So, you have got your Tracey Board, you have got your buttons and your wax. Now all you need is to understand the rules. So, you read and you read and you read you read some more, then you re-read and next thing you know, you are saying to yourself, Holy crap, how long have I been here? Man, I should have just watched that video. Yeah, you should have.
Rule 1 Getting Ready
A player or team’s initial order of play, colour of discs and seating position shall be determined by chance or by the organizers of a club or tournament. So basically, if you show up at a club or a tournament and you have never been there before, you do not need to worry about it, someone will guide you to what you need to do for where you sit and order of play.
As far as playing at home I will tell you how we decide, we look at each other and say you want to go first or you want me to go first? And yeah, we just pick our favourite colour and play. Make sure you stick around for the bloopers.
Rule 2 How to Play Crokinole
A round shall proceed as follows. Each player in turn proceeding clockwise around the board shall attempt to make a valid shot. We will go more in depth on that in just a minute. After each turn any 20 sunk shall be removed and placed in a designated area visible to all players. That is not visible. Now the rest.
And must remain there until the end of the round. At the end of the round the score on the board shall be counted with the 20’s before any discs may be moved.
That is just a courtesy thing, at the end of the round you make sure both you and your opponent agree as to whether one of you won or it was a tie or what the situation is before you start pulling buttons off the board. The player or team with the higher score shall receive two points and if the round is tied each player or team shall receive one point. The game shall consist of four rounds. The number of games in a match shall be determined by each separate tournament rules.
Rule 3 Valid Shot
Here is the official NCA definition of a valid shot. If any opposing discs are in play at least one of the shooter’s discs must strike an opposing disc either directly or by bumping one of his or her discs already in play into an opposing disc.
So, if there are any, if I am shooting green, if there are any blue on the board, I must contact at least one of those. And it does not matter if I do it directly or if I hit one of my own already in play into that disc. When I shoot a green button at some point must contact a blue button. It does not matter how it happens but contact must be made for it to be a valid shot.
The no hiding rule.
That is not what he means. This comes into play when there are no opposing buttons on the board. Either for the opening shot in the round or at some point when the board comes completely clear. If there are no opposing discs in play then the shooting disc or at least one disc struck during the shot must end up touching or within the 15 lines.
A 20 is within the 15 lines. So, what that means is it does not have to be completely inside it has to be at least touching. After I shoot it must be touching or anywhere. It needs to be touching or within that 15 line.
Now the second part of that where it says that something touched during so there are no blue buttons on the board, so there are no blue buttons on the board, it is my shot as green. I have got a whole video teaching you how to do a shot called the bump and run.
So, what happens during a bump and run is you bump your own button up into the 20. But let us say you do that and you mess up and you come up a little bit light. Alright So you bump that and it does not go in. In this case both of those buttons come off, or let us say you do this, you blow it right on through.
So, it went into the 15 but come back out. Neither of the buttons of mine that I touched ended up within the 15, both will come off. Even if one is within here if its already in the 15 and somehow, I made a horrid shot like that and both end up outside then they will both come off. Not a valid shot. At least one needs to end up within the 15.
Now here is a rule that can make a huge difference in any round of Crokinole. If on any turn a valid shot is not made then the shooting disc and all other discs that were struck including any 20s made shall be removed, considered out of play, and shall not score.
What that means like let us say there is a blue button on and I am shooting green, If I do this and bump my green went into the centre it does not matter it is not valid because I did not touch a blue button, my shooter and any of mine that I met are taken off the board.
Does not matter the situation if there is a blue one on and do not hit it then my green shooter as well as any green buttons that I contacted are in the gutter and do not count.
Rule 4 Singles
Opponents shall sit on opposite sides of the board from each other and have different colour of discs. Players shall each begin with eight discs and shall alternate turns. In each of the rounds in a game, players shall alternate starting.
So, if you and I are playing, I will start round one and three and you will start rounds two and four or vice versa but we will take turns, of the four rounds we will each start two rounds. In each subsequent round in the game, the obligation to start shall move one player clockwise around the board. In each of the games in a multi-game match between two players, players shall alternate starting each game. A single player is not allowed to be coached during play.
Drive that over there and drift 20.
So, in an NCA tournament and we get to the semifinal or final or any match in the tournament for that matter no player is allowed to be coached. Even if it is one of my kids playing, I am not allowed to tell them what to do. Now when we play at home, we absolutely coach each other and that is how we learn better and stronger strategy but in NCA play no coaching allowed.
Rule 5 Doubles
Partners shall sit on opposite sides of the board and play with the same colour of discs which shall be a different colour from the colour of their opponents’ discs. If a team is chosen to play first, the partners may decide which of them shall start. Players each begin with six discs.
That means that the team will have a total of 12 discs, six to each partner and let us say we are at the worlds and my partner and I are sitting across to each other and we have the red buttons and the officials determine that red starts then my partner and I have a quick chat and say do you want to start or should I start? It is up to us to choose who starts that round. In each subsequent round in the game, the obligation to start shall move one player clockwise around the board. In each of the games in a multi-game match between two teams, the teams shall alternate starting.
So as the play moves clockwise around the table there is four rounds in a typical NCA match, each player will have the opportunity or the obligation to start a round for a total of four rounds. A doubles player may only be coached by his or her partner during play.
So just like I said in singles, if one of my kids is doing well in the tournament or a close friend and they are playing in a final or a semi-final and I am watching that match, I cannot say a word. That should be here. I said no coaching.
I must keep quiet, the only person that can coach in a doubles match is the partner. They are allowed to discuss and deliberate any shot they want during the match if they are being respectful of the time limits in a timed match.
Rule 6 Scoring
This is the section of the rules that explains how the scoring works. If you are the type of person that would rather read and look at visuals, we have a blog post up at our website I will put a link in the description box below if you would like to look at more specific examples of how scores count at the end of a round.
But these are the official rules as they are written in the NCA. The centre hole shall count as 20, the regional rounded 15, the next region just outside the pad is 10 and the outer region is 5. A disc shall score the lowest value of any region on the board that it is touching. And what that means is that if it is touching two, if it is clearly touching the five and the 10 it will count as a five.
If it is clearly touching the 10 and the 15, it will count as a 10 so a count is the lower region if it is touching two regions. More on that in a minute. To score a 20 a disc must be completely in the centre hole and lying flat.
Is that a 20?
It is in the hole.
If it is not lying flat on the bottom it is not a 20 so it does not get removed and set off to the side, it counts as a 15. So, if it is seating here, it is what we call a leaner, if it is the end of the round it counts as a 15, if it is during play then play continues with that leaner in play so your opponent can knock at it.
If a disc is touching a line, not completely touching two sides but just touching a line, it scores the lower value of the two regions adjacent to that line. So, if it is here and it is just barely touching this line between the 10 and the 15 it accounts as a 10. Soon as it touches that line, it counts as the lower value. If a disc is lying flat on the board the determining factor in deciding whether it is touching a line is whether the bottom edge of the disc is over any part of the line not by where the edge of the disc appears to be when viewed from above.