time limit.
Shuffleboard, like baseball, has no time limit, but further than that, it has two unique features that make a lead even less secure. First, the winner must reach 75 points, that is he or she must make scores to win. Second, and even more important, shuffleboard has the 10-off. It’s the only sport I know of in which you can lose points. In shuffleboard, the Bucs 50 to 3 lead over the Bengals would be nice, but far from a sure victory. After all, 16 and 20-off would change the score a whole bunch, enough to maybe get Sam Wyche another year’s contract.
In 1982, I lost in the National semi finals to the great Ken Worden, I won the first game of the match and was leading by 10 points in the game with my score in the 60’s. Yet Ken never gave up. He kept pounding me and pushing me. He conceded nothing. It was late afternoon and I was tired. I let down a little and he took advantage and won the game. That broke my spirit and he won the third game quickly.
A year later, I met him again, in the National finals. A good friend, Mr. Ayers, stopped me before yhe game and said, “ Last year you let down against Ken,” I remembered that but I was surprised it had been noticed. Of course, after that reminder, I played every shot with full determination-and I needed to because I won by just one score. If I had let down just once, I’d have lost.
The above example makes two points about not giving up. One is the obvious point,that a player who gives up doesn’t play well. The second is more subtle. It’s that a player who doesn’t give up and who is known to not give up puts an enormous amount of pressure on the opponent. Even when ahead of a never-give-up- player, an opponent can feel the force as the tension mounts. Ken Worden was a great player and anyone who came up against him knew that Ken would never give up- and that puts extra pressure on a player.
Today’s diagram shows a dark situation. Black has 69 points, and the hammer, and he already has a hidden score. That is to say, he only needs one more score to win, and he’s already got it and it’s covered, and besides he has the hammer. Yellow might as well go home-or should he?
I’ve seen yellow win against this several times. In a game I played several years ago, I combo’d out with the seven and that unnerved my opponent and he put his hammer in the kitchen. In game I saw Ken Worden push the yellow cover to the seven and bump the black seven into the soup. Ken won.
If you go down fighting, you may not be the ship that sinks. Don’t give up.