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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I listened as the four players came off court ten.  "That court made us all look like amateurs, didn’t  it?  "I never did figure it out. One time it’ll drift left and the next time drift right."

You probably have heard comments like these.  Certain courts drive shufflers to disappear, especially shufflers who go from tournament to tournament at many different locations around Florida and around the country.  They must find the drifts with just a few practice shots, and often it can’t be done.

Some courts are slow to reveal their secrets.  While almost all courts have drifts, usually the drifts are one way or are mainly on the sides.  The standard ten pre-game shots will pick these up.  Others, with more complex drift patterns, take longer to figure out.  Some take forever.

One difficult type court is one with a ridge down the middle.  It seems so simple.  On one side of the ridge the discs run to the left and on the other side they run to the right.   The ridge is down the center so the discs will go to the outside. 

That sounds very straight forward, doesn’t it?  Well, go play that court and you will find it’s tough.  The problem is that you must figure out which side of the ridge your shot will be on and that, in turn, is determined by which shooting spot you use.
For example, as you are aiming at an opponent’s good 7 on his side of the court, you just want to replace it and maybe kitchen it.  If you shoot from the #1 spot, your shot will go over the ridge before it gets to the lag line.  Then, as it slows, it will drift out toward the opponent’s edge of the court.  But if you shoot it from the #4 spot (because of a cover disc, perhaps), the shot will likely not get clear over the ridge.  It will stay on your side and drift toward your edge of the court.  Sure discs drift to the side, but the problem is to figure out which side.

Many variables come into play to add confusion.  In the above example, if you shoot harder from the #4 spot your disc may climb the ridge and head toward the opponent’s edge.  Of course the target, the opponent’s score, may be several inches one way or another from the last time you shot at it.  That will change things.  And finally, the ridge may not be in the exact center of the court, and it may be difficult to locate its summit.

How should a shuffler deal with a ridge?  Here are a few suggestions:

Never play Tampa’s.  They will be difficult to set properly and impossible to hide behind.  Use, high wide St. Pete’s and hide from the #2 spot so that the disc gets over the ridge quickly.  It’s easy to say but hard to do, but another suggestion is to get ahead early,then clear board.  And when you clear board, you’ll have to shoot harder than usual.

The great Jay Snoddy said, “Find a part of the board you can handle, and then use it.”  That surely applies here.  If you can shoot from the #2 spot to the same side 8, do it and do it and do it.

Of course, if you do get behind, don’t be afraid to leave open scores - the opponent can miss just as well as you.

Oh, yes, if you are away from home and draw two local players on a ridge court, just go on home.

They’ll likely beat you.
Sadly, Lary Faris passed away April 25th, 2017

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