FAQ

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) Why does the Wikipedia entry for PICHENOTTE describe it as a square game and not a round game ?
6) What’s with the plastic pucks ?…why not wooden discs ?
7) How many kinds of boards do you offer ?
8) Why is the shipping so expensive ?

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1) How do you pronounce pichenotte ?
Pichenotte is pronounced ” PEASH’ – NUT ”

Pichenotte is an old French word:
a) a ‘flick’ on the ear
b) a game in which pucks are flicked across a game board.
c) pichenotte is derived from the even older French word pichenette. We have also seen pichenolle, pichenelle, and pichenot.

2) Who invented it ? Where does the game come from ?
We didn’t invent it. The origins remain somewhat of a mystery, but there are many interesting tales that are told.
See our ‘History of Pichenotte’  webpage.
Pichenotte and Crokinole are generally old, established cottage industries; manufacturers come and go. The ‘old folks’ up North have been making boards for several generations, and then they introduce it to the youngsters. It is very similar to the ancient game ‘carroms’ which remains popular in India and many other countries. Carroms is essentially flicking round discs across a square board with the object to shoot your discs into the corner pockets, making it, perhaps, a precursor to billiards. In pichenotte, the object is to shoot for the center while knocking your opponents into the ditch. It is likely that the British brought ‘carroms’ to Canada from India.

There is a round ‘crokinole’ game board in an Ontario Canada museum, made around 1865, by a German man named 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 friend Caleb Kelly’s website at  crokinole.com    And don’t forget to visit our 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), and Ted Fuller of Crokinole Canada who sells an amazing variety of affordable and also high-end marquetry boards, and Lee Larcheveque in Massachusetts of Pitchnut.Com who sells the unique square board, originating in the town of St. Edwidge, Quebec.

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) Why does the Wikipedia entry for PICHENOTTE describe it as a square game and not a round game ?
Good question ! Someone has a lot invested in this incorrect version of history. If you have Wikipedia editing skills, I will gladly trade you a gameboard if you can help us make the Wikipedia entry more in line with facts that all French Canadians know. We have noticed the inaccuracy of the Wikipedia entry for PICHENOTTE for many years and have attempted to make it more accurate and inclusive. Yet our changes get deleted. We are making headway and we hope to eventually succeed in making it more inclusive. Anyone of French Canadian background knows that pichenotte is a catch all word that refers to flicking. 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 at the bottom of any page, with any stories you have about the use of the word pichenotte. Thank you !

6) What’s with the plastic pucks….why not wooden discs ?
Well, we are phasing out the plastic pucks and by the end of 2020, we will be offering two sizes of maple wooden pucks made by Millette and Sons in Quebec, Canada. Right now, as of November 20, 2020, we offer two of the older plastic pucks and a larger wooden puck, measuring 1-1/4 inch in diameter and 1/2 inch tall. Stéphane Millette will be delivering some of the smaller wooden pucks by the end of November 2020, which are 1-3/16 inch diameter and 1/2 inch tall. The larger ones can be used on most Canadian boards, but it is a good idea to measure your gameboard’s center hole before ordering. We made the plastic pucks in 1998 when our only experience to date was the old plastic carrom rings, and then we visited Tavistock at the initial World Crokinle Championships, and we saw the wooden pucks of the pros up there. But we stubbornly held on to the idea of plastic pucks until January 2020. Those damn French Yankees ! We have a few thousand plastic pucks let, but when they are gone, we will not make them anymore.

7) How many kinds of boards do you offer ?
As of November 2020, we offer only one round board ….The Santa Fe Round Game Board. We have plans to offer several different boards, one of which will be a narrow, sturdy rectangular gameboard for two people made from Scandinavian Birch Plywood and Bamboo. Please stay tuned and if you have any requests, let us know

8) Why are shipping costs so expensive ?

Because the boards are so large, the shipping companies charge dimensional weight ( L x W x H / 166). Therefore, even though the total weight is about 35 lbs, we get charged for about 65 lbs. We ship them in double wall cardboard and lots of foam strips to make sure they arrive to you safely. . UPS shipping is minimum of $45, to nearby areas, and goes up to about $90 to either coast of the USA If you are looking for our boards to ship to Canada, it is about $145 to get there, and then Canadian government and customs add another $145 CAN !
So much for the “North American Free Trade Agreement” Free trade for who ? We wonder….Not us !

World Crokinole Championship | Pichenotte Games