Posted on March 25, 2016
Today isn't World Marbles Day because it is March 25. Today is World Marbles Day because it is “Good Friday,” the Friday before Easter.
And on Good Friday, for centuries, the British and World Marbles Championship has been held in Tinsley Green, a little town near London.
I don't think that marbles has much to do with Easter, but back in Elizabethan England, a legend states that two men trying for a Tinsley Green “milk maiden” competed with one another in “all known sports.” For some reason, the “sport” of marbles became the final and deciding contest.
That marbles tournament was held on Good Friday in 1588. By the 1700s, a yearly Good Friday marbles tournament was being held in Tinsley Green. Around 1900, the Good Friday tournament was abandoned, but in 1932 the old tradition was dusted off and brought back.
Do you know how to play marbles? This particular tournament is the game called Ring Taw or Ringer: There are 49 target marbles inside a ring, and players on two teams take turns trying to knock marbles out of the ring using larger “shooter” marbles. There are several rules that cannot be broken, of course, but the main idea is that the first team to knock 25 marbles out of the ring wins the game!
According to Wikipedia, for decades British teams won the tournament. In 1992 a team from the United States became the first overseas team to win. British teams won throughout the rest of the 1990s, but in 2000 another U.S. team won. Since then the tournament has been won by German teams 9 out of fifteen times!
Celebrate World Marble Day!
- Learn to play marbles, or brush up on your marble shooting skills.
- You might also want to find out how marbles are made.
Also on this date:
Independence Day in Greece
And here are my Pinterest boards for: