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.
By Lary Faris
Editors note: You are encouraged to comment or post an inquiry on “Ask the Pro’s” regarding any of Lary’s articles.

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The pre-game is an important part of the game. The player gets two shots for speed from each end of the court and eight shots to get a feel for the drift. At the same time, the player is getting a feel for his own stroke and gets to watch his opponent.

In a previous column, I described the standard or regular targets for the eight practice shots. Usually, players when shooting first, try to hide a Tampa hide, a St. Pete hide, replace a ten and try a 8/8 double. When a player shoots second, they most often shoot at four sevens that are spread across the deep part of the seven.

Not all players follow this sequence. Two very, very fine players I know, don’t.  In today’s column I’ll cover what Dick Whitaker and Lee Jordan, two great board players do on their practice shots.

Before that though, I want to cover who sets-up when and in what sequence. That is who sets-up the discs for the shooter, in doubles and singles. Knowing how this is done is important, because, in a match, it is an embarrassing sign of inexperience to botch it up.
In doubles, yellow at the head shoots the first four shots. Yellow’s partner gives the set-ups, placing the cue tip and discs wherever the yellow shooter wants them. Then yellow’s partner, who is still standing moves the four yellow discs to the standard spots in the seven. These will be black’s targets.

Now if black wants something other than the sevens, she calls. At that point black’s partner should get off the bench and relieve yellow’s partner. Yellow has contributed to the black team as much as she could.

This sequence is repeated for each sequence of eight shots.

In walking singles there are no partners, so players must set-up for their opponent. (Sometimes a volunteer will help but don’t count on it). The walking protocol is tricky.

First the players shoot two discs for speed from each end. After shooting them back from the foot to the head, black should remain at the foot, ready to do set-ups for yellow. After yellow shoots her four discs, black sets the targets wherever she wants them at the foot and returns to the head to shoot. At the same time, yellow goes to the foot.

After black shoots the second four shots, she remains at the head and does the set-ups for yellow, then sets the yellow discs in her desired location and walks to the foot to shoot them.

Then the whole sequence is reversed. Yellow stays at the foot as set-up person and black goes to the head to shoot her four blocks. They proceed opposite the first round.

You may want to draw that out on paper. There are other ways to do it, but the above is the standard and most efficient. The player’s problem is, if she has to concentrate on figuring out the sequence, she will not be focused on learning the drifts.

Now, where does Dick Whitaker shoot his pre-game discs?

He first goes to the inside corner of the opposite deep seven. See W1 on the diagram. His second goes to a similar spot on the near seven. Then he shoots two eights.

Lee Jordan, picks not four but six spots in the sevens. He shoots all eight discs at these spots (marked on diagram). Some shots are shot from the number 1 spot and some are shot from the 4 spot.

Lee charts all of his shots, Dick keeps his in his head.

Maybe there is something to be learned from these two experts.
Sadly, Lary Faris passed away April 25th, 2017

I will continue to publish Lary's articles until I complete the second round of posting