Learning Quoits and other Garden Games

Billiards and pool both started as garden games. Garden games have evolved alongside the living conditions of the British and American working classes. Today there exist a plethora of garden and even table top games that can trace their roots back to leisure games that were played hundreds of years ago in the United Kingdom.

Some of these games have been modified to the point where they are not immediately recognizable as garden games, although they are still very well-known and commonly played. Consider billiards games for example.

Billiards games evolved from lawn games similar to croquet and were even originally played with mallet like cues. Today the felt covering on the billiards tables is traditionally green as a reminder of the green grass pitches and the heritage of the game.

There are even other games such as darts, ping pong, baseball, and even bowling that can all trace their lineage through the years back to garden games where a ball or some other object was thrown, tossed or hammered across a lawn towards a goal of some sort. One such garden game that has traditionally been played as a pub game is called quoits.

Quoits is probably easies, and more fun, to learn how to play than it is to learn how to pronounce for the first time. This game and its gameplay resemble the game of horseshoes, which is probably an Americanized rendition of this older pub game.

Quoits is played with a small patch of grass, the quoits, which are ringed pieces of wood, steel or weighted rope which can be thrown, and a target board which has a number of vertical pegs that the quoits are thrown towards. Points are scored by the players when the land a quoits on a peg that has number determining the point value near the base.

One variation of the game that is traditionally played in a pitch set up alongside a pub is called nine pins. In this game the target pins are set up evenly spaced in a three by three pattern inside a three foot square of soft clay. The quoits in this game are larger and made out of steel.

Since the quoits in this game are somewhat heavier than in other versions of the game there is an element of strength as well as skill. The point value of the pegs ranges for five to twenty five points.

During a shorter game, the first player to reach ninety points wins, but for a full length game one must reach two hundred and thirty points. In addition, the rule is traditionally set that the winning points must be scored exactly without going over to be valid.