Monday, January 31, 2011

Playing Crokinole - Have I been following the rules?

My Crokinole Board
One thing I learned at OwlCon this year was that I was not playing Crokinole 100% correctly. I was not sure where the issue came from so I spent some time trying to figure things out. The three rules I was not playing correctly were:
  1. the ability to do a combo shot to hit an opponents piece. I have been playing that the first piece touched must be an opponents piece.
  2. the rule that when your opponent has no pieces on the board your shot must land at least touching the 15 point (center) circle.
  3. that you move pieces down to the lower score, not up to the higher when they are on the line.
Number 3 was plain and simple me not remembering correctly, and just going with what I thought was right. No excuses there, I was just doing it wrong. Number 1 and number 2 though are interesting. I had recently read the rules about shooting when the board did not have an opponents piece and it did not say anything about number 2. We were trying to decide if it was legal to try and land your piece behind a post so that your opponent has no shot.

I went back to my source for rules at the website of the guys who made my game board. Here is what I found out looking for these rules in particular. On number 1, the rules clearly state that:
Relay and carrom shots are allowed, but if an opponent's disc is not touched, then all of your discs that have been touched are removed to the ditch. This includes any of your discs that may have landed in the 20 hole. You are not required to strike an opponent's disc first.
Not sure how I missed that one. I am getting the impression that I didn't read the rules closely enough. On number 2 though, I don't find anything in the core rules of the game which states the shot must touch the 15 point line. However, there is a variant (common in tournaments) which states that:
Any free shot (there are no opponent's discs on the board) must come to rest entirely within the 15 circle or be removed from play. Any other discs you strike are unaffected. That is, if your access to the 15 circle is blocked by your discs, you may carrom your other discs toward the 20 hole, but your shooter disc must remain in the 15 circle or be removed. This rules is used in most tournaments.
I think this is a good alternate rule, even if it is not part of the official rules. The game really is not any fun if someone tries to just park pieces where they cannot be hit. I don't think it matches the spirit of the game. I would play though that as long as it is partially in the 15 point zone it will count. If it is not, the piece is removed to the ditch.

I checked a couple of other sites and the rules seem pretty consistent, I just needed to read more closely. I don't feel to bad though since there was another guy standing with us at OwlCon watching, and he had similar misconceptions about the rules. Looking forward to playing the right way!

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