You’re little ones may not yet be ready to take part in the 2016 Olympics in Rio, but that shouldn’t stop them from
hosting a Garden Game Olympics in their garden!
We will explore the history of five classic garden games and their origins – Traditional games that have been enhancing people’s coordination, cunning and skill for centuries.
History of Rounders
Stick and ball games are ancient and go back thousands of years.
Many historians believe that Baseball, Rounders and Cricket all evolved from a single medieval game called Stoolball, where there is a batter and bowler on a marked field.
Rounders was a version of baseball that dispensed with an early rule which stated that a running batter could be hit by a thrown ball to catch them out.
The game is known to have been played in Tudor times and has also been mentioned in some of Jane Austin’s books.
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History of Croquet
Croquet is a relatively contemporary game and originated from Ireland in the 1830’s.
In 1850, it came to England and became very popular because it was one of the first sports in Victorian times that women could play equally alongside men.
Croquet was actually an Olympic Sport in the 1900 Olympics in Paris!
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History of Quoits
A Quoit is an ancient Greek term for a throwing disc (or Discus) that was also used as a weapon some 4000 years ago!
The game of Quoits is thought to have originated from the early middle ages amongst mining communities, where horseshoes were thrown at pins in the ground.
This evolved into a more standardised version of the game where frisby-like rings were thrown into clay pits containing a single pin.
Most modern contemporary versions, including the Plum Quoits Garden Game,
use rings made from rope and have several pins. This version is thought to have been invented for entertainment on early cruise ships where it was impractical to have a clay pit onboard and the soft rope rings would be soft enough not to hurt anyone one or scratch the decking!
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History of Boules
It is believed that the Romans first invented the game around 2600 years ago, originally using stone balls and then wooden ones later on.
The game was widely played throughout Europe during the middle ages and King Henry III banned his archers from playing it due to it becoming a distraction.
In the 1300’s, King Charles IV & V made a law to ban commoners from playing it. This law lasted nearly 300 years until the 17th century!
In 1907 the French derived their own version of boules called Petanque. This is considered to be the definitive modern version due to the simplicity and popularity of the rules, the most important of which is that your feet must stay anchored to the ground. The word Petanque comes from the Occitan expression ‘Pes Tancats’, meaning ‘feet anchored’.
In 1959, the first World Championships were organised.
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History of Dominoes
Dominoes are considered a highly versatile gaming device most likely invented by the Egyptians, but more easily traced back to 12th century China.
Each domino essentially shows two double dice rolls etched into the flat sides of a solid piece of material, eliminating the need to roll two dice if picked up randomly and also preventing the possibility of cheating via ‘loaded’ dice being used (dice that are weighted on one side to always show a specific number).
Dominoes were traditionally made from carved bone or wood, whilst more expensive sets were made from carved ivory. Modern sets are more commonly made from heavy plastic.
In the early 1700’s, dominoes found their way to Italy and spread in popularity throughout Europe, quickly becoming one of the most favourite games to be played in family homes and pubs.
In 2009, a Guinness World Record was recorded in France where 4,491,863 dominoes were toppled from a single-push domino chain!
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