Quoits is a game played outdoors with heavy rings thrown at a pin. It has ancient origins and regional variations in rules. Players aim to land their rings closest to the hob, with the highest score being a “ringer.” The game can be played one-on-one or in pairs, with a limit of points agreed upon beforehand. Quoits is a fun and relaxed game, ideal for garden parties or competitive play.
There are numerous variations to the quoit rules, and people play quoit in slightly different ways, depending on the regions where they live. For people who attend games with people they haven’t played with before, it may be worth asking about the specific rules the host observes to avoid making mistakes or creating confusion. The game is played outdoors and involves throwing heavy rings at a pin known as a hob. It bears a number of similarities to horseshoes, and fans of these rival games occasionally have arguments over which sport came about first.
Quoits is an ancient game. Evidence of early versions of the game dates back to Greek and Roman times, but the game was highly refined in England, where it became quite popular in the 1300s. To play quoits, you need a field, a clear space for throwing, and at least a table; the axis is used to hold the hob in place. Traditionally, the boards are made from clay, but materials such as slate and sand can also be used. Rings can be made of metal, rubber, or stiffened string, and each player requires two to play quoits.
Opponents can play one-on-one, in pairs, or in other configurations. Players toss their rings so that they land as close to the hob as possible, with the highest scoring shot the one that lands on the hob. Known as a “ringer,” this scores between two and three points, depending on regional variations. If someone’s second quoit also plays the hob, their points are doubled.
A skinnier one leaning on the hob without making it ring is the next highest score. Next, scores are determined by which rings landed closest to the hob. The player with the closest ring wins one point, and if both of the player’s rings are closer together, he receives two points. Rings that fall off the board do not count.
Many people play 21-point quoits, although people can use any number of points as a limit for the game, as long as they agree beforehand. Tables are often marked with concentric rings to make it easier to determine which ring landed closest to the hob in case of disputes, and people classically use rings with hallmarks so that everyone knows who threw which ring. Like many lawn games, quoit can be quite fun and relaxed, making it ideal for a garden party, although people can also play quoit on a competitive level.