Trugo, or alternatively TruGo, is a sport or game said to have been invented in the Newport Workshops in the western suburbs of Melbourne, by railway workers in the 1920s. The first club was in the suburb of Yarraville. The requirements for the sport were based on what the railway workers could find: the length of the pitch was the length of a carriage, the goalpost width was the distance between seats, the mallet was a sledge hammer, and the black rings were an internal component of buffers.
Played outdoors on a green similar to that used for lawn bowls (90 feet / 27.4 metres in length for men, 70 feet / 21.3 metres for women), the objective of the game is to score goals or points by striking a rubber ring (wheel) with a mallet though a pair of goal posts. The player stands on a rubber mat and is facing away from the goals, feet either side of the wheel. The short handled mallet is swung between the player's legs to strike the wheel ('tunnel ball' style). The player's opponent ensures that the wheel is safely contained by collecting it in a canvas bag attached to a long pole once the wheel has passed the goal line.
The players swap roles after four wheels have been struck by the first player. Each player has 24 shots, 12 from each end. The player or team with the most goals at the end of the playing period is declared the winner. The sport is played by both men and women; the women's version of the game traditionally has the player strike the ring while standing to one side ('side sweeping style'), and is known as GoTru.
The principal Trugo clubs are Ascot Vale, Brunswick, Port Melbourne, Sandridge, South Melbourne and Yarraville. Clubs closed in recent years include those in Prahran, Carlton, Coburg, Moonee Ponds, Newport, Preston, Reservoir and Williamstown. In 2009 Footscray, the second-oldest trugo club in the state, closed. However, as of early 2016 a group of Footscray residents are working to revive the club and hope to receive Maribyrnong Council's endorsement to resume playing trugo at 139 Buckley St, which is the oldest extant trugo club site.
- "3.4.3 Railway Workshops" (PDF). Hobsons Bay Heritage Study - Volume 1b: Thematic Environmental History. Hobsons Bay City Council. October 2003. Retrieved 2008-11-17.
- Dinah Arndt (April 1, 2009). "Trugo, trugo-ing, trugone: death knell for a sport". The Age. theage.com.au. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
- Susan Cram, presented by Justin Murphy (August 1, 2004). "The Game Of Trugo". Rewind (ABC TV). www.abc.net.au. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
- Matt Preston (February 7, 2009). "Bourdain's quail of a time". The Age. theage.com.au. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
- "Push for a true-go at restoring club". Retrieved 2016-08-23.
- Maribyrnong Council (2016). "139 Buckley Street, Seddon (former Trugo Club) report" (PDF).
- Maribyrnong Council (2006). "Footscray Trugo Club Pavilion and Grounds: Conservation Analysis" (PDF).
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