So let's head outside again for a bit of gaming fun this week.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about horseshoes.
This week it's a somewhat simpler variation on the theme of horseshoes, although in its own way just as challenging.
Washers is a game so simple in its design you will wonder why it was not developed and popular years ago, although it seems to just recently have made inroads in terms of mass appeal, quite like because sets are now being carried by major department stores.
These sets come with everything required to play, two square boxes with a chunk of PVC pipe in the centre. These boxes are places several paces apart. Players then take the accompanying washes, yet basically big washers you can buy in a hardware store, and toss them from one box toward the other.
If the washer lands and stays in the outer part of the box it's a point. In the PVC pipe it's three points.
Of course if your opponent matches your throw they cancel.
The game is played one-on-one, or in two-player teams.
Now that is the basic game, and seemingly the most widely played, and one where someone handy in the wood shop could easily fashion their own set.
There are however a number of variant designs on the game, and that is somewhat confusing, and may be a little bit limiting in terms of 'tournament' play and the growth of Washers as a sport.
Some of the variants include the outer wooden box being a hexagon. They look nicer, but are of course not as simple to make.
Ideally the box should be round, and with molded plastics these days it should be quite possible. Such a design would make an outer landing equal.
Another design has a second, smaller PVC pipe inside the first. The problem in such a design is a washer landing inside the large pipe, but not the smaller is as much fluke as skill.
One other design has three holes on a longer board, with varying values. Again it seems flukes have greater value than they should.
The general rules have the boxes empty, and washers do bounce out a lot, ruining an accurate shot. So I am a proponent of filling the boxes part way with some sand.
As a game Washers is not as physically demanding as horseshoes, and a small magnate on a stick will pick up the washers easily and reduce exertion farther.
Overall, Washers is simpler to set up than horseshoes, not requiring a permanently placed pitch, and is quicker in preparation than a yard game such as Kubb reviewed last week.
It is a game all ages can play, and requires its own skill set, and is certainly competitive.
Among yard games a definite winner.
For more information check out www.washers.org or www.americanwashersassociationofamerica.com
If anyone is interested in this game, or other boardgames feel free to contact email@example.com
-- Review appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper July 18, 2012 - Yorkton, SK. Canada