Frequently Asked Questions
Scroll down for the answers
1) How do you pronounce pichenotte ? What is the definition ?
2) Who invented it ? Where does the game come from ?
3) Are there standard dimensions for the boards ?
4) Are there standard rules ?
5) Who does the editing on the Wikipedia entry for PICHENOTTE ?”
6) Is the word PICHENOTTE trademarked in the United States ?
Yes, we hold the US Trademark for the game of Pichenotte®
1) How do you pronounce pichenotte ?
Pichenotte is pronounced ” PEASH’ – NUT ”
Pichenotte is a Canadian French word:
a) a ‘flick’ on the ear
b) a family of games in which pucks are flicked across a game board. See Wikipedia entry of PICHENOTTE.
c) ‘pichenotte’ is derived from ‘pichenette’ the European French word, which means ‘flick’. Many European French words get gently morphed in the land of the Quebecoise.
2) Who invented it ? Where does the game come from ?
The exact origin is a mystery today, and it may remain a mystery, unless some new evidence emerges. But many who have studied the origins, including the Canadian historian and author, Wayne Kelly (RIP 2016), think it was a variation created either in the Canadian province of Ontario or the American state of New York. However, since both words, pichenotte and crokinole (croquignole) have Canadian French origins, we think perhaps the origin of the game was in a French speaking community of game enthusiasts.
Most game historians believe the game morphed over time from the ancient Asian board game of Carroms. The changes were to add posts and instead of shooting for the outside pockets, and in pool or billiards, the goal is to sink the puck into the center hole. But using the game pieces to ‘carrom’ off other pieces is a big part of the game.
It is likely that the British brought ‘carroms’ to Canada from India.
See our ‘History of Pichenotte’ webpage for more details. Also see the Wikipedia entry for PICHENOTTE.
The manufacture of Pichenotte and Crokinole game boards are generally along the US / Canadian board, often cottage industries or garage shops. The ‘old folks’ up North have been making boards in small numbers for several generations, and then they introduce it to the youngsters.
There is a round ‘crokinole’ game board in an Ontario Canada museum, made around 1876, by a German man named Eckhardt Wettlaufer. He called it ‘crokinole’, which is probably derived from the French word ‘croquinole’, so we think perhaps the game originated in Quebec, but we may never know. As kids, we were told the name of the game was ‘pichenotte’. We never knew another family who owned a board, until we moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico and our brother Paul found a photo from 1900 showing a US Senator Coffin playing pichenotte with his grandson. Research continues. There are several meanings to croquinole, one of which is the noun ‘flick’. Whatever it’s origins, it is a very popular game. For another point of view about the names, and the origins of the game, please visit our Canadian friends at The CrokinoleDepot ….Home of the famous Beierling Brothers as well as Jeremy Tracey of Crokinole Gameboards (taught by the venerable Willard Martin to make some very fine boards for the World Crokinole Championships in Tavistock, Ontario), and Ted Fuller of Crokinole Canada who sells an amazing variety of affordable and also high-end marquetry boards. There is also Brown Castle Games in Pennsylvania, and you can visit Lee Larcheveque’s online game store Pitchnut.Com who sells the unique square board, originating in the town of St. Edwidge, Quebec. but Lee is located in Amhurst Massachusetts now.
3) Are there standard dimensions for pichenotte boards?
The simple answer is no. However, we make the round playing surface 23.0 inches diameter which is smaller than the World Crokinole Championships tournament board of 26 inches diameter for the round top. We feel 23 inches is an adequate size and provides portability and a bit lighter weight. We’ve seen the round game tops as small as 18 inch diameter and as large as 28 inch diameter. Somewhere around 24 inch diameter seems very common. We have seen round, square, octagonal, and even nine-sided gameboards. We’ve even made some. We don’t think it advances the fun of the game to set iron-clad standards, except for tournaments. The annual World Crokinole Championships in Tavistock, Ontario has defined guidelines for the dimensions of the boards and rules of play to be used in their tournaments. Please see www.worldcrokinole.com That is completely understandable and necessary in tournament situations. Pichenotte and crokinole board-making seems to have remained a ‘cottage industry’ after all these years, and many happy local customs surround the history and enjoyment of the game and many ‘house rules’ add to the enjoyment.
4) Are there international standard rules?
Like the dimensions, the rules vary widely from region to region.
For our easy pichenotte rules, please CLICK HERE. For our Tournament Rules, CLICK HERE.
The World Crokinole Championships have created definitive rules of play, and board sizes, which we respect, but we don’t follow them. In a tournament situation, that is most understandable, necessary and agreeable. However, we prefer more flexibility. For example, at Crokinole Tournaments, you are not allowed to get out of your chair to make a shot. We prefer to let everyone ‘take their own best shot’ even if it means getting out of your chair until you find your best position, as long as you don’t interfere with your opponent while they are shooting.
5) Who does the editing on Wikipedia for PICHENOTTE ?
Good question ! Well, we have worked very hard to make the entry accurate and inclusive, with major help from some very knowledgeable senior Wikipedia editors, especially Stanton McCandlish (God bless him). Everyone in the world is allowed to be a ‘Wikipedia editor’ (which is both a blessing and a curse), so sometimes, inaccurate information appears. Please report anything that you think might be misinformation to us at the email link at the bottom of each page and we will do our best to correct them asap. Pichenotte refers to many different disk-flicking games. Also, flicking a person on the nose or head, flicking pucks, flicking discs, whether a square board or a round board. There is pichenotte hockey and dogs and cats named pichenotte and candies known as pichenottes. Please contact us with any stories you want to share about the use of the word pichenotte. Thank you !
6) Yes, we hold the United States Trademark for the game of PICHENOTTE®