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Rules of Play

3 Hole Board Rules:

Setup:  Two boards are placed 10' apart.  Distance is to be measured from the front of the boards.  Players must pitch from behind the board at their feet, towards the opposite board located ten feet away.  The hole closest to you is worth 1 point, the middle hole is 3 and the furthest from you is 5 points.  To determine who plays first, a round of pitches is in order – highest points or closest to any hole throws first.

Player 1 (we’ll call him Bob) will pitch his 4 washers (one at a time, Bob) toward the opposite board followed by Player B (Dave). Scores are determined after both Bob and Dave have pitched all of their washers (the round).

Only 1 player may score per round, but he/she can score points for any and all washers that are closer than their opponent's closest washer. Points will also cancel each other out. 

For example:  If Dave pitches first and puts in a 3-pointer, and Bob comes along and drops a 3-pointer on top of Dave’s (caps it), then there is no score – Bob just saved his own skin by knocking out Dave’s 3 points for that cup. 

If Bob sinks a 1 pointer and Dave drains a 5 pointer then Dave will receive 4 points for that round, and Bob will receive some choice smack-talk from Dave. After that round, Dave would then pitch first, as he scored on the previous round – (Last Points Pitches First).  The winner is the first player to reach 21 points. A Skunk is called at 11-0.

For those of you who have all day, and want to play precision-style, you can also play "Busts" which means you have to reach 21 points exactly. If you go over 21 points you drop back to 13 points and must try again for 21. This version of the game can carry on for a while, so be sure to check your beverage supply before beginning.  It is considered good washer etiquette to skip on “Busts” if there is a line of challengers, in the interest of moving the game along.   

Additionally, some players opt to score “leaners”, (a washer that is over the lip of any cup, but not dropped into the cup).  This would score 2 points, regardless of the hole it leans on.

Then, of course, you can throw out any or all of these rules and custom design your own set of rules.  Just make sure EVERYONE knows ALL of the rules before you start pitching washers. 
 

Team play: Pretty simple.  To level the playing field, and to avoid whining, try to position the boards where pitching into the sun is not to the advantage of either team.  Bob and Dave stand behind one board.  Bob’s team partner Sue stands at the opposite board from Bob and pitches towards (not AT) Bob.  Jill, Dave’s team partner, is pitching at the same board standing next to Sue.  They will become fast friends and probably carry the boys at this game.   Points are scored as teams.  First team to hit 21 points wins. 



1 Hole Board Rules:

Similar, but different. Because if you have a one hole board and you are able to put the washer into the second or third hole, you need a new set of boards.

Setup: The boards are placed with a 21' distance between them, measured from the back of the board. Players must pitch from behind the board at their feet, towards the opposite board located 21 feet away. If it is Bob's turn to start, he pitches all four washers, and Dave then pitches. Score 1 point for a washer on the board, 3 points for any leaner over the edge of the cup, and
5 points for putting it in 'da cup.

Scoring again, can cancel out each team's points. If Bob puts a washer on the board and one in the cup, he has a 5 and a 1. If Dave drops one in the cup and caps Bob's, then scores a leaner of 3 points, then he has a 5 and a 3. The fives cancel each other out, and Bob's 1 point whittles Dave's 3 points down to 2. That round: Dave 2.



Backstop One Hole Washer Board Rules:

With backstops on the boards, the distances between boards are extended to even things up. In regular board rules, with no backstops, the boards are placed with 10 feet between them. For backstops, the boards are placed with a 21' distance between them, measured from hole to hole. Players must pitch from behind the board at their feet, towards the opposite board located 21 feet away.   Scoring and play rules are the same.  Have fun, and remember to always practice safe pitching, even if you are down by 9 points. 

As with any game, washer pitching has many regional ways of playing, and folks from up north of the Red River may have different versions of playing or scoring, as well as thoughts on how far the boxes should be placed.  We call this "Yankeefying" of the rules.  Not that there's anything wrong with it, the point is to determine the rules before you start playing.

 

Get to pitchin'.


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