Crokinole was created by Eckhardt Wettlaufer in 1876 in Ontario, Canada. Although there have been similar games since Ancient Egyptian times, this is definitely a Canadian game, and you can see the influences of curling in the rules and scoring. Crokinole was first considered a “cottage” game, but its popularity grew, and in 1999 the first World Crokinole Championship was held. Crokinole boards are made of wood with wooden checker-like discs and a perfect game for long, cold Canadian evenings!
There are many variations of the wooden boards that can be made or purchased, but we have created an inexpensive version of a Crokinole Game using foam board.
Materials for Making a Crokinole Game Board
- 30 x 40 inch piece of foam board (purchased at an office supply store)
- 24 1 inch wooden discs
- 2 contrasting colors of permanent markers for discs
- dark permanent marker for board
- xacto knife
- yard stick
- Size 7 US knitting needle
- pencil and eraser
- 16 wooden beads, 5/8 bead with 5/16 inch hole
- round head fasteners, 1 1/2 inches long
- craft glue
Note: There are other materials that can be used. If you are lucky enough to have a 30 x 30 inch piece of smooth corrugated cardboard from a big box, you can use that for the game board. If you have a checkers or backgammon game, you can use the discs from those for the game.
Directions for Making a Crokinole Game
Make a copy of the diagrams.
Using an xacto knife, cut your board into a 30 inch square. From the scrap, cut a 2 x 14 inch piece of foam board to be used later for drawing circles. Note: Make sure you have something under the foam board to protect your work surface.
To determine the center of the board, use a pencil to LIGHTLY mark the 2 diagonal lines, then the 2 lines from the centers of the straight sides across the board. (Keep the pencil marks light because you will erase these lines.) See diagram 1.
To make your template for drawing circles, run a long straight line down the center of the 2 x 14 inch piece of foam board. Measure and mark on the center line at 1, 1 3/4, 5 1/4, 8 3/4, 12 1/4 and 13 1/4 inches.
Using a size 7 US knitting needle or awl, poke holes through the 6 marks that were made on the template. When you poke holes, the underside of the holes is jagged. You will want this jagged side to be the top of the template so the smooth side is against the board.
When you are ready to draw your circles, place your knitting needle through your first hole and push it into the center of the board.
Place you permanent marker through a hole.
Have someone securely hold the knitting needle with the template in the center of the board while another person, with the marker in a hole, traces around the whole board making a complete circle. Make 5 circles.
Trace the diagonal lines ONLY in the outer ring. This creates each persons “quadrant”. See diagram 2.
Using the xacto knife, cut out the center hole.
Using the knitting needle, make 8 small holes in the board for the bumpers. See diagram 2.
Erase all pencil marks.
Place a dab of glue on one of the 8 holes and on top of one of the beads. Slide a round head fastener through the bead so the glue on the bead is on the underside of the fastener’s cap.
From the front of the game board, push the fastener through the hole. On the backside, open the 2 flanges and fold them firmly to the sides. If is very important that the posts are securely fastened to the board. Add the other bumpers in the same manner. Allow the posts to dry.
From the backside of the board, place a piece of tape over the fastener’s flanges so they do not scratch a table top.
Create 2 sets of 12 discs. Use permanent markers and make the 2 colors easily distinguishable on the board. Note: You want the discs to easily slide over the board. If you paint your discs, they can become sticky or rough and will not slide as well.
How to Play Crokinole
Note: There any number of variations to this game. Visit World Crokinole Champion website for their “official” rules. http://www.worldcrokinole.com/thegame.html
Crokinole is played with 2 or 4 players. If there are 4 players, there are 2 teams of 2 players each.
24 small discs are used in 2 colors. Each team gets 12 discs of the same color. When 4 people are playing, each person gets 6 discs to shoot.
The game is played in “rounds”. Decide who goes first. After the first player is decided, play continues clockwise for future rounds.
The game board is placed in center of a small table. Players are seated around board. Team mates are seated directly across from one another. If there are only 2 players, they sit across from one another. Once the play begins, neither the board nor the players can move. Players must remain seated. No player can touch the board unless it is their turn.
The board is divided into 4 quadrants. Each player must shoot within their own quadrant. To shoot, a player places a disc anywhere on their starting line. Players use their index or middle finger rubbed across their thumb to flick the disc onto the board.
The first player tries to shoot its disc into the center hole. If the disc lands completely in the hole, the disc is removed from the board and the player receives 20 points for this disc when points are tallied at the end of the round. If any player’s disc goes off the board and into the “ditch” on any turn, it is removed from play, otherwise, the disc remains on the board and it is the next player’s turn.
The next player, and all future players in that round, must first hit an opponent’s disc or their own disc will be removed from play and put in the ditch. To hit an opposing player’s disc, their own disc can hit it directly or ricochet off any of the bumpers or other discs as long as their disc finally hits an opponent’s disc. If an opponent’s disc is not touched, the shooter’s disc in play, plus any of their own discs on the board that have moved, are removed from the board and placed in the ditch. When taking a turn, the player tries to knock an opponent’s disc into the ditch, land their own disc in the hole, or place one of their discs in a better scoring position.
When the round is finished, points are tallied.
Hole – any disc that went into the hole receives 20 points.
Inner circle – 15 points
Middle circle – 10 points
Outer circle – 5 points
Discs on lines receive the lesser point value and discs on the starting line receive 0 points.
Both teams add up their points. The team with the highest point subtracts the other team’s points from their own, and these are the points awarded to the team that won the round. For example, Team A receives 45 points, Team B receives 35 points. 45 – 35 = 10. Team A receives 10 points for that round.
Play continues until one team reaches 100 or other predetermined point count.