In 2000 a sweet older sister asked me to come over and play a game of Crokinole with some of her friends. It was just a table for four players and we enjoyed the evening so much that she wanted to play more often.
By 2003 we decided to expand our games, so I agreed to set up two groups of four sisters each, and have a regular tournament. I also asked another sister to be a second hostess since a tournament runs two weeks in a row. All players come the following week to the second hostess’ home.
We decided to invite sisters with non-member husbands and those sisters that were single to be players in the Crokinole tournament. It would become a social event for them where they were free to laugh, play, eat, and enjoy each other’s company.
Maybe we should back up a bit and explain, for those who may be unfamiliar with the game, what Crokinole is.
The game of Crokinole originated in rural Canada in the 1860s. The earliest known Crokinole board was made by Eckhardt Wettlaufer in 1876 in Perth County, Ontario, and is now part of the collection at the Joseph Schneider Haus, a national historic site in Kitchener, Ontario.
Players take turns flicking their discs from the outer edge of the board onto the playing surface, which is usually done by flicking the disc with a finger. If there are any enemy discs on the board, a player must make contact, directly or indirectly, with an enemy disc during the shot. Scoring is based on proximity to the centre of the board, with 3 concentric rings worth 5, 10, and 15 points as you move in from the outside. There is a shallow 20-point hole at the center.
In our tournament, it is required for each player to be a partner with every other player in turns and points are collected individually. The tournament usually lasts for 3-4 hours with a 1/2 hour in between sets for snacks etc.
We always choose the month of February when the Halifax Temple closes for maintenance. It is a nice break in our Canadian cold winter and the snowy month of February.
Over the years, players have passed away, moved, or aged but there are always replacements. Comments from some of the players include:
Many years ago, we bought a Crokinole board for $5 at a yard sale and played with family. We didn't even know all the rules back then.
Some years later they needed a sub for the tournament and I got to play and learn more about it. I enjoyed it and hoped I would get called the next year.
After two years of being a sub, I became a permanent player. I love playing and getting together for fun and laughter with the sisters and it's something to look forward to in the middle of winter.
One special event, in my life, which takes place during the Temple two-week closure period, in February, is our Crokinole tournament. I began to play in the early 2000’s and have been with the group since then.
My game, after all these years, has not improved much. It isn’t how one plays the game, it is the sheer delight and the spirit we feel in each other’s company. It is a time for fun and hilarity, and when we get to know one another a little better, and a time to unwind from our daily chores and activities.
I have been a member of this group for four years. I was invited to replace a sister that was away, and I have been very fortunate to stay with the group since.
This is a very fun and loving group of sisters, and being new to the community, I was made to feel so welcome and loved. Now four years later, this Crokinole tournament is a highlight of winter.
How blessed I am to be a part of this loving group.
What can I say about the Crokinole tournament:
~ That I was honored to be asked to host the event a few times, and have these lovely sisters in my home.
~ That we all had the opportunity to put February’s dreariness aside and enjoy comradery, fun, delicious snacks and laughter.
~ That we grew to love and appreciate our sisters more as we grew to know and share their fun side.
YES! All of the above. I hope we can continue for many years to come.
I love to play Crokinole. I just wish we would play it more than once a year.
I love to come and play and I like to host the game. It all makes me very happy. I never laugh as much as at a Crokinole game. The players are all so much fun. The food is always yummy.
Playing in February breaks the monotony of winter a little bit.
I have had such fun being involved with the yearly Crokinole tournament. I have been involved over the last 6 years. Most of the time I was one of the spares because it always seemed that one of the regulars could not come on one of the days.
I do enjoy the conviviality of this event because it gives me a time to be with some of my sisters and feel of their sweet spirits in a setting other than church or serving in our callings. Over the years, it has helped solidify our friendships, and the support we feel bolsters one’s testimony of our sisterhood through Relief Society
Our event has evolved now so any player may choose to host the following year. This way we get to visit in our sisters’ homes.
We just finished our 2017 tournament. It is very hard for me to believe that I have been arranging this tournament for the last 14 years. We have plans for future tournaments for many years yet to come.
The ending to this story is rather remarkable: The High Priest Group and Elders Quorum decided to take up a Crokinole tournament this year, and they plan to make it a yearly event. They even went a step further by making a plaque with the winners’ names on it. They also included a non-member in their tournament.
We have brought out the ole Crokinole board in our home on many occasions in our lives. We have taught the game to the US temple missionaries that have come visiting throughout the years. We also have been having several senior family home evening groups that we attend quarterly. They all love a good game after the lesson and sometimes it is Crokinole.
Why do we play? For the love of the game and for the love of our sisters