July 24, 2002
10:42 AM   Subscribe

Although Crokinole's popularity has waned since its heyday in the early 20th century, it is still enjoyed by many and even has it's own World Championship. Players flick "cookies" on a 25-30 inch wooden board, each trying to knock his opponent's disks from the playing field while positioning his own in the high-scoring regions.

Not only is the Crokinole great fun to play, but the boards are often quite beautiful as well. Interested? Well, you could splurge for a top-of-the-line board. But perhaps you'd prefer to start with a $15 cheapo jobbie from Amazon. Heck, you could even give Virtual Crokinole a whirl, or dust off your band saw and make your own.
posted by Shadowkeeper (21 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I used to play Corkinole all the time as a child. But now I have neither board nor bandsaw.

posted by Darth Vader at 10:50 AM on July 24, 2002

I have many fond memories of crokinole matches with my Canadian grandfather. I never knew how to spell it, either, because crokinole wasn't written on the board, we just always pronounced it "croak-a-knoll".

I always loved it when I played my sisters and managed to knock their disc out of the center hole, much to their horror. Good times, and thanks for this awesome post.
posted by insomnyuk at 10:54 AM on July 24, 2002

I love that game. we always play it at family gatherings, but nobody else seems to know what it is... It seems to be a mainly canadian thing, which is where my parents picked it up I think.
posted by jnthnjng at 10:55 AM on July 24, 2002

As an aside, I bought that $15 Amazon special -- it's a considerable bargain. It's cheap in both senses of the word, but entirely functional and a good first taste of the hobby. Unfortunately it has kindled in me a deep and burning desire for a $200 board, so be forewarned: in the long run the "cheapie" might wind up costing you a lot more than you had intended.
posted by Shadowkeeper at 11:08 AM on July 24, 2002

Great link. I've occasionally wondered whether Crokinole was a regional thing. It just seems like such an underdog game, which would make it perfectly Canadian.
posted by websavvy at 11:09 AM on July 24, 2002

Thanks for the post, Shadowkeeper. It transported me back to Muskoka on a rainy day forty years ago.
posted by timeistight at 11:12 AM on July 24, 2002

I never really knew the rules of the game, but my friends and I used to play our own games on the board. It usually involved bonus points for hitting more than one post or dangling your chip over the edge of the board or centre hole.

Eventually it just broke down into a game like "HORSE" where each person would set up a trick shot and the others would have to match it.

Sadly, the friend who owned the board moved away when I was 12 and I never played again.

Thanks for the memories, Shadowkeeper.
posted by grum@work at 11:20 AM on July 24, 2002

God, the music on the Virtual Crokinole page makes my ears bleed like only MIDI can.

Still, excellent post. Personally, my favorite posts on MeFi are this kind -- lists of links about an interesting yet little-known topic. Great job, and thanks!
posted by tweebiscuit at 11:20 AM on July 24, 2002

I always thought is was "croak-a-noh", we never pronounced the l at the end for some reason. It was probably the first game I ever played with my big brother, and launched many a heated battle. Anyone who likes it should also try carrom, a similar game that's very popular in India.
posted by meowmix at 11:23 AM on July 24, 2002

OMG, I knew the word "Crokinole" was sounding familiar to me, and now I know why. 10 points to the first person who can tell me what song this line is from:

"Or playing Crokinole with the Princess of Monaco..."
posted by starvingartist at 11:24 AM on July 24, 2002

i had a friend who built me something like this after visiting austin too many times.

but it was called "washers". (the board my friend built was an indoor approximation of the outdoors play-field --- basically a board covered with carpet with a hole cut in it)

anyways: this particular game seems to lend itself will to drinking. and boy, me and that board have had some good drunken times (we christened it by drinking a cube of budweiser between the two of us -- and since then, i don't think it's ever been played sober.)

i highly recommend it. and hey: if you live in sf or oakland, we can throw down a match one sunny sunday in golden gate park. (plus, i guarantee you'll never spend $200 bucks on it unless you're a real heavy drinker.)

nothing like a little vicarious bumpkin living.
posted by fishfucker at 11:27 AM on July 24, 2002

"Or playing Crokinole
with the Princess of Monaco
Telling my jokes to the OPEC leaders
getting it all on video"

Aaah, Canadiana.
posted by dglynn at 11:32 AM on July 24, 2002

Grunge of Spain by Moxy Fruvous (thanks Google).

How do you make umlauts on the new server?
posted by timeistight at 11:32 AM on July 24, 2002

Damn. Trivia collision. I'll concede the ten points to dglynn.
posted by timeistight at 11:34 AM on July 24, 2002

It's really interesting how many variants of the "throw something else and knock the others away" game there are. Marbles, (lawn) bowling/ boules/petanque/ bocce, horseshoes, shuffleboard, curling ... and there are all those coin-shoving games too.
posted by dhartung at 11:40 AM on July 24, 2002

Er, that would be "King of Spain" not "Grunge" though they do mess about with the lyrics from time to time.

Is it sad that I came to this thread just to say something silly about playing the game with princesses?
posted by Dreama at 11:52 AM on July 24, 2002

How delightful to find this! Yes, it IS a Canadian invention.

And yes, I'm the proud owner of a really nice antique board :-)
posted by spnx at 12:36 PM on July 24, 2002

Oh dear, I saw the front page post as "Although Cronkites's popularity has waned since its heyday in the early 20th century..." These new contacts are a little squirrelly.
posted by jalexei at 2:24 PM on July 24, 2002

dude, you made Darth Vader cry.
posted by Mick at 3:06 PM on July 24, 2002

We have a sweet "croke" board and I always manage to fling at least one off the table per game, but it's always heck of fun.

The true question: who here has played coin football or coin hockey? The ultimate timewasters.
posted by Succa at 4:11 PM on July 24, 2002

Crokinole is still alive and well up here in Saskatchewan. A lot of people assumed it was just a regional game.

A few years ago I spent Christmas in Amarillo where the displaced Canadians amazed the younger locals with this "bizarre" game. Only one Texan had seen the game before, and she was well into her 80s.

There is a National Trust house near Manchester (Dunham Massey, maybe?) with a Crokinole table in the games room. None of the tour guides knew anything about this previously un-named game and were quite eager to let my friend and I play a round, just to show them what it was (waiving their usual look-but-don't-touch policy).
posted by Monk at 7:02 PM on July 24, 2002

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