Quoit Court Layout
The playing area for a single Quoit court with one set of pits should encompass a flat, rectangular piece of ground with minimum dimensions of 30 feet in length and 10 feet in width. Centered in this area shall be two defined areas of clay, dirt, or boxed-in pits.
If using wooden boxes set into the ground to define the pits, they shall each be constructed to form a square with an inside dimension of 36 inches (1 yard) on a side.
If pits are made directly in the ground, a defined square area 3 x 3 feet, or a circular area 4 feet in diameter, shall be cleared for each pit, exposing bare clay or soil surface.
The pits shall be centered in the playing area and positioned so that their exact centers are 21 feet (7 Yards) apart.
At the center point of each pit, a steel pin, or hob, measuring between 5/8″ – 7/8″ in diameter and at least 18″ long shall be driven into the ground, until the top surface of the hob measures 4 inches above the pit surface.
Quoits is a competition between two players or two teams of two players each.
When there are two players, the competitors pitch their Quoits from the same foul line into the opposing pit. After the round, the players pitch from the alternate pit. This alternation continues until one player wins.
With four players, one player from each team shall pitch from each pit; teammates shall stand at opposite foul lines and pitch towards each other, eliminating the need to walk between the pits.
Before beginning the first game, the Pitmaster determines which team shall pitch first by flipping Quoit into the air. The Pitmaster will request that a player from one team call “Up” for the top side of the Quoit or “Down” for the bottom side while the Quoit is spinning in the air. If the resulting side facing up matches the called position, the calling team wins the toss otherwise the opposing team wins the toss.
The team that wins the Quoit toss may elect to pitch first or take the second pitch. Team members alternate the pitches by tossing their Quoit at the opposing hob with the goal to either ring the hob or land the Quoit as close as possible to the hob. Each round consists of four Quoit pitches for scoring.
The foul line runs through each hob and extends out from the sides of each pit, perpendicular to the opposing hob. Players pitch the Quoit from the area behind each foul line. A player may stand anywhere in this area so long as the toe of the forward foot remains behind the foul line during the pitch. The pitcher may step into the throw while the forward stepping foot stays behind the foul line.
After four pitches, only one team receives points with a valid Quoit
- The closest Quoit to the hob, within a horizontal Quoit’s diameter, determines which team wins points for that round. The winning team receives points for the closest Quoit and additional points if their second Quoit is closer to the hob than the opponent’s Quoits. If an opposing Quoit is closer to the hob, the second Quoit does not score.
- For the most accurate measuring, the Pitmaster may use a ruler or another device to make accurate measurements.
- If two opposing Quoits are equidistant from the hob, and both are within scoring range, they shall cancel each other. If the position of two opposing Quoits prohibits fair measurement, the Quoits shall also cancel each other.
- The game proceeds with the same pitching order until one team wins regardless of who earned the point for each round.
- Quoits that are more than a horizontal Quoit’s diameter from the hob do not score. If all four Quoits are out of scoring range, neither team earns points for the round.
- A Woody is any Quoit that touches, leans against, or bounces off the wooden box of the pit. The Quoit is considered Out of Play and removed immediately.
- A Grounder is a Quoit that lands on or bounces off the ground outside the pit area. The Grounder is Out of Play and removed immediately.
There are three possible positions in which a Quoit can score points
- A Point is any Quoit that is less than a horizontal Quoit’s diameter away from the hob and closer than either of the opponent’s two Quoits. A Toucher is a Point that lands tight against the hob. A Toucher beats a Point. Two opposing Touchers cancel each other.
- A Leaner is a Quoit that is leaning against the top edge of the hob and scores two points. If the Quoit is leaning against the side of the hob rather than the top side, it scores one point. A Leaner scores two points unless an opposing team’s Ringer is underneath it. Ringers beat Leaners. Two opposing Leaners on the same hob shall cancel each other. A Leaner beats a Toucher.
- A Ringer is a Quoit that lands to encircle the hob and is not covered by a Ringer pitched by the opposing team. A Ringer scores three points. When there are multiple Ringers, the team with the top-most Ringer earns three points for each Ringer on the hob. A Ringer always beats a Leaner. If there are four ringers with opposing top ringers, neither team receives points.
A Down-Quoit is an inverted Quoit, and includes:
- Any upside-down Quoit in the pit or on the hob;
- Any Quoit whose top surface leans against the hob;
- Any Quoit sticking upright in the clay which is beyond 90 degrees vertical.
- A Down-Quoit cannot score any points but remains in play. If another Quoit flips a Down-Quoit it becomes eligible for points.
Winning the Game
Play continues until one team scores 21 or more points and has at least a two-point lead over the opposing team; otherwise play continues until there is a two-point difference.
Marshall Quoits – Esprit de corps
- Quoits requires a convivial and respectful atmosphere among and between its competitors and audience.
- Winners of rounds and games will not boast.
Losers of rounds and games will not grouse.
- The audience will applaud good play. The audience will express its sympathy for poor play.
- Discussion of business, politics, and religion is prohibited.
- Discussion of relatives’ accomplishments, friends’ charms, and the betterment of the community is encouraged.
- In all things, the game honors the legacy of Chief Justice John Marshall who helped define a nation and is the namesake of a grateful University that shapes the lives of its community.