I recently began a meandering journey that began with only a few innocent questions. It began when I got my Mayday Crokinole board and started introducing a game to my family that I'd played as a child in Europe and had long forgotten. On the BGG Crokinole forum, many of us were asking questions about wax, action of discs (Mayday specifically and in general), concave/convex (C/C) vs flat discs, who made the best, and whare to buy them. I ran into many assumptions and much misinformation; and, what should have been an easy thing to resolve quickly turned into a mass of convoluted confusion. Leaving aside how I finally arrived at the end, here is what I found out.


-"Willard" makes the boards used at the WCC and delivers the boards (and associated discs) to "Crokinole Depot" (who supplies the WCC).
-"Crokinole Depot" delivers the "Willard" boards ONLY to the WCC along with THEIR OWN C/C discs. The "Willard" discs are held back and sent out with the used WCC boards when they are sold.

*The WCC uses "Willard" boards, only.
*The WCC uses "Crokinole Depot" C/C discs, only.

-"Willard" advertises on his site that his discs are the ones used at the WCC. Please understand that Willard J. Martin (at "Willard") was making a very honest and logical assumption that his discs were being used at the WCC since they were being ordered with his WCC used boards. They are not, but it was simply a humbling misunderstanding between him, the WCC, and Crokinole Depot (the actual and ONLY supplier to the WCC). "Crokinole Depot" said that "Willard" discs MAY be used, at some time, in the future.


One of the people that I was fortunate enough to contact was Brian Cook. He was very instrumental in steering me in the right directions to find out what he was also unaware of, - that the "Willard" discs are NOT the ones being used at the WCC, but the ones from Crokinole Depot", instead.


Is there anything that the NCA can do about standardizing the discs used in the upper levels of competition. Statements of so-called facts are being thrown in forums (and Crokinole sales sites) all over the internet that are simply not true. Standardizing the tournament accessories would be a HUGE help.


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In the cash games I play in - nothing big, usually $10-$25 per game - everyone brings their own board and discs. Then, between you and the opponent you're matched up against, you flip a coin and decide which board/discs to use. The result is exactly what Ray said: a home rink advantage type of thing for the winner of the coin flip. I know I've got a lot more confidence playing on my cheap old board with my cheap old discs because, dammit, they're mine! The woman that runs the thing said she did a study for half a season and the advantage wasn't as big as one might expect. I think she said the board-owner won 55% of the games, which is statistically significant, but in my opinion utterly unimportant. And golly people, isn't the point to have fun?

I am against standardizing all of the boards, all of the discs, and any other factors you can think of when it comes to crokinole - competitive or friendly, whether it's for a "championship" or not. I personally like the way we do it out here on the Prairies. I love to see all the different boards and sometimes there are great stories to go along with them too!
I love the hockey ice rink analogy Ray made. Crokinole boards are already fairly standardized in upper level competitions, as in "regulation" hockey rinks. Problem is, especially in upper level competition, isn't the equipment standardized, too? Hmmmmmm?
One last thing, again using the "ice rink" analogy. From peewee leagues, to school leagues, to college, regional, and professional leagues, there are basic standards already in place, to protect the integrity of the game. As one advances through the ranks, equipment standards and specs increase, not decrease. This is entirely normal and to be expected. Looser standards at lower levels of play, higher standards at higher levels of play. This is for many reasons, not the least to even the field amongst the best, allowing their talents to shine through opposed to gradient equipment. The last hockey game (of this level) that I went to, I'm pretty sure the teams were having fun, - a LOT of fun. I, honestly, fail to understand the logic of not raising the standards of the Crokinole (at upper level, only) for the reasons ALL other competitiions do. Sure, there are, and should be, different manufacturers. Still, they ALL follow the specs for the different levels of play. Little wooden discs, should be SO simple. Maybe, I'm just expecting too much, too soon.
Golf would be boring if every course in the world was identical. Maybe you should focus on your game instead of blaming the discs? The best crokinole players are those that can adapt to different boards and different discs. Ever notice how the NHL home teams seem to "guess" where the puck is going to bounce better than the visiting teams? Do you really believe all NHL rinks are the same just because they're all 85x200?

