Sunday, December 21, 2008

All Hail Crokinole!

On Friday afternoon I received a long-awaited, very pleasant surprise in the form of a "Crokinole" board dubbed "Blue Bayou" after the Ray Orbison song.  Crokinole is a game that was invented in Canada, or at least someplace North on the compass where long months are spent inside and where such games are conceived, refined and invented.  Or so I'm told...

 
Artsy Glamour Board

So, Crokinole is a game similar to shuffleboard that is played on circular, highly polished surface.  The object is to "flick" (with your finger) a small lacquered disc into a recessed hole in the center of the board and at the end of play have more of your 12 discs in scoring position than your opponent.  Surrounding the hole are 8 pegs that will confound you.  Further compounding the confoundment is that your opponent is compelled to hit one of your pieces with each of his IF you have a piece in play on the board. Game play alternates, one flick followed by another, until all pieces are exhausted.  Sound simple?  Well... it is, but there are some other rule nuances (such as you have to remain seated in one place for the duration of the game (can't position yourself for the optimum shot every time) and there is a fair bit of skill involved too. 

Kim ok'ed the board purchase in November and I contacted Stan Hilinsky of Maryland who makes them with his brother.  These are fine pieces of hand-crafted woodwork, and are priced as such. The Hilinsky Bros. have a huge gallery of images on their website at www.crokinoleworld.com.  Others make the boards, but after seeing one owned by my buddy Matt Kardos, I was dead-set on having a Hilinsky Bros. board.  The boards are in pretty high demand, so you either have to place a special order and wait until they get around to making it, or be damned ready to jump on a purchase if one should come available.  Luckily, Stan is pretty plugged into email and responds pretty fast to questions.  He knows you're serious when you PayPal him the cash.  LOL.

So far, the board has a prominent place in our living room and everyone is enjoying it very much.  We've had wicked competitions already and both Ethan and I are vying for the title of family champion.  Age & Guile baby...  ;-)

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