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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I don't think anyone is really offended. It's nice to see some opinions and I wish more people would express their ideas. This string is probably the best one yet, and that's kinda sad in a way. I'm glad you spoke up Nathan and its good to know that the NCA does supply the discs. I never knew that. I do think that the discs at Tavistock are flatter or smoother and better than mine which seem the same as most places. You do occasionally get a real thin one or one that looks like a rat was gnawing at it at tournaments which is kinda weird. It would be nice to see an impression on the side of a disc to let you know the make and model of the disc. I think it could be located in a spot that wouldn't effect the disc. I've tried to make the perfect disc a few times, but haven't developed a winner yet, but I'll let you know if i do.
BTW Nathan, did you ever get a video with commentary published yet? I'd really like to see it if you do.
No need to apologise Nathan!,
People such as Dorothy and Lee are probably fairly new to the game. Therefore they didn't know
that the crokinole playing pieces were called buttons for sixty years or better - before it became
fashionable to call them discs. ( I thought discs is something they throw in Highland Games competition)

I would like to see some credibility and a proven track record from those who enter this discussion,
otherwise I am inclined to think they are exploiting this web site and not promoting the game of crokinole at all.
eg: What major tournaments do they attend south of the border or elsewhere?
It would be interesting and helpful to know how widely the game is played in different States.

Thanks anyway for your interest and input.

Howard
Howard, I really don't think someone's league experience, or lack thereof, gives validity to their comments. Yes, it is a "type" of factor, but an intelligent remark or question...is just that. I don't think anyone needs to give their etiology of experience within the Crokinole "world" for their opinions to be considered credible, - actually, it would be considered "elitist" to do so. I think the "clique" attitude is possibly part of the problem. Many players, around the world, some who have been playing far longer than those with "a proven track record," often have the most to contribute. That is, of course, if anyone is willing to listen.
I will add only one last thing. I was invited into this forum by Brian Cook who said he considered my questions and points interesting and suggested I present them here. I don't think he or I were contemplating "exploiting" this site, the game, or any individuals,...at all. I DO think that he and I were sharing a common interest, love, and admiration for Crokinole and all players, everywhere. If you want to know my motivations, try asking instead of insinuating. If I'm not welcome here, if there can be no suggestions profered by any than the inner circle, if defensiveness is the standard that governs this site, then it is not what Brian led me to believe it was.

FYI, I was first introduced to Crokinole in 1957 by a Turkish noble that looked to be about 100 (from my perspective as a kid). He took the time to play me a few games weekly at some social club my father belonged to. Thereafter, I lived in India, Morocco, Germany, and England. I played in other countries, as well, but did not live in them. I ran into other people that played, or introduced my friends to it, or played my father. I played, by varying degrees, over the next 30 years. I layed off Crokinole for the next 20 years due to various factors, primarily business travel. I ended up, of all places, in Missouri, - no clubs or local players, yet. My sons are 12 and 14 (yes, I'm a moderately old fart with young kids). I am a widower, I like to stay at home for vacations. I've homeschooled my sons for the last 5 years, We have no family other than each other (we're happy), I am American by birth - as my parents were, I was a virtual stranger to my country until later in life, I've know those who were of the Elite - and those who thought themselves so, I played on many boards that looked a little different than those now used, we called the discs "buttons" then, in India most played Carrom - and a little Crokinole. We play other board games, as well. That's all I choose to share of my "credentials."
If I may steer this conversation back to the subject of 'standards in crokinole' for a moment- I think Brian makes a very good point about the NCA getting a standardized set of discs to be made available for any tournament they are involved in.
(Sorry I didn't put my two cents in sooner but Brian's reply didn't show up in the main list of entries so not everyone noticed it - I think that when Lee pointed out that there wasn't the usual 'Reply to This' button that might indicate some glitch somewhere.)
Anyway, the NCA did try to use the WCC equipment in the first year but transporting to and from Tavistock was just not feasible. The solution was that each tournament hosted by a club would look after its own equipment and suggested that, since a lot of players who would attend probably had a board that was of similar specs and quality to that used in Tavistock, tournament organizers could appeal to participants to bring a board. So far that's worked out pretty well.
However, while most people will give their board a polish now and again, is there anybody out there who enjoys polishing discs. I can feel my hands begin to cramp up at the very thought. And yet it can make big difference to how the discs perform. I mean think about it, what gets the most handling and therefore suffers the most wear and tear?
The board?
No, it's the discs.
Even if you are fastidious enough not to eat and play at the same time - not so easy when you're trying to get in a friendly game at family gatherings over holidays - but just the sweat and oils on your skin ends up transferred to those discs. No wonder people like to have a bit of that shuffleboard wax handy to keep the play consistent. It's either that or polish the discs.
So even if the boards people bring match a certain standard. The discs could be quite variable. Who knows where they come from (Where do most, or 'the best' discs, come from anyway?) Are they new or are they old? Are they a mixed set? Hey, discs get lost, you replace them as best, or with whatever, you can ( still I've never seen any actual, real, buttons replacing discs yet, at least not at a tournament). And even if they don't get lost when they go flying off the board, do they go nest with the dust bunnies behind the rad, have they been recovered by the dog or the cat, have they been stepped on? Hmmmm, nevermind where those discs come from, more importantly, where have they been?
Yes, for a number of reasons, I will definitely mention this at the next meeting.

