The game of “Knock Off” is likely the most popular shuffleboard play variation, and it can be played in singles (one vs. one) or doubles (two vs. two). In a doubles game, one member from each team will stand on each of the sides. The aim of the game is to reach, or surpass, a score of 15 points.
Before the game begins, players must flip a coin to pick their colors, as well as the color of the “hammer.” The winner can choose whichever color they’d like, but the color which is elected to be the “hammer” will be the color which initially goes second. Once the final frame has been reached, the team with the hammer will be the last team to play.
Frames and Rounds
One round is the completion of either one person’s turn in a singles match, or the combination of one team member’s turn and the turn of the opposite team member in a doubles match. A frame is the complete sequence of both rounds. The layout of the first round is decided at the coin toss. It is desirable to be the “hammer” at the end of each frame, as a person with the hammer will win the whole game if they reach 15 points first.
The first round is played as dictated by the coin toss. At the end of the round, the standard scoring process is observed. Only the team with the leading weight will score. The team that did not score in the first round will receive the hammer during the second round, which is played starting from the other end of the board.
In the case that no weights remain on the board at the end of a round, the team which played second that round will play first. Each following round proceeds in this way until the final frame has been triggered.
No points are awarded to the team if one or more of following cases occur:
- If the other player/team has a weight beyond their own
- If the round ends with no weights on the board
- If no weights pass the short foul line
If none of the previous disqualifications occur, the values are pretty straightforward. Only the weights lying beyond all of the opposing teams’ weights count.
The standard point values are:
- 1 point for every weight lying between the short foul line and the deuce line (the line directly before the 2).
- 2 points for every weight lying between the deuce line and the trey line (the line directly after the deuce line).
- 3 points for every weight that lies past the trey line, but falls short of hanging off the board.
- 4 points are awarded for “hangers” (weights that lie partially hanging over the end of the board).
If a weight lies atop the foul, deuce, or trey lines; or if a hanger seems questionable, the scores can be disputed by the other players.
To settle a line dispute:
- Look down upon the weights from directly above.
- If there is a bit of wood between the edge of the weight and the line itself, then the score is the higher value.
- If there is no wood showing between the edge of the weight and the line, the weight is given the lesser of the two values.
- If the line in question is the foul line, the “lesser” score is a no-pointer.
To determine whether or not a weight is a “hanger,” perform this checking process:
- Take another weight, and grasp it in the palm of your hand.
- Take the weight, and press it flatly against the inside wall, perpendicular to the disputed weight.
- Keeping part of the judgment weight above the surface level, sweep it from one corner of the back end to the other.
- If the disputed hanger falls during the sweep, it is judged to be a true “hanger” and the player receives their points accordingly.
While there is no set penalty, there are certain common courtesies that should be followed.
- In a standard match, a player may “dust” (add wax, silicon, or sand to the board) before they shoot; if in a tournament match, this is typically restricted to the edges of the board.
- Players must have one foot behind the playing surface while they are shooting.
- Naturally, a player should never purposely shake or hit the table.
The Final Frame
To declare a winner, the entire frame must be completed. This means that if the person who starts first during that frame reaches 15 before everyone else, they must wait for all other participants to finish their turns. However, if the second player reaches the number first, the first player won’t get another chance. This goes on down the line until the last person takes their turn.
If the first player to reach the necessary score is not the last person in the frame, each competitor shuffles their weights and the one with the highest score wins!