History of Crokinole

Crokinole is unique amongst tabletop games, while most games of the 1800s are relegated to the history books, Crokinole has never been more alive or popular. The origins of the game can be traced back to the craftsman Eckhardt Wettlaufer from Perth County, Ontario, Canda. Who apparently made the original Crokinole board in 1876 as a gift for his son Adam, which now sits in the historic collection of the Joseph Schneider Haus in Kitchener, Ontario.

Several boards similar to the original Crokinole dating back to the 1880s have also been discovered throughout Canada and a patent was filed on the 20th April 1880 by Joshua K. Ingalls for a game very similar to Crokinole. Demonstrating the growing popularity of the game during this period.

Credit: Ontario Archives

Crokinole's popularity grew steadily but quietly throughout the 1900s, often overshadowed by the technological advances of the era. Small independent groups formed of players across the world, which eventually led to the formation of the World Crokinole Championship, which started in 1999 in Tavistock, Ontario. The championships are hosted here to honour Eckhardt Wettlaufer’s original creation of the game, who lived nearby.

Continuing this trend of popularity led to the establishment in 2009 of the National Crokinole Association. A federation which unites and supports small independent clubs and players by hosting competitions such as the NCA Tour and promoting the game.

To this day Crokinole's popularity continues to grow strength to strength, sitting firmly in the Top 100 on the BoardGameGeek hot list. Appealing to competitive and casual players alike. In 2019, the famed tabletop reviewers Shut Up & Sit Down propelled the game into the limelight and has seen surging popularity from a wave of new found players.