Sunday, June 14, 2015

Urban Shuffle-Boch - Where office jobs and sport intersect!

I’m very excited to report to all of my readers (which at this point is the 5 people I've told about this blog) that I could be responsible for developing the next great sport in the American office place.  Yes, you heard it here first:  Sports and white collar office environments are not mutually exclusive thanks to a game I (and some of the staff I oversee at my job) call Urban Shuffle-Boch.

Urban Shuffle-Boch (USB… I know this acronym is already widely used, but I really don’t care) combines the apparatus of shuffleboard with the scoring rules (some modification) of bocce ball, all played on an ‘urban’ field. 

A photo of my coworkers and I on our ‘lunch break’ just before a big match.  This crew has pioneered the sport of Urban Shuffle-Boch

Let’s break this down word by word just a bit further.

Urban:  Our office is located in the very urban setting of Downtown Minneapolis, but that isn’t why we chose this word.  We have found that urban environments, particularly roadways, are cluttered with unnecessary obstacles that make life more difficult.  So, the playing field for USB is simply a large meeting space that has been unnecessarily cluttered by random things.  Overturn a few meeting tables, throw some jackets on the floor, move around some garbage cans, slide around a few chairs, and BAMM you’ve got the perfect playing field.  USB lovers around the world boast that no two playing fields are alike!

Shuffle:  I found shuffleboard sticks (called cues or tangs) and weighted pucks (called biscuits) on a garage sale.  Best $7 I’ve ever spent.  I didn’t know what to do with them so I brought them to my office hoping to convince my coworkers to find some creative use for them during breaks the workday.  Needless to say, I’m very pleased with the outcome. 

Shuffleboard fun facts (Thanks Wiki):
  •  Shuffleboard is one word.  I didn’t know that until today. Sad, but true.
  • The game of shuffleboard is over 500 years old.  It even predates billiards.
  • King Henry the VIII didn’t allow commoners to play the game, which included gambling.  (In my office, pride is the only thing at stake.)
  • Shuffleboard is a low physical exertion game. 

Urban Shuffle-Boch can get pretty intense depending on the temperament of the player.  Personally, I have a rather high amount of excitement and volatility while playing. 

This is me carefully eyeing a line for a shot under my desk chair.

USB players slide shuffleboard biscuits with cues during game play.

Boch:  A shortened form of the word ‘bocce.’   USB incorporates many of the playing and scoring rules of conventional bocce ball.  (Bocce ball rules Video) 

Key Rule Variations:    
  • The foot fault line is marked by a whiteboard eraser while playing UBS.
  •  Rather than being a small white ball, in USB the jack (or pallino) is a beanbag shaped like a turtle.  

Although most often played using two teams that each consist of two players, other variants of team size my also be utilized.

If you are interested in learning more about Urban Shuffle-Boch, I want to hear from you!  Just let me know by commenting on this post!

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