Table Shuffleboard Association (TSA) Rules & Guidelines

October 2022

Table of Contents

Table Shuffleboard Association (TSA) Rules & Guidelines

Table of Contents

Code of Ethics

Rules & Guidelines

1 - Tournament Director

2 - Sportsmanship

3 - Boards, Weights, Adjustments, and Maintenance

4 - Roll Call

5 - Substitutions

6 - Scoring

7 – Hammers

8 - Event and Board Practice / Assignments

9 - Official Call of Weights

10 - Slow Play & Timeouts

11 - Play “In-Progress”

12 - Team Events & Captain Responsibilities

13 - Prize Money Distribution

Code of Ethics

  • I will play the game with a spirit of good sportsmanship and I will conduct myself in an honorable manner both during and after a game

  • I will never knowingly break a rule, but if I do, I will divulge the breach

  • I will take no action which could be interpreted as an attempt to intimidate or demean my opponents, team mates or the tournament director and officials

  • I will interpret the rules in an impartial manner, always keeping in mind the purpose of rules is to ensure the game is played in an orderly  and fair manner.

  • If I am found to be in violation of the code of ethics or rules of the game, I will humbly accept any penalty which the Tournament Director(s), at all levels of shuffleboard, deems appropriate.


Rules & Guidelines

1 - Tournament Director

  1. The Tournament Director shall have the authority to change, modify, suspend, or add any rule which they deem necessary to their tournament.

  1. The Tournament Director shall have sole discretion to make any necessary changes or decisions to the tournament if any event format must change.

  1. The Tournament Director may appoint officials any the authority they deem necessary to perform the responsibilities given to them.

  1. If a rule violation is observed, an official shall be notified, and the appropriate action shall be taken.

2 - Sportsmanship

  1. All players should shake hands before each game and exercise good sportsmanship.    Good Sportsmanship is expected and required by all players and spectators alike.

  1. A player shall not exhibit physical or verbal harassment. Penalty: No warning, a two point penalty may be given. Any infraction may result in disqualification of game, and/or tournament.

  1. All contestants will show respect for the players on the board next to them.

  1. Spectators shall not harass, interfere, or coach those players that are playing an event.  If a participant is unable to resolve spectator interference concerns, he/she should request a Tournament Official or the Tournament Director for a resolution. Penalty:  1 warning and removal of offender if repeated.  

  1. All decisions by the Tournament Officials shall be final.  Any player or spectator who verbally or physically abuses a Tournament Official’s decision(s) shall be subject to disqualification.

  1. Every player should consider it his/her responsibility to report any violation of any rules to a Tournament Official.

3 - Boards, Weights, Adjustments, and Maintenance

  1. The official dimensions of the board playing surface shall be 20’ 8“in length, and               20” in width.

  1. The official tournament weight (puck) shall be 2.3125 inches wide, and 0.75 inches

in height, without the cap.  Both measurements may have a margin of error of .05        inches.  The widest outside point must be centered .375 inches from the top without the cap. The total weight of a puck (defined as a single entity: cap, cap mass modification and weight combination) shall be a minimum of 310 grams and have a maximum weight of 355 grams. Players may use their own weights, but all weights being used must have red or blue caps.

Players are allowed to modify the overall mass of a weight (combination of cap, cap mass and weight) by adding or removing mass from the interior of a cap. Any mass that is added to the cap, must be added to the bottom of the cap and be self-contained and secure within the cap as to not allow it to move in the cap or be modified during scored play.  Additional mass is defined as being comprised of any solid polymer-based material or non-magnetized metals as long as the weight (the entire cap, mass, weight combination) falls within the previously stated specifications.

Changing mass, caps or weights is allowed between games or after shooting practice shots as long as the player retains their game designated color and it is done prior to the player taking their first shot of a scored game or after a scored game is completed. Unless a player’s cap or weight becomes substantially damaged during a game, players are not allowed to change or modify either during scored play of their game.

All weights must be in good condition with no rust, chipped finish, or unusual wear as to damage the playing surface or an opponent’s weights. All weights will be subject to inspection by tournament officials at any time and may be disqualified at the discretion of the Tournament Director. The penalty for altering or utilizing weights outside of these specifications is to be determined by the Tournament Director.  

  1. It is the goal of the Tournament Director to have the best possible playing conditions.            As such boards will be adjusted as necessary throughout the tournament.

  1. Silicone spraying of the boards, both before and during an event, will be at the         discretion of the Tournament Director.

  1. Tampering with wax, or boards not approved by a tournament official shall result in automatic disqualification from the event they are currently in or, if not currently in            an event, the event they are registered to play next.

  1. A player may lightly powder dry spots up to the near foul line on the end the player             is shooting, and only before it is that player's shot.  Powdering by a player shall conform

to methods designated by the Tournament Director. All other powdering during a match shall be done at the discretion of a tournament official.  If a player thinks their play will be affected by the additional powder, they may ask an official for a ruling.  The official shall determine what action should be taken.

  1. A player may not purposely cause powder to be removed from the playing surface, or add any substance to the playing surface, or powder.  Penalty: one warning, one point for each additional infraction.      

