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Canada invents a new game — introducing “crokicurl”!


Crokicul combines crokinole and curling. (Jaison Empson/CBC)

In January 2016 at The Forks in Winnipeg, the world was introduced to a brand new sport called crokicurl. This newly invented game combines the winter sport of curling with the board game crokinole! So what are these games, you ask? Let's find out.

What is crokinole?

a crokinole game board

A crokinole board. (Wikimedia/Alessio Sbarbaro/CC BY-SA 3.0)

Crokinole (say "croke-in-ohl") is a round wooden game board with small round discs also usually made of wood. It is believed to be invented in Tavistock, Ontario, in 1876 by Eckhardt Wettlaufer when he created the game for his son’s fifth birthday. The game is played by flicking the round discs from the outside of the board into the higher scoring rings in the middle of the board. The aim is to try to get the highest score by ending up with more discs on the board than your opponent. It takes some skill and using your discs to knock your opponent's discs off the board is fair game!

What is curling?

women's curling team on the ice

Curling at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games. (Wikimedia/Jonathan Pope/CC BY 2.0)

Curling is a sport where players slide heavy, round, polished, granite stones down a long sheet of ice towards an area that looks like a target. The goal is to get your stones closest to the centre of the target and using your stones to knock your opponent's stones out of play is fair game! Sound familiar? The earliest surviving reference of the game of curling dates back to 1541 in medieval Scotland, but the world's oldest curling stone dates from 1511.

So how do you get crokicurl?

the crokicurl rink at The Forks

The crokicurl rink at the Forks Plaza in Winnipeg, Manitoba. (Wikimedia/Taylorlarocque/CC BY-SA 4.0)

You take crokinole and put it together with curling and you get crokicurl — a life-sized version of crokinole played on ice using smaller, lighter curling rocks made of plastic. The plastic curling rocks are used because they are easier to use and have less distance to travel. Like the crokinole board, the play area of crokicurl has posts around the inner ring to make it a little more challenging.

How to play crokicurl

drawing of a crokicurl rink

A diagram of how people can play crokicurl by Public City Architecture. (Wikimedia/Taylorlarocque/CC BY-SA 4.0)

It's actually not that hard to play, but you'll have to find a rink (or make your own):

  • Split up into two teams of one or two players
  • Each team gets four rocks
  • Each player takes a turn throwing a rock, starting clockwise and alternating teams and players
  • Players are allowed to use their rocks to knock their opponent’s rocks out of play

Scoring points

  • Each ring is worth different points:
    • the outer blue ring is worth five points
    • the white ring is worth 10 points
    • the red ring is worth 15 points
    • the bullseye is worth 20 points
  • If a player lands in the bullseye, the rock is removed and put aside and the team adds the 20 points to their final score
  • If a rock is halfway between rings the team will get the points from the lower scoring ring
  • If a rock is more than halfway outside of the outer ring it doesn’t count
  • The team with the most points after throwing all four rocks wins!