real life

There's a reason so many people are throwing wooden planks in parks.

Have you seen strange people throwing strange pieces of wood in the park?

It seems one of Europe’s most popular games has well and truly reached our shores, taking the place of its long-lost cousin in Bocci and its longer lost cousin in lawn bowls.

Those strange people throwing strange wood in the park are playing a game called Finska.

In fact, Finska has grown in popularity so much so that Melbourne is holding it’s very own unofficial Melbourne Finska Championships in South Yarra in March.

So what’s the deal? And how does the whole thing work?

Basically, the game of Finska is made up of 12 numbered pins, kind of like bowling pins. Naturally, they’re numbered one to 12. You can play the game in teams, or you can play solo. You just need to make sure you’re keeping score.

The aim of the game

To win the game, you need to score 50 points. But not 50 or more points. You need to score EXACTLY 50 points. If you go over? Well, your score goes all the way back to 25.

Image via Finska.

How do I get the points?

Aha! This is the tricky part.

Much like Bocci, players stand a certain distance from the cluster of Fiska pins. The players are also given a block of wood to throw at the numbered pins.

Now, you can aim for one of the pins. If you hit it, and it was, say, number seven, congrats! Seven points for you. But, if you were aiming for number seven, and you accidentally took out numbers four and five in the process? You only get three points, because you hit three pins. So, in short, if you hit more than one pin, you only get the amount of points as the amount of pins you hit. You following?

Oh, and also? You can only throw underarm.

OK, what about after I go?

Right, so you've had your turn. You've got some points. Now, it's time to stand the pins back up in the same position they fell and for the next person to take their turn. And so on, and so forth.

So, is that it?

Sort of, not really. You need to keep playing until you score EXACTLY 50 points, like I said. But also, if you throw your block of wood three times without scoring anything, you automatically lose. BAHM-BAHM.

And that's basically it. If you're creative, you can make your own set. And if you're lazy, you can just buy one online.

Happy playing, you're so very welcome.

Feature image: Finska

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