While greatly popular in England, skittles is also played with various versions throughout Europe. These countries have a strong history of this lively game.
South Wales skittles is played in teams of 12 players playing five legs of three balls. Founded in 1909, South Wales leagues are comprised of both men and women’s teams. Rules vary between leagues and across the years, most recently in 2012 when the scoring was modernized. Previously, 2 points were a win and 1 point was a draw for each leg and now 1 point for each leg and 2 points for the game. The Cardiff, Newport, and District leagues are the most popular in South Wales.
France has their own version of skittles, called jeu de quilles de neuf (“nine-pin skittle game”). Known as quilles, it is popular only in southwest France. The skittles are placed on a hard surface, inside, and on a square court. Each skittle is on a round piece of wood called pitere and measures 96 cm and weighs 3 kg. The ball weighs 6 kg and is made of walnut wood.
Ireland adapts the game by using five 3-inch-high pins and 3 9-inch-high pieces of wood (skittles). Pins are numbered from one to five, each one representing a number of points. From a distance of 8 meters the player must throw the skittles towards the pins. The player aims to score exactly 41 points. The game is often played in pubs in leagues and cup matches.
Germany, Central Europe, and the United States also play skittles. In Germany, the game is known as kegeln and is played with nine pins. It was once the dominant bowling game in the U.S. before it was replaced with bowling as it is known today.
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