GAME OF QUOITS
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
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.
OF THE GAME.
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.
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.
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.
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.
AND THEIR MAKE-UP.
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.
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.
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.
WAY TO PITCH.
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.