Twenty rookies were entered in the annual District 5 Rookie Tournament held at Ramon Park in Palm Springs on January 17 & 18, 2022. A last-minute cancellation fielded a group of 19 players competing to be named the Champion. This year the traveling plaque was donated by Shirley Eager in memory of her husband Gene Eager. Gene started shuffling in January 2008 and won the Rookie Tournament at Ramon Park that year. The Ramon Park Shuffleboard Club presented Shirley with the traveling plaque from 1996 – 2008 that had Gene’s name as the final name on the plaque. Gene passed away February 28, 2020, and because of his love for the game and always willing to help the newcomers learn and love the game the way he did, it was fitting that this plaque was in his memory.
The requirement that masks had to be worn seemed to be no problem for the shufflers and those in attendance. Two days of ideal Palm Springs weather made it a pleasure to witness some great shuffling. The game that determined the Champion and Reserve Champion ended up with a score of 45 to 44.
The 2022 District 5 Rookie Tournament was won by Barbara Smith, Ramon Park, Palm Springs. Other winners in the Championship Division were: 2. Rudy Seedorf, Royal Palms, Cathedral City; 3. Larry McCulley, Desert Crest, Desert Hot Springs; and 4. Cindy Rogers, Tri Palms, Thousand Palms. Consolation Division winners were: Champion, Darren Kramer, Ramon Park, Palm Springs; 2. Kurt Thompson, The Canyon, Cathedral City; 3. Marcie McKevitt and 4. Nick Wonders, both from Tri Palms Shuffleboard Club, Thousand Palms.
It was so exciting to hear some of these rookies talking about getting a partner so they could compete in the upcoming Doubles Tournament. -by Shirley Eager