Activities during the coronavirus pandemic have come at a premium, except for shuffleboard, darts and billiards in the Northeast Nebraska area.
Back in March when the coronavirus appeared, the virus shut down numerous activities, but in June when churches, restaurants and bars started to open back up, various activities such as shuffleboard, darts and billiards were brought back to life.
“Social interaction is what people are missing the most right now. The human brain has to have social interaction,” said Brian Leisure, pool league coordinator for Nebraska Technical Services. “The players have been ready to play.”
Dart throwers, pool shooters and shuffleboard players have been waiting for action as leagues are starting back up in September and October.
The Northeast Norfolk Shuffleboard League came to a halt in March, as its final tournament wasn’t able to be played in April. Months later, the league plans to start back up again in October at various locations around the Norfolk area.
“Norfolk is the lion’s den for shuffleboard. The league for Norfolk is very impressive,” said Jim Peterson, the Office Bar owner. “The league we have is very special.”
Everyone involved in these activities is optimistic when it comes to the number of participants, but they don’t expect any major differences.
“It’s going to be hit or miss. Some players won’t play or won’t want to play as much,” said Ryan Anderson, Mel’s owner. “It’s going to be a big question mark.”
Each activity has its own element of social distancing.
When it comes to darts, players at different locations are able to use electronic dartboards, which allow dart shooters to play against each other remotely. They are able to use their own darts and still play against other people in different cities.
Pool players are able to bring in their own pool cues, which is another way to prevent interaction. Along with shuffleboard, the shuffleboard table separates teams and they can come into play at different locations at different times.
“The main thing is just needing to give the opponent a little more space than you normally would,” Peterson said. “It’s going to be a little tough.”
Most billiards and dart tournaments are held outside of the Norfolk area but as shuffleboard, darts and billiards leagues get underway in the Northeast Nebraska area, the message of staying safe is the top priority for everyone involved.