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Garden Skittles Set
A game combing both skill and fun can be found in this game of Skittles. See how accurate your bowling is by trying to knock down all of these skittles in one go. Children love this family favourite game which will give hours of fun, excitement and entertainment.
All the parts supplied are conveniently packed and stored in a Nylon carrying bag (along with handles) making this easy to transport so that you may play literally anywhere including the garden, park or even on the beach. Just put in the car for hours of fun.
Enjoy those long summer days and evenings playing with all the family and friends playing some great outdoors games. From the younger member of the family to the older family member, everyone can have fun playing skittles with this great garden skittles game.
| The aim of this traditional bowling game is to knock all the skittles (10) down with as few attempts as possible.|
Garden Skittles Set Includes:* 10 Polishes Hardwood Skittles - 22 cms (8¾") high
* 3 Hardwood Balls
* Lightweight enough to carry around
* Packed in a Nylon Carrying Bag with carrying handles
Fun to play our garden skittles set is just part of our large range of Garden Games and Giant Garden Games that will give many hours of fun for all the family, so why not take a look and see what else you might like playing.
The Rules of Playing Skittles:
Need to know the Rules for Playing Skittles?
The History of Skittles:
Reproduced with kind thanks to Trad Games.org.uk
Skittles or Nine Pins has long been played in the Inns of England. In general, players take turns to throw wooden balls down a lane at the end of which are several wooden skittles in an attempt to knock them all over. There are a number of skittle games across England and there have been many more in the past. In Germany, in the 3rd or 4th century monks played a game with a kegel which was a club carried for self defence. In the game, the kegel represented a sin or temptation and the monks would throw stones at it until they knocked it over. The modern German term for skittles is Kegelen.
There are two 14th century manuscripts which show a game called club Kayles (from the French "quilles" or skittles) and which depict a skittles game in which one skittle is bigger, differently shaped, and in most cases positioned so as to be the most difficult to knock over. The throwers, in the pictures, are about to launch a long club-like object at the skittles underarm. The large skittle is presumably a king pin as featured in some of the modern versions of skittles. The fact that the thrower is not using a ball is not at all unusual - the Skittles cousins, Aunt Sally, and various games played on a court in Northern Europe still uses a baton shaped stick to chuck at the doll and many modern skittles games throw a object called a "cheese" instead of a ball. A cheese is any "lump" which is used to throw at the skittles and shapes can vary from barrel shaped to, well, cheese shaped, really.
It seems that for many centuries right through to the present day, there have always been a bunch of different skittles games being played. Information is sketchy until the 1700s but the game of Closh or Cloish frequently appears and later on the game of Loggats turns up. Joseph Strutt tells us that the skittles were often made from bones and in a play from 1860, one of the characters has the immortal line "I'll cleave you from the skull to the twist and make nine skittles of thy bones".
Some pictures of the 18th and 19th centuries show a player throwing or rolling the ball or cheese while standing right next to the pin diamond. This is usually not a mistake or an illustrative convenience; in fact many games allowed the players to first aim from distance and then take their final throw at point blank range. This last technique is called "tipping" and this form of the game may still be seen today in France.
Come the early 1800s, Strutt lists the following five as the primary forms of the game:
* Nine Pins
* Dutch Pins
* Four Corners
* Rolly Polly
It is interesting that skittles and nine pins were definitely different games at this time (1800). Nine-pins was played at an agreed distance and was a test to see who could knock down all the pins in the least number of throws. Skittles, by contrast, involved both throwing at distance and "tipping" (see above) and was simply scored by counting the pins toppled, the winner being the first to reach a certain total.
Dutch Pins also involved both rolling from distance as well as "tipping" but was distinguished by the use of finger holes in the balls, by the pins being taller and thinner and by the use of a kingpin - a single skittle that stood higher than the others and was usually required to be knocked over first.
Virtually all forms of modern English Skittles (except one) feature projectiles being propelled from one end of an alley in an effort to knock down nine pins stood in a square at the other end. That is about all that many of the games do have in common, though, and over the years, Skittles developed regional variations in skittle size and shape, skittle alley length, use of a kingpin, size and shape of the balls/cheeses and the rules began to vary quite radically across England. One of the most marked divisions is in the method for actually throwing the balls or cheeses. In London, the heavy cheese is flung full toss directly at the skittles, over in the West country balls are rolled down the full length of the alley while in the midlands the Long Alley game usually requires the cheese or ball to bounce a single time before hitting the skittles.
West Country Skittles:
Western Alley Skittles is the most popular and basic version of Alley Skittles wherein 9 skittles are arranged in a square at the end of an alley. The alley is around 24 feet long and each turn starts with all the skittles standing and consists of three throws down the alley. If all the pins are knocked down, then they are all reset. So the maximum score in one turn is 27.
