AskDefine | Define quoits

Dictionary Definition

quoits n : a game in which quoits or horseshoes are thrown at a stake in the ground in the hope of encircling it [syn: horseshoes]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A competitive game in which players throw rings, aiming to land them over vertical sticks.
  2. Plural of quoit

Extensive Definition

Quoits (koits, kwoits) is a traditional lawn game involving the throwing of a metal or rubber ring over a set distance to land over a pin (called a hob or mott) in the centre of a patch of clay. It is closely related to horseshoe pitching and the fairground game hoopla. The game's centre of popularity is in parts of the North East England countryside. The game is also popular in parts of the Scottish lowlands, Wales and the Wensleydale, Swaledale, Beck Hole and areas of Yorkshire, England.
The quoit is a circular disc with a four inch hole in the centre which was traditionally made of steel. The quoit can weigh anything up to —depending on the region in which the game is played—although a weight of approximately is more common. This is thrown over the "hob"—a pin set in clay within a box-like framework. The clay helps the quoit to stick in place once it has landed. As the game has developed differently in various localities, the rules may vary, but, in the Welsh version, for example, the player is able to make two attempts at hitting the central hob. In the North of England, a quoit which has landed on the hob is called a "ringer" and scores two points. The first player to reach 21 wins the game. Players will also try to land their quoits in ways which block further attempts by other competitors.
There is evidence of a similar game which was played by Ancient Greeks and Romans before being spread to Britain. There are mentions of the game in England from 1388 onwards, although the game was banned in the 1360s by Edward III who believed it to be foolish. A set of 15 rules were laid down in The Field in 1881, by which time it had become a popular pub game Although the game is dying out in some areas, others are taking a renewed interest in the sport, with small-scale International Games being held alternately in Scotland and Wales
In the United States, Quoits is most popular in eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
There are many pronunciations of the word quoits. In Yorkshire it is pronounced c-oy-ts.

External links

  • The Online Guide to Traditional Games: Quoits
  • Pennsylvania Quoits: Quoits Direct
  • The American Version of Traditional Iron Quoits:
  • The United States Quoiting Association:
  • - A resource forum for all tossing games, including Quoits.
  • The United States Quoiting Association: [
quoits in Japanese: 輪投げ
quoits in Spanish: Quoits
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