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Quoits

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Continued from product description on Traditional Games' Page Four...

Historical Background: The game of quoits may have evolved from ancient Greece, where athletes enjoyed throwing a discus for competition. Peter Brown, president of the National Quoits Association, believes that the Greeks passed quoits to the Romans as a weapon of war. His theory continues with the thought that the Romans brought the game to Britain. He even suggests that the origins of the game go back to the Minoan Empire circa 2000 B.C. because the boy king of Knossos evidently used quoits as a weapon on slaves if they tried to escape.

Quoits was made illegal in 1388 by Sporting Regulations, but by the 15th century, it had become a favorite organized sport in English pubs and taverns. The first official rules for the game of quoits were printed in the April, 1881, edition of The Field in northern England. The National Quoits Association was formed in 1986.

There are several different games of quoits being played in England today: The Northern Game, The Long Game, East Anglian Quoits, and Sward or Lawn Quoits. Sward Quoits is played with a clay square to which the stake or hob is set in, but it can become muddy and difficult to maintain. Many people happily adapt this game and its rules for backyard play with the hob or stake set in the grass.

Quoits was played during the American Revolutionary War by both British and Continental soldiers to pass the time. It has been said that the game of horseshoes was derived from quoits because some people could not afford to have quoits made, so they used what was similarly available: old horseshoes!

Miniature versions of indoor quoits were played near the Welsh-English border for at least a century. It seems that the game was invented toward the end of the 19th century, but the history of indoor quoits is not really known. A game called Rings was played in Northern England. Now, many variations of the game exist. "Deck quoits" were made from rope and used on cruise ships. "Rope quoits" is probably the same game and is popular in Australia. English and Welsh descendants in parts of Pennsylvania play the game with the hob set at a slight angle on a slate board instead of a clay bed because they resided in "the slate belt."

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Quoits
Quoits
Item Number 3012

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