Shuffleboard: "It's not just for old people"

LAKESIDE, Ohio - You'll generally have no problem finding an empty court or an open swing in Lakeside, Ohio.

CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman reports that's because kids there prefer a more mature past-time - that favorite sport of old, and old alike: shuffleboard.

This tiny, one square mile community on Lake Erie produces some of the best kid shuffleboard players in the country. That's mainly because they produce some of the only kid shuffleboard players in the country.

What percentage of kids play shuffleboard here? "Almost all of them, 99-100 percent," said one teen girl. "It's not just for old people."

They say it's just part of the culture here that you pick up at a young age.

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It starts with the pee-wee singles - an annual tournament for shufflers age 12 and under. The competition is fierce, and the only thing more important that winning - is winning gracefully.

Where could shuffleboard possibly get you in life? You'd be surprised.

"For a brief shining moment in the summer of 1973, I was the Tiger Woods of shuffleboard, the Lakeside 12-and-under champion," Hartman says. "Unfortunately, I didn't stick with it, and today there's not a toddler in Lakeside that couldn't beat the pants off of me. But at the same time, there's not an award or trophy I've won since that means any more to me than this one."

Because, as these kids can attest, it makes you stand out.

"I put all kinds of shuffleboard things on my college applications," said Anthony.

"Did you get in anywhere," Hartman asked.

"Yeah, I got into Harvard, that's where I'm going," Anthony said. "I also received a card from a university that I got into that said, 'We can't wait to have a world champion shuffleboard player on campus.'"

In an age of bullying and conformity, it's kind of nice to know there is still a place where being uncool is all the rage.

  • Steve Hartman

    Steve Hartman has been a CBS News correspondent since 1998, having served as a part-time correspondent for the previous two years.

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