Skittles, a history

A Noble Birth?

Did you know that it’s entirely possible that Cleopatra and Marc Antony met at a skittles match?  Ok, ok perhaps that’s stretching it a bit far but it is possible that the game of skittles is as old as the pyramids themselves?

Evidence suggests that the first versions of the game we know and love today was also enjoyed by the Egyptian Nobility.  It’s flabbergasting to think that Christopher Columbus could’ve taken a set of nine pins with him on his voyages. In the 15th century?

It was around this time that the game of skittles started to take the form that we use today.  It seems that there has always been a plethora of versions of the game that were used through the centuries.  Did Mary Queen of Scots Leftovers go on tour to play at a championship battle with Shakespeare Legends to see who came out England v Scotland Champion of Champions? Who knows?  We may never know!

Kiss Me Hardy

Even Nostradamus couldn’t have foreseen how popular the game would become!

Fast forward to the 1800’s.  Did Admiral Horatio Nelson shout ‘Kiss Me Hardy’ because he got a spare and wanted more than his name in the local paper skittle section? Interestingly at this time skittles and nine pins were definitely different games.

Nine-pins was played at a distance with a player aim to knock down the most pins in the least number of throws.  Where, by contrast, skittles involved both throwing at distance and “tipping” and was simply scored by counting the pins toppled, the winner being the first to reach a certain total.

Virtually all forms of modern skittles feature projectiles being propelled from one end of an alley in an effort to knock down nine pins stood in a square at the other end.  That is about all that many of the games do have in common, though, and over the years,

History’s Super Teams

So, there we have it, we could potentially be in very good historical company. Can you image what an historical super team would look like. Would Napoleon have thrown his toys out of the pram because Wellington’s Team took advantage of his team’s sandwich role?  Could be an interesting fancy dress theme for a skittle weekend away? What do you think!?!