can anyone explain to me WHY a “seven footer”, “eight footer”, or “nine footer” aren’t actually that long? Is it a measue of how long the felt is including the bit that wraps underneath?

It’s just an approximation of size. Kinda like a 2×4 isn’t really 2×4 exactly.

It is an approximation of the outside dimensions and has nothing to do with amount of cloth. Actually, the cloth is usually cut a bit smaller than the slate to accommodate for the stretch. The industry standard is to go by playing field measurements.

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