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American Quoits 4 Pound Competition Weight Steel Quoits


















Spalding's Athletic Library, 1931

Municipal Playground Rules


This Spalding game manual was obtained from an internet auction in the spring of 2001.   It is a 1931 edition paperback entitled "Spalding's Athletic Library" which contains outdoor rules for Quoits, Horseshoes, Lawn Bowls, Bocce, and Shuffleboard. The Chapter covering Quoits contains the following introduction about the sport,  along with the rules for 3 variations of the game, each of which are posted on separate pages listed here under Historical Quoits References. 



Quoits and Horseshoe Pitching

Lawn Bowls

Also the Italian Game of "Boccie" and Rules for Shuffleboard

No. 86R


American Sports Publishing Company

45 Rose Street, New York, New York.

Copyright 1931

58 pages


PLEASE NOTE: The rules posted on this page pertain to a historical version of quoits which differs significantly from the modern game commonly played today.



Quoit pitching is regarded by players and others conversant with the game as one of the most attractive and healthful forms of recreation. Skill is a predominating feature, but to master the game strength, agility, nerve and good eyesight are necessary qualifications. While apparently not as fascinating or as popular as base ball or foot ball, the annual quoit events held under the auspices of the Grand National Curling Club of America are enthusiastically supported, and the rinks and players in many of the principal cities will compare favorably with those in Great Britain. In Scotland and in the north of England it is no uncommon thing to see thousands of spectators at a match between players of prominence, in which big stakes are depending on the result, and speculation upon the outcome of the different battles is a special feature.




No authority can be found that can state with any degree of certainty the year that quoit pitching was established, and it is also a doubtful matter whether the game is of English or Scotch origin. During the past fifty years it has steadily progressed in both countries, and the championship has alternated between representatives of each. Lancashire is probably the greatest stamping-ground for players in England, while Scotland places her dependence upon the characters of her experts in no par­ticular locality.  In America, New York, Brooklyn, Philadelphia. Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Newark, Paterson, Fall River, Providence and several other New England cities contain the best facilities for pitching and the cream of the players in the East, and Chi­cago, St. Louis, Denver and San Francisco in the West.




For the proper display of the beauties of the game a spacious and well regulated ground should be provided. Players should not be cramped, and spectators should receive every opportunity of witnessing the sport with comfort. The cut presented shows what a championship rink should look like. It is about eighty feet long and twenty-five feet wide. There is plenty of space outside of the actual pitching distance, eighteen yards, so as to secure the utmost fairness to the contestants.

The ends of the rink are circular and about three feet in diameter. Each end is filled with pottery clay of a stiff-sticking character so that when a quoit lands it is not easily removed by another quoit. Imbedded in the clay at each end are two iron pins, or motts, about forty inches long and one inch in diameter. They are driven into the ground until the head is even with the clay. The nearest point of a quoit to the pin only counts, and the measurement in all instances is taken from the center of the head of the pin.

In addition to the proper arrangement of the ground and ends, it is necessary that a player should have a set of quoits exactly suited to his tastes; a competent director, and a man to look after the condition of his quoits.




An expert is quite particular regarding the construction of his quoits, or "irons," as he terms them. If a set of quoits has been used a number of years, and an accident should befall them and he would be obliged to use another pair, no matter whether they were the exact model of the old ones, he would be apt to make a strong objection, and in nine times out of ten it would impair the value of his play.




In all important tournaments, in contests for big stakes, or in matches in which experts are involved, sixty-one points constitute the game. If the struggle is close the time occupied in finishing the game is between three and four hours. Besides the contestants other persons concerned in a competition are a referee, whose decisions are final; two judges, one for each player; a scorer, and a director. A contestant after delivering his quoit from one end should have nothing to do until called upon to pitch from the other end. It is his judge's duty to denote the position of his quoit at the pin, and if entitled to point to so claim it. All disputes between the judges are brought to the attention of the referee and his decision settles matters.  When a point is made it is placed upon a blackboard, which should be in view of almost every person on the ground.

Next to the contestants in point of prominence is a director or "lighter." A man well versed in the intricacies of this position is the life of a competition. His usefulness to the man he directs is shown in many ways - Matches are frequently won and lost by a competent or incompetent director. He should be man with a good disposition, yet prompt to take advantage of all technical points and see that his player has fair play. It is his duty to station himself at the opposite ends of the rink in use, and by means of a piece of white paper stuck in the clay direct his principal where to place the quoit. Besides this a director should possess the faculty of giving his man constant encouragement and to keep his mind free from the fear of defeat.




The attitude of a man at the mark goes a good way to prove whether he is an experienced quoit pitcher or not. Awkwardness is a great drawback to a person who is ambitious to become an expert, and while he may upon ordinary occasions be able to play a fair game, it would be impossible for him to test his strength with any degree of success against one who combines all the attributes of a skillful pitcher. To deliver a quoit correctly it is necessary to stand erect, with feet close together, the quoit firmly clutched and brought up to almost level with the eyes. After gauging the point to be reached, the arm should be thrown well back, and after getting the full swing, stepping out with the left foot, the "iron" should be sent to its destination.  The greatest obstacle in the way of a successful pitcher is the lack of courage. No matter how perfect the position may be, or how correct you may gauge the distance, without courage the quoit is very apt to leave the hand irregularly and land far away from the point aimed at.