  1. Winners shall wipe the board after the game is over.   The players of the next match         shall powder the board, if all players agree upon which player will powder the board.           If an agreement is not reached, they may request a tournament official or a mutually    agreed upon third party, to powder the board.

  1. If the object weight has wax on the side that may result in a “soft”, or “mush”  hit, a player may request a tournament official to wipe off and re-spot the weight before shooting at it.

4 - Roll Call

  1. Roll call will be taken as needed at the specified date and time.  All players shall be            in the designated area for roll call.  Any player not in attendance may be dropped from      that event.

  1. A player or team who is not present when they are scheduled to play in each event           will be given a five minute grace period and then be assessed a one point per minute  penalty.  If one or more players from a team are present, they shall be allowed their           due practice weights.  The 'clock' shall start on the tardy player(s) or team after all       players present for the game have completed their practice weights. One of the        opposing team members must ask a Tournament Official to place a tardy player or          team  on  the ‘clock’.  At which time (after all present have completed their practice     weights), the 5 minute grace period, and the per minute penalty thereafter will be      officially clocked by a Tournament Official.  Any player who has accumulated late      arrival penalty points will forfeit their practice weights (if they show up in time to        prevent a forfeit of their game).

5 - Substitutions

  1. In “Draw” or “Draft type events, if any player(s) is determined a “no-show”, or is unable to play, the Tournament Director has the discretion to substitute a player of  equivalent skill level and/or draft position.

  1. In “bring” type events, it is the sole responsibility of each team member to ensure the rest of the team is present and no substitutes shall be allowed.

6 - Scoring

  1. All games shall be played to 15 points unless otherwise specified by the Tournament Director.

  1. A weight which does not completely clear the short foul line is not a legal weight, and shall be removed from the playing surface immediately.

  1. A player or team shall be responsible to mark and track their points at the end of each frame.  Any points earned and not marked before the first weight is thrown by the player with the hammer in the next frame shall be forfeited.

  1. Any positive handicapped points should be marked before the game starts, and will

be forfeited if not marked by the beginning of the second frame.

  1. A player or team unable to mark their due points within the above guidelines of 6.3 or 6.4 (e.g., failure of a scoreboard unit), should notify a tournament official and proceed as directed.

  1. Weights shall not be removed at the end of a frame until both parties have viewed,and agreed, upon the score to be marked.   If a scoring weight is moved by a player before the score is agreed upon, the score will be marked in favor of the player who did not move the weight.

  1. All penalty points will be subtracted from the offender's score.

7 – Hammers

  1. All games shall be switch-hammer. If there is no score in a frame, the hammer shall    switch.  If the frame ends in a  “dead heat”, no other weights will be considered, no score is marked, and the hammer will switch.

  1. Players shall flip a coin (or otherwise agree) for choice of hammer or color before              the beginning of the game. In events, with a two-out-of-three format, the person who wins the flip shall have their choice of hammer or color in the first or second game.  If a third game is necessary, the players shall flip again.  


  1. A player may play at any end, regardless of where they practiced.  Play will begin at          the designated end.


  1. If a player who should have the hammer shoots first (out of turn), that player loses             the hammer and must complete the frame in the same rotation. This rule may not be          used to intentionally change the hammer.  The player who did not shoot out of turn          may choose to keep the hammer or restart the frame in the correct rotation, and must           do so before they shoot.

  1. All weights shall be visible in the trough before the first weight of any frame.  All weights must remain in the trough until shot.


  1. Changing weights after a scored game starts shall not be allowed.

  1. A player who shoots a weight of the wrong color must replace the weight with the       correct color.

8 - Event and Board Practice / Assignments

  1. Practice weights if any shall be determined by the Tournament Director.  Player(s)           with the hammer shall practice first.

  1. Board availability for practicing shall be cleared with the Bracket Official.  A player         may practice on any available board before his or her event starts if his or her board assignments have not been posted.  An active player may not practice during an              event   unless authorized by a tournament official.   Penalty: to be determined by the Tournament Director.

  1. If a player has a posted event board assignment, he or she shall not practice on the        board he or she is scheduled to play, unless authorized by a tournament official.    Recommended penalty: Forfeiture of the first game of next match.

  1. Once an event starts, a player playing in that event, shall not participate in any non tournament challenge matches or robins until the Bracket Official has informed the       player that his/her official tournament event play is absolutely done for that day.          Penalty: to be determined by the Tournament Director.

  1. No player shall play consecutive games or matches on the same board if possible.             The Tournament Director may waive this rule to meet time constraints.

  1. A player shall be allowed to use his or her own weights, which shall have red and            blue, (or red and green caps). A player may allow an opponent the use of his or her    weights, but are not required to do so. A Player may switch his or her weights (not         color) during practice weights and before the first frame has started.

9 - Official Call of Weights

  1. If an agreement cannot be reached on a score, or position of a weight, the players             may have an official weight call.

  1. An official weight call shall not be allowed until the end of a frame.

  1. A Tournament official will determine how a weight will be called, by a gauge or by committee.  A committee should be three or more. In a game deciding situation, the number of people calling the weight shall be increased to five.

