Carrom Accessories and Coins

Posted: May 26, 2010 – 10:10 am

The total Carrom game accessories comprise of a Carrom game board, black and white pieces or coins with a red coin, game rules booklet and a striker. Carom board is a wooden square board made of lacquered plywood with smooth surface consists of hardwood borderline frame with wooden beams on all sides of the board with small net pockets in all the four corners. The usual size of the Carrom board is about 24″ x 24″ or 60 x 60 cm with 1.5 inch or 3.75 cm black border. The junior playing board has a playing surface of 23″ x 23″. The tournaments boards, at times, have inner size of 29″ x 29″ and outer size is 33″ x 33″ with a border of 2 inches. The base board thickness is standard 4mm. The most commonly used carom boards are-standard boards that possess a square cut corner. Special board has rounded corner and tournament board has rounded corner with deeper frame. Types of wood used for making carom board are sheesham, redwood, mahogany, rosewood, teak, maple, Oak and cedar.

The next important accessory used for Carrom is the carom board powder sprayed over the surface of the board to decrease roughness and make the coins move smoother. High quality powder is used on the board during tournaments to enable the pieces to slide more easily. Carrom powder is sprinkled on the board’s surface to reduce friction, thereby enabling the coins to travel smoothly and faster on the board. Carrom powder is also used to avoid causing scratches or wear on the playing surface of the board.  However, the powder most commonly used on th carrom board is boric powder. In certain European countries, the players use a version of spray powder used in the printing industry which has specific electrostatic properties and made from pure, food-grade vegetable starch. Essentially, there are two basic types of carrom powder. The traditional commonly available powder is boric and works quite well. There is a new type of super fine powder that comes in small plastic bottles, which is non-toxic and performs well. Since a very small quantity of this powder is needed to be applied each time, the cost of powder is nothing to worry about. You must remember not to use two different types of powders simultaneously. If you wish to switch from one kind of powder to another, wipe off the old powder completely with a soft cloth before using the new type of powder.

Carrom coins consist of a set of nineteen light discs – nine white men, nine black men and one red coin referred to as the Queen. Although Carrom coins were traditionally manufactured from polished seasoned wood, now carom men manufactured from acrylic sheet are also available. The traditional wooden Carrom coins are made from the best selected wood, in a beautiful ornamental finish. They are all well polished and, produce a smooth, fast and hard rebound play. It needs to be mentioned that acrylic Carrom coins are less abrasive and more durable than the traditional wooden Carrom coins. If you want to replace your old coins, then it can be replaced easily. They are sold individually in any sports shop. If you are just a beginner then you can purchase an ordinary set of coin. However, you must buy good quality striker as striker plays the major role in this game.

Sarah Johns

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Introduction to the Game of Carrom

Posted: February 17, 2010 – 7:08 pm

The game of Carrom, often described as finger billiards, is an indoor game played on tabletop. This game has a strikingly similarity with other table top games like table shuffleboard and billiards.  The details about the origin of this game is hazy although some sources claim this game of Carrom has an Indian origin, while others say that it has a Chinese origin.

The basic item needed to play a game of Carrom is plain plywood board which is square in shape and about 74 centimeters or 29 inches. The playing board is framed on all four sides with wood bumpers. Here unlike balls used in billiards, wooden disks are used. The disks are called as Carrom coins or Carrom Men. There are four different color coins – black, white, red and a striker. The aim of the game is to strike the coins with the help of the striker and push them to fall into the corner pockets. The red colored coin is called the ‘queen’. Carrom can be played with two to four players.

A carrom-man is a usually wooden or sometimes plastic, uniform small disk. The Carrom-men have a smooth movement in a flat position on the surface of the carrom board when hit by a striker of standard specification. The carrom-men traditionally come in two colors – black and white – denoting the two players or in doubles play, the opposing teams. The opener always plays white. An additional, special carrom-man is colored red and called the “queen”. The accepted specifications for Carrom Men are – diameter of not more than 3.18 cm and no less than 3.02 cm, and thickness must be between 7 mm and 9 mm, with a weight of 5 to 5.5 g.

The dimensions of the queen must be the same as those of the other carrom-men.The queen is the most powerful carrom piece and usually red in color. It is placed at the center of the circle. If a player wins the board with the queen, this adds five queen points to the player’s total score. A player pockets the queen and to cover it provided a carrom-man of the player’s own has already been pocketed.

The striker is a larger and relatively heavier disk, flicked with the finger to hit the carrom-men and knock them into the corner pockets. The striker has to be smooth and round, with a diameter not more than 4.13 cm. Its weight should not be more than 15 grams.

High quality powder, most commonly boric acid powder is used on the board to enable the pieces to slide easily. In the UK and other European countries, many players use a version of spray powder from the printing industry which is made from pure, food-grade vegetable starch.

The rules of the game are promulgated by the India-based International Carrom federation. The organisation also ranks players, sanctions tournaments and presents awards, and has many international affiliates.

The aim of the game is to pocket one’s own nine carrom men before one’s opponent pockets his. However, before sinking one’s final carrom man, the queen must be pocketed and then “covered” by pocketing one of one’s own carrom men on the same or subsequent strike. Fouls, such as crossing the diagonal lines on the board with any part of one’s body, or potting the striker, lead to carrom men being returned to the board. The player is allowed to shoot with any finger, including the thumb known as thumbing.

Sarah Johns

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