There are variations from town to town and even pub to pub as to the further details. For instance in Dorset, back boards are installed at the end of each alley. This allows players to use the trusy "Dorset flop" technique wherein the back board is used to 'launch' a player from squatting position down the alley at which point both hands propel the ball towards the skittles! In the Bridport League, apparently only the middle pin is re-erected once all nine have been toppled giving a maxiumum score of 11. Balls can be made from a variety of hardwoods although Lignum Vitae is the traditional favourite. Many leagues these days insist upon heavy rubber balls. This author's research has discovered 4 main types of pin as follows:
Most people have come across this game at some time or other and that's one of the most remarkable things about it. It is an enormously popular game, it's heartland spreading from Devonshire across the South of England to Wiltshire, Northwards through Gloucestershire and into some parts of Wales. Although London Darts is probably the most popular pub game in Britain, Darts is an organised televised sport with a single set of rules and much promotion. It is therefore remarkable that Western Skittles is probably the second most popular pub game in England given that there are so many disadvantages set against it:-
* It takes up a lot of valuable pub space;
* There are no generally accepted rules and in fact a myriad disparate variations exist,
* It has no overall organising body,
* And consequently no advertising and little media interest;
* Furthermore the equipment is pretty expensive and has to be renewed on a regular basis (some skittles leagues need 2 sets of pins each season).
The only answer to this quandrary is obvious - the game is still played by large groups of enthusiastic followers because it has the key hallmarks of a successful game in spades - easy to learn, difficult to master and great fun for beginners and experts alike.
Long Alley Skittles:
In the Midlands, people play Long Alley, a skilful game in which the pitch is generally around 33 - 36 feet long and the projectiles are flung the length of the alley and must bounce once before hitting the pins! To add to the challenge, most Long Alley games feature a Kingpin which must be hit first or else no score is counted... Local variations aside, Long Alley itself appear to be split into two main varieties.
Around Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, they play with shaped skittles and balls, traditionally made from applewood and have a line across the alley to ensure that the ball has to bounce a single time before ploughing into the skittles. Usually a piece of tin is laid on the alley floor just in front of the all-important line so that any balls that don't quite make it bounce with a clang to indicate the illegality.
In Leicestershire, barrel shaped cheeses are thrown and the skittles are tapered and relatively thin. Experts use the eccentric shape to produce clever angles upon the bounce and thus can topple skittles in arrangements that would not be possible with an ordinary ball.
It can be argued with some merit that Long Alley is a closer game to old English Skittles than the more common Western Skittles due to the fact that the ball or cheese is thrown rather than rolled. The Old English game regrettably has almost died out but that brings us now to London Skittles...
Old English Skittles or London Skittles is a majestic game in which the alley is around 21 feet, the bomb-shaped pins are 14 1/2 inches high, 6 1/2 inches across the middle (3 inches diameter at either end) and weigh 9 pounds. The discus-shaped cheese, too, is enormous varying from 8 1/2 to 12 inches in diameter and weighing between nine and twelve pounds but none-the-less, the cheeses are thrown in order that they hit the skittles directly without touching the floor first.
Of all the modern games, this is the game with the oldest pedigree. Illustrations from centuries ago show pins of exactly the same form and similar cheeses being hurled down the length of the alley in the same way. The author has played and can vouch that it needs a fair show of strength and control to deliver the cheese to the front pin in the correct fashion.
The game is now very rare but can still be played at the famous Freemasons Arms in Hampstead. Often under threat of closure, we can but hope that this last bastion of real Old English Skittles can be maintained for the future.
In 2007, the author was delighted to discover that the old game of Four Corners that previously had only been known to him from 200 year old books is still being played in Bristol. It is apparently a regular feature at the Bishopsworth Legion Club where it has been played for around 25 years. The author is indebted to Bob Scott, vice-chairman who sent the following information:
The rules are based upon normal ninepin pub skittles with the exception that we only play with the 4 corner pins ie front pin, back pin and the two copppers (outside pins). Its normally played on an individual basis as opposed to a team competition and is "front pin first" - no pins count until after the front pin is hit. We have 18 players in our league and play each other once over 17 Sunday lunchtimes during the winter. If pins are hit before the front is hit and the 4 pins fall with the third ball left then only the pins hit after the front was hit are replaced.
Further information surfaced to indicate that another Four Corners league exists around the pubs and clubs of Hartclffe and Withywood districts of Bristol. Plus it seems that the Portishead and Pill and District League, North Somerset play Four Corners too using the "front pin first" rule. It appears that Four Corners is alive and kicking in the West Country.
An unusual game called Rolly Polly or Half-Bowl is or used to be played in England in which a bowl with huge bias is used. The ball was rolled at 12 pins in a circle, the catch being that the bowl must go past the circle of pins and another pin a bit further away before returning, due to the bias, in the reverse direction. The game can be thought of as a version of Table Skittles played on the floor with the bias replacing the need for the suspension of the ball on a pole and some have speculated that this is how Rolly Polly originated. It seems more likely, however, that the biased ball is just an alternative solution to try to reduce the amount of space needed for the skittles game. Recent information suggests that the game is in fact of Belgian origin. Both a skittles variant as described above and a Bowls game called Rolle Bolle have been reported. The latter involves sending large disks with a large bias in an effort to get them close to a stake at the other end of the game area.
The Irish have their own version of skittles - a unique traditional 5 pin game. The pins are stood on a circle with one in the middle and are aimed at with 4 batons. To score, you must not only knock the pin over but must knock it out of the circle.
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