Crokinole has such a beautiful history! Eh?
sarahopatrick <sarahopatrick <at> yahoo.com>
2010-08-21 06:42:16 GMT
The earliest known crokinole board was made by craftsman Eckhardt Wettlaufer in 1876 in Perth County ,
Ontario , Canada . Several other domestic boards of southwestern Ontario origin dating from the 1870s
have been discovered since then. Crokinole is often believed to be from Mennonite or Amish origins, but
there is no factual data to support such a claim. The reason for this misconception may be due to its
popularity in the Mennonite and Amish sects. The game was seen as a rather harmless fun - unlike the
perception that diversions such as card playing or dancing were devil's work as held by many 19th century
In 1899, Crokinole was revolutionized by what is still known today as "Eagan Opening". Tottenham, Ontario
's Thomas Eagan developed a complicated, hybrid, 3-turn opening sequence that confused, and ultimately
defeated, many of Perth County's best players. The Eagan Opening has never been published, but appears to
have been transmitted generation to generation by descendants of Thomas Eagan via word of mouth. What is
known is that on the initial shot, the "20" is missed intentionally, with the disc being left on the edge of
the 20-hole. Then, depending on the response of the opponent, the second or third shot is left behind the
players left-front peg, which requires absolute precision to eliminate by an opponent. Even if the
opponent was able to "break through" the Eagan Opening, which the
Eagan family themselves were the experts at, it is often caused such mental exhaustion that it ended in
defeat over the course of the game.
In the late 1940's, a crokinole playing family from Northeastern Newfoundland named The Fitzgeralds
visited Tottenham on cross-country journey. They introduced the Eagans to the "Coachman Screen" which
deliberately slowed the pace of the game by lulling the the disc to the 5-point area of the opponent's
cross-side. The Eagan and the Fitzgerald families soon learned that the Eagan Opening and Coachman
screen, when used together, made them virtually unbeatable. Inside the local church, after Catholic
mass on Sunday morning, they taught each other angles and the succession matrix of each technique.
The name "Crokinole" comes from the word "croquinole, Quebec French for "cake" (or "biscuit" in British
English). Crokinole is called knipsbrat ("peek-board") in German speaking Mennonites minima.
In 2006, a documentary called Crokinole was released. The world premiere took place in the Princess Cinema