Tournament of Knights
|Players||2 to 12 (2 teams)|
|Age range||8 and up|
|Setup time||< 5 minutes|
|Playing time||10 min to 15 min|
|Skill(s) required||Manual dexterity|
Tournament Of Knights (Swedish Riddarspelet, literally The knight game) is a game of physical skill, in which players toss wooden balls firstly into a triangle area, then knock down blocks in order. The game was invented in 2001 by Micael Hellberg, Sweden, and is manufactured by Bex Sport AB in Höganäs. 
- 6 black + 6 red balls
- 3 black + 3 red blocks of wood
- 3 bands – 2 black, 1 red
- 9 flags
- A bag as big as math book to carry all of this in.
Before you start
Look at the diagram and prepare the tournament arena on a fairly even surface (preferably grass). The size of the arena, as shown in the diagram, is for medium level of difficulty. However, the size of the arena can be changed depending on the desired level of difficulty. For example, for easier game play, increase the distance between the three wooden blocks so the risk of knocking down the wrong block is reduced.
Choose two teams, the Black Knights and the Red Knights. One team consists of 1 – 6 players (it should not be more) and each team receives 6 balls and 3 wooden blocks in their team’s colour. The blocks represent two knights and one Lady.
To start the game
First throwing team
Toss a coin to decide which team starts. The first throwing team will always throw all their balls first. The balls will be left on the arena until the opposing team has thrown all their balls. If you choose to play more than one round, then both teams will take turns on being the first throwing team every other round. You need only to toss a coin before playing the first round.
Divide the balls between the team members. The players will then throw their balls from baseline 1 (you may stand anywhere you like behind this line) and try to get one ball in each of the triangles. All ways of throwing are acceptable and a ball is counted as “in” if more than half of it has come to rest inside the triangle’s boundary. When both teams have made all their throws, then this is considered completing a joust. Any balls that may have landed inside the triangles after a joust shall remain there. The rest will be removed from the arena and will be thrown in the next joust (if two or more balls belonging to the same team land in one triangle, the team must remove all but one ball from the triangle). If, after throwing your six balls, you have one ball in a triangle, then you have five balls to throw in the next joust.
When you have managed to get one ball in each of the triangles, you have then achieved what is called the battle position. Once in battle position, you may throw your remaining balls from baseline 2 (you may stand anywhere you like behind this line) towards the opposing team’s blocks.
If you achieve battle position in the middle of a joust and for example have two balls remaining, you may move immediately to baseline 2 and throw them. After that, in every new joust, you have three balls to throw towards the blocks (the three other balls are left in the triangles).
How to win
To win a round (before starting the game, decide how many rounds to win the Tournament of Knights), you must knock down the opposing team’s Lady. But before you’re allowed to do that, you must knock down the two knights who are “protecting” her.
Knocking down the Lady before the knights
If by mistake you knock down the Lady before the knights, then you have “offended” the Lady. This will result in a penalty. This means you will lose your battle position and must, even if the opposing team has not yet thrown, immediately remove all your balls from the arena (including the balls in the triangles). Note that it is not permissible to throw any of the balls you may have left over from the current joust. The Lady is replaced upright. If a knight is knocked down, it remains fallen (it does not need to be knocked down again). On your next turn, you must start all over again (from baseline 1) to try to achieve the battle position again.
When balls hit each other
When you throw the balls, they often hit other balls on the arena. You’re allowed to hit the balls in and out of the triangles (even if it means achieving or losing battle position). This is why it’s so important not to remove any balls from the arena until the joust is completed, that is to say, when both teams have thrown all their balls. Note that the only exception is when the first throwing team knocks down the Lady before the knights (as described above). When that happens, their balls are removed immediately from the arena. The other team can then complete the joust. After that the first throwing team, as always, starts the next joust.
When the opposing team is in battle position
When the opposing team is in battle position, you may choose to try to throw your balls so that you knock out their balls from the triangles. You may knock the balls out from all three triangles; however, you only need to knock out one ball to make the opposing team lose its battle position. Then they’re not allowed to throw towards the blocks until they (from baseline 1) have succeeded in getting a new ball in the last remaining triangle (the balls in the other two triangles may remain there). If they have already knocked down one or both knights, the knights shall remain fallen (they do not need to be knocked down again). Remember that you may knock out the opposing team’s balls from the triangles at anytime during the game. The opposing team does not have to be in battle position for this to be allowed.
In battle position and choosing from which baseline you wish to throw
When you’re in battle position you may choose, from one throw to the next, from which baseline you wish to throw. For tactical reasons you may choose to throw from baseline 1 to try to knock out the opposing team’s balls from the triangles. For example, when the opposing team’s only remaining block left standing is the Lady, and while your team has not succeeded in knocking down any blocks.