English Quoits - The Northern
the Long game is played in Wales and Scotland, the most popular Quoits
game in England is a quite different prospect. Not only is the
pitch significantly shorter and the quoits smaller and lighter but the
difference in scoring results in a more tactical game.
pitch consists of two soft clay squares 3 feet square delineated by a
wooden box, each of which has a hob (iron post) standing centrally 2 -
3 inches above the surface, the distance between the hobs being
exactly 11 yards apart.
quoit is usually made of iron or steel and the blacksmith hammers it
into a shape not dissimilar to the the bottom of a wine glass with a
hole in the middle of it. The size and weight of quoits varies
according to personal preference but they tend to be about five and a
half inches across and about the same number of pounds in
weight. The Northern rules stipulate that a quoit must be no
more than 8 1/2" in diameter, no more than 1 1/4" in height,
no more than 5lb 4oz in weight and the hole must be no more than 5
1/2" in diameter. A typical quoit weighs around 5 lbs and
measures about 5 1/2" across. The top surface of the quoit
is referred to as "the hill" while the concave underside
surface is called the "the hole".
to the way the scoring works, the maximum score for each end is 2
points. The winner is the player who reaches the score of 21
first. In a pub match, two teams of 8 play and each member
of a team is paired with an opponent. The total scores of both
teams are added to decide victorious team.
toss of a quoit decides who throws first. Instead of heads or
tails, one player chooses hill side up, the other hole side up.
After that, the privilege of the first throw alternates with the
end. Two points are scored for a "ringer", a quoit
which lands over the hob. If more than one quoit is a ringer,
only the top one scores - this is a key point for skilful players as
it means that tactically, it is not always good play to aim for a
ringer. Instead, it may be better for the player who throws
first to try to "cover" the top of the hob with a quoit
stuck in the clay at an angle. If all four quoits miss the hob,
a single point goes to the owner of the nearest quoit. A quoit
which lands so that part of it is covering the top of the hob (a
"cover") counts before a quoit which is touching the hob (a
"side-toucher"). Callipers decide disputes.