  1. If an Official should bump or move a weight(s), which would cause a determination          not being possible, the Official shall make the call, based on their judgment before             the weights were moved.  If unable to do so a Tournament Director may require the    weights to be replaced in their original position and have the last shot be re-executed     and/or may require the entire frame be played over (depending upon circumstance).

10 - Slow Play & Timeouts

  1. More than 30 seconds from the time a player is given the board and/or the weight               stops moving, to the time the shot is released shall constitute slow play.  More than                5 minutes between games shall constitute slow play. Penalty: One warning, one point penalty per infraction thereafter.   

  1. Either team shall be allowed a time-out discussion only after one of the teams has reached 10 points. All timeouts will be one (1) minute.  Each team is allowed three            (3) time outs per game, and only (1) time out per frame.

  1. A player may walk to the opposite end of the board to examine the position of the weights or ask their partner's opinion on the value or position of a weight.  Viewing            the position of a weight at the end of the board does not constitute a “timeout” and         shall be exercised within the 30 second time limit.

11 - Play “In-Progress”

  1. A weight can only leave the playing surface under its own momentum, or by being struck by another weight after it has come to a complete stop.


  1. A weight which leaves the playing surface after being struck by another weight,                     then returns to the playing surface, is out of play and must be removed.  Any weights displaced by this weight will be returned to the position they had before the “out of play” weight returned to the playing surface.

  1. A weight which is flipped over after being struck will be turned right side up.

  1. A player cannot shoot at a weight while it is moving forward (not just spinning).

  1. If a player shoots while an opponent’s weight is moving forward and the moving      weight leaves the playing surface; it will be placed at the spot where it fell.  The player who shot, will lose their shot and any weights moved will be returned to their original position.

  1. If a weight has come to a complete stop, then falls after a player or object, contacts the playing surface, cradle, or scoreboard, it will be replaced as close as possible to             the weights original position.

  1. Any weight overhanging the end of the board and in danger of falling off the board (4), may be made safe (meaning to move the 4 back with less overhang).   A weight        which is overhanging the rail and the end can be made safe.   A weight overhanging the rail cannot be made safe.

  1. The responsibility and decision to have a “4” weight made safe is the option of the            opposing player who has to shoot.  A weight cannot be made or called safe without physically moving the weight.  A player who deliberately moves a hanger so as to force a call will lose their, or their teams, next shot in that frame.

  1. If a “4” or overhanging rail weight falls, while a player is shooting, the weight will

be returned to its original position and the player will not shoot again.  Any weights   affected by the shot will remain where they ended.  A weight made safe cannot be out distanced by an opponent’s weight.

  1.  If a safe weight is moved to a new position by another weight, the safety of the             weight is removed.  If it is still a “4” the procedure for safety must be reinstated.

  1.  A legal shot must start with both feet behind the deuce line. One foot must remain on the floor behind the deuce line when the weight is released The weight must be               released before the foul line.  Penalty: Loss of that shot and all weights moved will be returned to their original position.

  1.  “Blasting” on a clear board shall not be allowed.  Penalty: one warning, 1 point               penalty per infraction thereafter.

  1.  A player shall stand behind and out of view of their opponent while they are in the act of shooting.  Walking to the other end before the frame is over is not permitted. Penalty: One warning, one point penalty per infraction thereafter. 


  1.  Coaching or advising a player in a singles event by anyone shall not be allowed. Only a player’s partner may provide coaching in a doubles match.  In team events the Tournament Director will announce the coaching rules ( see 2.4). Penalty: one warning, 1 point penalty per infraction thereafter.

  1.  A player may not hold a weight in his/her hand while their opponent is shooting. The player shooting may not hold another weight while shooting.

  1.  Double release shots shall not be permitted.

  1.  A player may not hold drinks, cigarettes, cell phones, or any objects in his/her hands  or mouth while playing a frame.  Turn off cell phones and pagers while playing


  1.  A weight which hits an object or a weight, which is not on the playing surface, is dead.    The weight will be removed, and any weights displaced after hitting the object will be returned to the position they occupied before being struck by the dead weight.


12 - Team Events & Captain Responsibilities

  1. After the boards have been assigned for each session of a team event and before the first weight is thrown, it shall be the responsibility of Team Captains to ensure the   team paperwork is completed correctly and each Captain must review/approve their opponents team lineup at the beginning of each session and confirm that the correct teams are playing on the correct boards.   Penalty:  Any game(s) or sessions played                  out of sequence or with incorrect player lineup on any session after the Captains         have jointly agreed to both parties session sheet may constitute forfeiture of any         games played in other than the  correct sequence, session, or player lineup.

  1. Team Captains must verify the correct session play with the “bracket official” at the start of each session.


  1.  In “Draft” events it is the responsibility of the “Team Captain” to gather and share contact information on all team members.  An attempt may be made by a team                member to contact any “no show” team member(s).  In draw events, team members      should exchange contact information.

13 - Prize Money Distribution

  1. The distribution, amount, and number of places paid will be the responsibility of the Tournament Director.