Guides Washers Regional Gameplay Variants

Published on February 5th, 2014 | by Spencer

Washers Regional Gameplay Variants

Just like any game, washers exists in various forms. From washers disk sizes to the distance thrown, as well as how the boxes (yes, some players use boxes) are set-up and number of holes, this game definitely runs in several versions. Though Texans might have their minds blown, here are a few of those wannabes:

Let’s begin with the first (for all intents and purpose) and best: Texas. Of course, there are no boards, and pitching holes are dug 21 feet apart. PVC rings inserted into the ground, at which players shoot, measure in between 3-inches and 4-inches, though the former is preferred. Washer disks are very specific, and their inner diameter is 1-inch, while the outer diameter measures 2 ½-inches. As I said, Texans play in pits, and their area is 48 square inches. Players must reach 21 points to win, and the closest washers to the hole, thus beating an opponent’s nearest disks, are given 1 point, “leaners,” or those that inch over the edge of the hole but don’t fall through, are given 3 points, and “ringers” earn 5 points. If a player matches his/her opponents “ringer,” the scores are canceled out.

Pennsylvania doesn’t use boards, but the washers are thrown in or closest to a two-inch piece of pipe in the ground. In this version, similar to Texas, the holes are 21 feet apart. Again, players receive a point for each washer nearer the hole in comparison with their opponent, two points are given for “hangers” (think “leaners”), and three points go to those who “ring” the hole. This should send pretty familiar for Austin natives.

Okay, back to the boxes. St. Louis, Mo., is one state that uses these contraptions, which they place 25 feet apart. Games top off at 15 points, and, in a three hole version, the boards sit 10 feet apart.

As late as August 2008, another box variant in Lake George, N.Y., popped up. In this game, boxes are placed ten “Garys” away, which equals ten feet, and the players sit while pitching their washers. Players must reach 11 points to win, but matches consist of a “best-of” three game series. Washers landing “in the box” win one point, two points are awarded for those remaining on the “box edge” and three points are given for those “in the pipe.” However, points can be canceled out, or “cleaned,” by matching washers that were pitched by an opponent.

As if anyone needed another version, Connecticut boasts its own. Two teams of two players each aim at a washer board, though this board varies throughout the state. A couple of cities play with a board that is around 20 square inches. While the hole size remains standard, some towns prop up the board with a 6-inch piece of wood, angling the board and providing a 3-inch backboard to help keep rogue washers in play. Boards are tied together and stretched 16 feet apart. Like Texas, games are won at 21 points, with 1 point for washers landing on the board and 3 for those making it in the hole. Scoring rules vary, and opponents can cancel the opposing team’s points by tying the shots. Players can also win over a round; for instance, if a player secured two washers on the board for two points, while someone else got one on the board and one in the hole, for a total of four points, only two points would be awarded to the winning team for canceling the other team’s score and then some.

While more washers games exist, from Hong Kong, Hawaii and to anywhere in between, I think I can guess which ones a lot of you favor…

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