Gorodki


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Gorodki

 

(riukhi, thushki), a Russian folk game. The aim of the game is for each player in turn to toss sticks called bity at a predetermined number of figures composed of five gorodki (wooden cylindrical pins) to knock them out of the square (gorod, or city, hence the name) in which they are set up. The winner is the player or team that uses the fewest bity to knock out the figures. Gorodki has been played on the territory of the USSR for several centuries. Standard rules were first established in 1923. The following standard measurements have been determined: the square (gorod) is 2 x 2 m, the far base (kon) from which the bity are thrown is 13 m away, and the near base (polukon) is 6.5 m from the square; the gorodki are 20 cm tall and 4.5–5 cm in diameter; a bita is no longer than 1 m; one game consists of 15 different figures. The record scores are set at 15, 30, 45, 60, or 90 figures (and the corresponding number of games at 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 games).

The All-Union Gorodki Federation was established in 1936; that year gorodki singles and team competitions for the USSR championship began. Records have been set by the athletic associations Dinamo and Kryl’ia Sovetov (both in Moscow) and Kommunarets (Kommunarsk, Voroshilovgrad Oblast). Many-time champions and record setters of the USSR are A. I. Bogdanov and A. G. Rubtsev (Moscow). In 1970 more than 600,000 persons played gorodki, including 2,000 Masters of Sport. Seven athletes were awarded the title of Honored Master of Sport.

V. A. PRAVDIN

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Pedantry also demands observation of an error in the editor's note on page 188: gorodki is not a 'Russian game somewhat resembling rounders or baseball' (lapta is); gorodki, as Wheeler puts it, is 'a game similar to skittles.