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Carrom

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History and Information

Carrom, Carums, Karom or Karum is most popular on the Indian subcontinent although versions of it are played right across Asia encompassing the Middle East including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Yemen, Central Asia from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan and as far East as China, Malaysia and Indonesia. Strangely, in both Scandinavia, the USA and China, versions utilising small cues in the same way as for Billiards exist. According to Billy Stevens of the Carrom Company, the US rules for the cue game are the same as the ordinary game but the striker is hit with the cue instead of the finger. (The author is trying to find the rules and any information on the Chinese game - please email if you have any information or leads...)

Variations abound - the Fijians, for instance, call the game Vindi Vindi and propel the striker by placing their finger on the tip of an arrow which then rebounds off their finger. Its origin is unknown although boards bearing similarities have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs, and Greek writings mention games which appear to be conform to the basic design.

The board is like a small square snooker table made of wood with pockets in each corner. On the board are nine black disks, nine white disks, one red Queen disk and one larger white Striker. Players flick the Striker from their side of the board in an effort to get their own colour disks into the pockets.
The author's board shown is a modern one made in England.

On 4th March 1956, the All-India Carrom Federation came into being to control the rules, dimensions of game components etc.

CarromBottleTop.jpg (52193 bytes)
CarromAnuradhapura.jpg (46717 bytes)
Carrom.jpg (41762 bytes)
Two young men play Carrom on a home made board with bottle tops for counters, Java, Indonesia.
Head to head in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.
The author and his friend, Mark Peet, are challenged to a game in the mountains of the Anapurna range, Nepal.  We lost.

 

Links

The UK Carrom Association

International Carrom Federation including the official laws of the game

 

 

 

 

 

 

Email to jm at tradgames.org.uk

Copyright 1997 - now by James Masters.