Washers is a favorite pasttime at Alpine. Everybody loves it! It’s hard to beat getting a Coke and some skittles during Store, walking down to the washers courts, and taking on your buddy in a friendly game of washers. What is it about trying to throw a round metal washer into a small hole that is so fun? It really is fun and a great way to hang out with friends – or family which is the reason for this post.
Several campers through the years have asked for the Alpine washers dimensions so they could make courts at home. With warmer weather coming our way and spring break ahead we thought it might be the perfect time for you and your dad to build your own washers pit in your backyard. Full disclosure – I have not a handy bone in my body. So I can give you the dimensions and tell you how ours are made, but I’m not sure I can tell you the best way to reproduce them at home.
Dads who may not be familiar – washers is very similar to horseshoes. Two players compete to be the first to reach a score of 21 using 4 large washers (as in nut, bolt, washer) by trying to throw them into a small hole on the other player’s court. One player throws all four of his washers at his opponents court, counts his score, then the opponent makes his attempt counting his score. The game continues back and forth until the someone reaches 21 (game can only end after 2nd player’s turn). Player must win by two points. If at the end of the 2nd player’s turn it is 21 – 20, then the game continues until someone wins by two. There are two variations on the point system. First point system: 3 points for a washer in the cup, 2 points for a hanging washer (some part of washer hanging over cup but it does not fall), and 1 point for any washer that stays on the playing surface. Second point system: 3 points for a sinker (a washer that goes in the cup without first bouncing on any part of the playing surface, string music, if you will), 2 points for a washer that bounces and then falls in the cup, and 1 point for any washer on the playing surface, hanging over or not. No doubt we could have much debate and dialogue on the merits and drawbacks of both systems and good people will disagree!!
So, here are the dimensions at Alpine. We play with level, poured concrete pads. Each court is 7’1″ long by 4’3″ wide. The two courts are 16 feet apart, from the front edge of one court to the front edge of the other (the long ends face each other). Our courts have two holes in each court (for two games to play at once). Each hole is 18″ in from the wide side and 22.5″ in from the front edge of the long side. The holes are 6″ in diameter and are constructed from schedule 20 PVC pipe (around the inside of the hole. The courts are covered with an industrial strength outdoor carpet. I have seen great washers courts made out of wood so that they can be moved around (plus your mom probably doesn’t want two huge concrete pads next to her flower bed). I have even seen some that have wheels underneath for easy travel!
Hope this helps and enjoy your washers. Just think, if you do this you will be a professional washers player by the time summer comes, able to impress all your camp friends. Practice hard, summer will be here soon!!!