Crokinole. We are learning new things in Nova Scotia and one of them is how to play crokinole. I had never heard of this game until we had dinner with some friends a couple of weeks ago. After dinner, they asked if we wanted to play a round of crokinole. Crokinole? Last night, our church had a Game Night where we played board games, crokinole and cards and created lavishly sprinkled ice cream sundaes. So we're learning the great Canadian game of crokinole.
It's a great time to write about crokinole because it's a little like curling (and we all know Don is loving some Olympic curling) with some shuffleboard thrown in and played on an circular board about the size of a card table. I was really bad - but after the game I got some lessons that improved my flicking technique. I think I'm ready for the next game night.
In Crokinole, players take turns shooting discs across the circular playing surface, trying to have their discs land in the higher-scoring regions of the board, while also attempting to knock away opposing discs. You must aim at your opponent's disc and try to knock it off the board while at the same time trying to keep your team discs on the board and in a high scoring area. Sort of like curling, right? Like I understand curling! Ha! You flick the disc with your index or middle finger, sending it flying across the board to knock off the other team's discs. There is skill involved as well as luck and it helps to have a good partner. Apologies to all my partners! The goal is to get your disc into the small hole in the center - worth 20 points! Don made a 20 point shot - but not me... Again. Sorry partners!
According to Wikipedia, crokinole became popular because it was considered a rather innocuous pastime - unlike card-playing and dancing which were considered "works of the Devil" by many Protestant groups of the time. (And here we were playing cards in church!) The game appears to have developed in rural Canada in the 1860s as a unique blend of several older English, French, German and East Indian games, The earliest known crokinole board was made by craftsman Eckhardt Wettlaufer in 1876 in Perth County, Ontario. It is said Wettlaufer crafted the board as a fifth birthday present for his son Adam, which is now part of the collection at the Joseph Schneider Haus, a national historic site in Kitchener, Ontario. (Info from Wikipedia - Canadian friends, let me know if I've gotten it wrong.)
You can buy crokinole boards but many families have handmade boards that have been passed down through several generations. I'm told family crokinole tournaments are taken quite seriously and can get a little out of hand.
There's even a life sized version of crokinole in Winnipeg - called crokicurl. It's a mashup of crokinole and curling. It's played on a circular ice rink marked with crokinole rings and using curling stones. Now Don wants to go to Winnipeg!