Anybody have suggestions on an efficient way to mass polish a big bucket of discs?

So, standard discs might be very possible. Boards? Well we can't afford to buy that many and it's not practical to transport them from tournament to tournament - and we've come up with a reasonable workaround that's succeeded so far.

What was that last thing again? Oh yeah, tables. Just like boards, they would be a pain to transport and whose to say, no matter how level they are, that the floor they rest on is evenly flat. I have an idea for that though. How about a bag of wedges to level out the boards? That should be an even cheaper solution than discs.

Anybody know the quickest way to check if a board is level? I heard someone mention once that setting a marble on the board to see which way it rolls is a good way but do we need the board to be that absolutely flat?

your thoughts will as always be gratefully and courteously considered.

Thanks,

Eric
Thanks Eric for getting us back to the topic at hand. I believe this site is intended for positive and constructive discussion about crokinole, lets leave the name calling and belittling to the politicians. As for buttons/discs, I prefer the flat ones, however I never considered it a big deal, as it is just one of those things we need to adjust to, because nothing will ever be exactly the same. Those at the top have shown us mediocre players that they can adjust to different conditions.
Happy Crok'n
I think the board must be absolutely flat because everytime I lose, it's because the board was uneven otherwise I would have won.
Maybe your opponents are a little crooked, that would give them an advantage, no?

;^)
I agree with Howard. Nathan works within the NCA and does plenty of real, tangible work to promote and advance the game of crokinole. He has nothing to apologize for, and is within his rights to be offended by some of the off base comments on this thread.

The work that Nathan (and Howard as well as many others) do has earned them labels such as "elitist", "royalty", and "clique". Absurd. Does their "proven track record" of work within the NCA give their arguments more strength on an NCA message board? As someone that actually attends the tournaments, I think it does. Everyone has the right to their comment, but more respect should be shown to those doing actual work for our game, in my opinion.


As for the standarization thing, I'm with Nathan in thinking its an overblown issue. Tournaments should use the best available boards, and best available pieces, but both players are using them so there is no advantage for either player. Might as well regulate the humidity of the room, as this can be a major factor in the speed of the boards.

it's not the boards or the pieces... it's you.

Looking forward to seeing everyone in stratford...

joe
I agree that some things are definitely "overblown", but I think it has more to do with the condescension of some of the posts rather than the issue of the topic. I can truly care less about over-inflated egos or the personal feelings of those who try to appoint themselves as the standards of what is to be considered an allowed topic or comment. I think the reactions some are having to the use of the terms, "elitist" or "'clique' attitude," are more telling than the words, themselves. I don't see the use of the word, "royalty," being used, though. Maybe a Freudian slip by the poster? It seems that some would like Crokinole to be overseen like a dictatorship with an upper class thinking that their ideas and opinions are, somehow, worth more than those who are not of their ilk or self-elevated, and guarded, status. I think we all can see the hyprocrisy and fallacy of that, - or, maybe not.

This is exactly what I was confronted with when I first set out to see just what Crokinole had become after the 50 years since I'd first been introduced to the game, the 30 years I'd played it (in many countries), and the 20 years since I'd stopped. Someone at the NCC tried to assist with information just to find out that even they didn't have the correct info, either. They were open and honest and suggested others to follow-up with who also had, what turned out to be, incorrect answers, of which they, too, were surprised. Some exhibited defensiveness at being questioned further on misinformation. Some became flippant in their defensiveness, others questioned my "authority" to ask such questions expecting an answer. These attitudes, at first, surprised me, - such easy questions, - about Crokinole, for God's sake. Someone's ability to flick a disc (or "button" for those who prefer) into a 20-hole with the seeming ease that the rest of us blink our eyes, while incredibly awesome to all of us fans of the game, doesn't give a whit's credence to ones mental processes or ability to form a coherent thought, about the game or anything else. That "ability" is within the reach of everyone, at ALL levels of ability within Crokinole. I am well aware that some are adverse to critique (whether real or not), especially when they perceive their perches be shaken. And, I know, too, this will then bring the like-minded types to bear. But, if it exists, if a simple question and debate can reveal it, - I think that it may be more prevalent than exhibited here. So, for the sake of those who are, and have been honest and open, - I thank you. To those of you who haven't, and aren't self-aware enough to notice it, I consider it closed. This is very sad to me, because it is the fans of the game, the new and long-time players, and those to come (mostly and vastly of who will never acquire an accepted "proven track record" or "actual work for the game"), who will evidently be expected to give more respect than they will ever be given. I'm sure the game will eventually morph beyond those who give themselves so much credit. Maybe, I'll just have to check back in another 20 years.

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