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Throwing pin (mölkky), about to hit target pins

Mölkky (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈmølkky]) is a Finnish throwing game invented by Lahden Paikka company (formerly known as Tuoterengas) in 1996. It is reminiscent of kyykkä, a centuries-old throwing game with Karelian roots. However, mölkky does not require as much physical strength as kyykkä, and is more suitable for everyone regardless of age and condition. Mölkky requires no special equipment and success is based on a combination of chance and skill. Lahden Paikka has sold nearly 200,000 sets in Finland. Tactic owns the Mölkky-trademark.


Position of the pins for a new game

The players use a wooden pin (also called "mölkky", or “bozo”) to try to knock over wooden pins (also called "skittles") of almost similar dimensions with the throwing pin, which are marked with numbers from 1 to 12. The pins are initially placed in a tight group in an upright position 3–4 metres away from the throwing place, with the pins organized as follows: 1st row, 1/2; 2nd row, 3/10/4; 3rd row, 5/11/12/6; 4th row, 7/9/8. Knocking over one pin scores the number of points marked on the pin. Knocking 2 or more pins scores the number of pins knocked over (e.g., knocking over 3 pins scores 3 points). A pin does not count if it is leaning on the mölkky or one of the numbered pins (it must be parallel to the ground to count). After each throw, the pins are stood up again in the exact location where they landed. The first one to reach exactly 50 points wins the game. Scoring more than 50 will be penalised by setting the player's score back to 25 points. A player will be eliminated from the game if they miss all of the target pins three times in a row.

Organizations and competitions[edit]

Smite & Scattles, UK created versions of Mölkky

The Finnish championships for mölkky have been organised in Lahti since 1997 by the union of youth clubs in Southern Tavastia. The technology students in Tampere organised world championships in academic mölkky in 2001. The Finnish Mölkky Union has been formed to promote the game and its subculture. The first Australian Championships were held 2010 and then 2011.

In the United States, Molkky USA and the US Molkky Association have sanctioned the U.S. Tour since 2014 and have declared US National Champions each year since then. The Berzerkerz (Coleman Rydie & Clint Childers) are the Current US National Champions, winning the title in 2014 and 2015.

There are several companies selling their own branded versions of the game in Australia under names such as Finska and Klop.

The 2017 world championship was organised in Prague (Czech Republic).

Numbering Song[edit]

Due to the quirky nature of the starting arrangement, a song was produced to help young players in the UK remember the order.

To the tune of 1-2-3-4-5. Once I caught a fish alive...

1, 2
3, 10, 4
5, 11, 12, 6
7, 9, 8

External links[edit]