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  • A Great American Game: Washers

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  • If you're looking for a great way to have some fun and competition while barbecuing in the backyard this summer, give washers a try.
    The game is a longtime favorite for backyard gatherings, mainly because of the simplicity and relaxed pace of the game.
    Similar to horseshoes, individuals or teams compete against one another by throwing washers into a recessed cup, or a carpeted box with a pipe in the center. The game is usually played with a distance of 20 feet between the targets, other variations of the games use 30 feet.
    Players throw the washers in attempt to get in, on or near to the box or in the pipe. When throwing, the player may stride forward of the front of the box or remain entirely in back of the box, but at least one foot must remain behind the front of the box.
    Players throw two or three washers each (based on the different variations of the game), throwing both before the opponent throws their two. The player throws the washers underhanded. A player may throw both washers at once, but it’s not recommended for accuracy. The scoring team throws first in the next round.
    Like horseshoes, throws can cancel out the opponents' scores in that round.
    The game is usually played to 21 points, but other variations of the game allow for scores as follows:
    4-player games (2 to each team) play to 21 points.
    3-player games (each for themselves) play to 31 points.
    2-player games (each for themselves) play to 51 points.
    Simple scoring is as follows:
    1 pt – within one foot of the box OR leaning next to the box OR under the box
    2 pt – lying on the top edge of the box
    3 pt – inside the box, but not in the pipe
    5 pt – inside the pipe
    Note: Only one team/player can score per round.
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