I can't imagine world class curlers saying, "If they can't get the ice surface the exact same every game, then there's no credence to a championship."
You analogies of a golf course, the ice surface in curling, and ice rinks, actually relate to Crokinole's boards, NOT the equipment (discs). Gof clubs must fall within the specs (at league level), same with curling. The "official" professional ice rinks playing surfaces are within specs, as well. So, you're analogies are cute but not logical.
I belong to the Hamilton Club and this is how we host a tournament and why. Once we decide upon a date, we figure out how many people we can accomodate. Then we have to find the 3 most important items which are all cost related and we simply do the best we can afford. These items are crokinole boards, discs, and (probably the most crucial and overlooked) good card tables. An uneven table is way worse than cheap discs in my opinion and more common a problem. Last season I noticed it a few times, but you do the best you can, and no one ever really complains about it.

It all boils down to money in the end, and I'd rather pay $20 to $25 for a tournament with home supplies than $100 for rented equipment.

By the way, I think we hosted one of the best tournaments last year, with a lot of help from the Toronto Club as well.
Finally! I totally agree, 100%, on all points. This is the primary reason that I previously said: 1) that I was probably expecting too much too soon, and 2) it should only (eventually) be expected, by degree, at the upper levels of competition. It usually pays out this way in other sports and competitions, as well, and for the same reasons.
I've been gnawing on this discussion for a bit and your disc dilemna brings up a real good point for NCA competitions. While it might not be feasible for each club to buy 30 new sets of competition (Tavistock) quality discs, it certainly would be feasible for NCA Admin to do this, and they could bring them to each tournament. Also, at this quantity, they could probably get a good discount.
What say you Lords of the NCA?
Brian, I think it's very telling that your colleagues haven't replied to your question. I think I gave enough time for any one of them to reply, and none has cared enough to do so. As I said previously, it may be too much to expect, too soon. Thanks for caring enough to consider the premise of the thread and to contemplate and present a solution. The lack of even a whimper from the top is possibly, and unfortunately, to be expected. Thanks, again, but the game may just have to grow beyond them.
Alright, I don't consider myself to be the "top" of the game or to much knowledge or say in the game of crokinole, but that last comment by Lee begs for a reply.

First of all, I find it insulting, and quite an exaggeration, that one may suggest that "none has cared enough" to respond. "The lack of even a whimper from the top is possibly, and unfortunately, to be expected. Thanks, again, but the game may just have to grow beyond them." I know the people that work so hard to create and maintain the NCA. They are busy people with many other things that they could have devoted their time to, and have chosen to volunteer their time to growing the game they care about so much. If it was not for them, this association, website, and particularly, this discussion, would not be going on right now. Also, I would say this discussion has been quite successful, it has the most replies out of any discussion on the site. No one cares, I think not.

My opinion, does not speak for the NCA committee whatsoever, but I think the idea of regulating all types of buttons is a non-issue. For years, crokinole tournaments were played on all different types of boards, and buttons. Only the WCC, NCA and a few other clubs have achieved the feat of providing similar, certified, and quality boards for all of play. It is not easy to find two of the same hand-made products, and I think those in crokinole have done an outstanding job of providing these boards for all play and competition. And let's provide some clarification on the button situation. The WCC uses virtually all of the same buttons for all of play. The NCA, at least once, possibly several times more, has borrowed buttons from the WCC and used those same consistent buttons for tournaments. I think the best crokinole players adapt to different situations, and making all of the boards and buttons even more consistent with each other would take away from a major aspect in the game.

Lee and I have had our scraps, but I respect him, his passion for the game, and his ideas. In fact, I will humbly admit that Lee won our own little debate on disc standardization.

There was nothing that Lee said that you should have found "insulting" or an "exaggeration". People like you that anoint yourself part of the Crokinole Royal Family apparently can't believe others would have the audacity to challenge your myopic points of view on the game. I'll let you in on a little secret. There is a lot more to the crokinole universe outside of the Greater Tavistock Area. Your regional Tavistock tournament is impressive and it has helped place an important spotlight on a great game. But it's just that: a nice, regional tournament. Nothing more. The people that show up from out of the area - even those from other countries - are really just relatives or friends of other participants. You're not fooling anyone.

Nathan, if you care about the game, stop bullying people like Lee who have ideas on how to improve crokinole. It's especially hard to take you seriously when you call discs buttons. :)
I sincerely apologize for possibly having offended or insulted anyone with my last comment. I, like many others, love the game and want it to grow to a much greater level, and I know realize that shooting down ideas is not the way to do so.
Again, I am sorry if I have offended anyone.



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