What’s the game you know is going to be busted out the next time you’re at a family gathering? Is a football going to appear? A sprawling game of RISK? Maybe, just maybe, you pull out a seemingly endless supply of faux plastic instruments and channel your inner rock star?
In my family and at an array of Christmas parties around me the answer is Crokinole, a sort-of miniature combination of pool and curling, best experienced in a tournament setting.
The CBC’s explanation of the game in its “Beginners Guide to the Greatest Pastimes” series makes for a light read focused on answering questions like “what do you need to play” and “how do you play”, questions that are meaningless if the piece doesn’t first convince you that you must play.
Convince it does:
It was very popular in particular with Mennonite and Amish groups, as the game had none of the shady associations of billiards or card-playing. The Montgomery Ward Catalogue refers to this squeaky-clean image when it describes crokinole as “a new and intensely interesting game for everybody, with no objectionable features.”
No objectionable features! Imagine if that was said about your favourite social media platform!
This series, which includes entries on soccer, cribbage, and even singalongs is unlikely to win awards for hard-hitting journalism, but it makes for a relaxing, informative read when sitting on the beach.
You might just leave with a new pastime.