Get the OFF

Introduction

This week’s tip is in honour of the huge explosion that we have seen in the Crokinole community since June 28th when the Shut Up & Sit Down Crokinole review was released. With so many new players coming in to play the greatest game on earth, this week’s tip is going to teach you one of the most important skills that you need to learn and then continue to develop. Let us look.

The Setup

Now, before you get into this, a huge disclaimer. I am in no way suggesting that this tip is going to take you all the way to winning the world Crokinole championship. This is something that is just going to help you get a really strong foundation of your game.

Now if you start watching a lot of the fantastic coverage on the Crokinole Centre YouTube channel where you are watching the best of the best, go head-to-head. You watch some of those matches, and then you watch two beginners play against each other, there is a big difference that you are going to notice quick.

Pro vs Beginner

You see those high-level players that I mentioned, when a round is done or any time during the round, you will notice that the board stays quite clean. And what I mean by that is that there is not a lot of buttons left hanging around on the board.

They are constantly getting their opponent’s button knocked into the gutter and completely out of play.

Whereas you watch two beginners play, and as the round goes on, it just seems to get more and more crowded, and it just clusters things up, and it does not look as clean and as tight.

So, as beginner players, what I am going to encourage you to focus on is, above all else, do what we call, get the off, get your opponent’s button off the board, at all costs. And when I say at all costs, what I mean is, I do not really care if your shooter stays on the board or not.

And you are sitting there watching this, you are going, “Oh c’mon, Jeremy, if you don’t keep your shooter on, then your opponent is just going to drop an open 20.” If you are playing against a high-level player, I agree 100%. The average new beginner player of Crokinole is not going to have an 80% success rate in their open 20’s.

So, all I am suggesting is if you have beginner player A playing against beginner player B. And beginner player A is really focused on always getting the off, get the off, get the off. I am suggesting that nine times out of 10, they are going to win that round.

Highest value target while getting the OFF

And it gets a little more, a little more strategic at this point. Let us say you are not doing the most, you are not doing as good a job getting the off as you would like and as the round wears on, you end up with three of your opponent’s buttons on the board.

What our natural inclination is, when we are looking at the board, is we say, “What’s the highest value button that my opponent has on the board?” So, you look at this board as it laid out right now, and we have a five, we have a 10, we have a 15. So, just naturally, you think well, I need to get that 15 off the board, that is what is going to give me the best chance to win. But when we look at this, it is nearly impossible to get off the board.

So, what I am going to suggest you experiment with and see how this works for you, when you are looking at a board with several of your opponent’s buttons in play, here is the question I am going to encourage you to ask yourself.

“What is the highest value button that my opponent has on the board that I know I can get off?” And I am confident that I can get that button off the board. In this case, I would suggest that that is the 10. It is in the open and you can easily get at that, you should be able to get off.

Now another situation we will look at. Let us say your opponent’s button is on the far side from you in the 10, and you have even got a five right on your side of the board. I would still encourage you to take the five because you know you can get that. And as a beginner, working your way through the pegs may not come that easily to you.

And as you get better, you are going to be able to go after more and more complex shots, but for now. Step one, focus on get the off. Step two, get the off that is most advantageous to you that you are very confident that you can go after.

I will guarantee you when you apply this, you will see yourself beating all the other beginners that you sit down across as you get your board out and introduce even more people to the greatest game on earth. Have fun and make it a great day.

Jeremy Tracey is playing a game of Crokinole on a red Crokinole wooden board.

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