A game that most of us associate with our childhood days, the lazy sunny afternoons, and the fun-filled family gatherings, the carrom board game was always an indispensable part of our lives. The joy of powdering the board and watching the striker slip smoothly through the board, pushing the carrom coins into the pockets, was incomparable. Pocketing the queen and covering it with another coin was the most nail-biting and challenging task. However, the good old days soon got over as technology swept in and our smartphones replaced the strikers in our hands.
The carrom game is now available at our fingertips and has expanded its horizons enabling us to play with anyone across the globe at our convenience. While the game remains a popular form of entertainment, there a million other games and fantasy sports that have divided our attention. Bringing back memories from your childhood, here are some of the lesser-known facts about your once-favorite pastime.
International Carrom Day
In a country like India, where cricket is a religion, other games and sports are usually neglected by people. Most of the sports audience would know when the Indian Premier League starts, when a Test match is live, and will definitely stay glued to their screens during a cricket World Cup.
Carrom has always been a popular indoor game in India and its popularity online is also on the rise. However, the game was mostly limited to being an indoor game played for leisure rather than competitions. Although various carrom competitions and tournaments are held on domestic and international levels, very few hear or watch such tournaments. One of the lesser-known facts about the famous carrom board game is the day that is celebrated as International Carrom Day. Most of us are unaware that the 23rd of August is the International Carrom Day.
Six Carrom Variations
Perhaps, you only knew that carrom was played according to a set of rules you used while playing on the physical board. It may come as a surprise that carrom, in fact, has six different game variations. The standard rules and regulations of the carrom board game are set by the ICF, the governing body of carrom; however, these game variations don’t necessarily follow all the rules set by the ICF. The six-game variants are:
- Total Point Carrom
- Family Point Carrom
- Point Carrom
- Professional Carrom
Each of these variants has some interesting history and rules that players follow. There’s even a version of carrom that is played using cue sticks. You can read more about each carrom board game variant here.
Invented in India
Carrom is known by various names around the world. Some of the terms that carrom is known by are Carrum, Karom, Carum, Couronne, Karam, Karum, Fatta, and Finger Billiards. Not many know that carrom is believed to have been invented in India. Some even believe it originated in Sri Lanka. Although there is no evidence of its origin, the game’s roots lie in Asia or India. In fact, it is even believed that the Indian Maharajas invented the game for their entertainment.
However, the formal rules of the carrom game were not written until 1988. Carrom is played for fun and as competition in various parts of the world. The International Carrom Federation organizes carrom competitions.
Here’s the history of the carrom board game.
Glass Surface Carrom Board Game
All of us are familiar with what a carrom board looks like. The carrom boards are usually have a wooden surface with black and red lines on them. The carrom coins are black and white while the queen is red or pink. When asked what a carrom board looks like, this is what we would describe it as. However, one of the lesser-known and exciting facts about the carrom board game is related to the board’s surface. In Patiala, India, there is a carrom board that has a surface made of glass. This glass carrom board holds significance as it was a popular board amongst the Indian population after World War 1. Until the early 20th century, state-level competitions were also held on the glass carrom board.
The Carrom Champions
Lastly, we all know and have heard of famous cricketers such as Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, and MS Dhoni. But do you know who are the carrom champions in India? There are several spectacular Indian carrom players such as Maria Irudayam, Kajal Kumari, S. Ilavazhagi, B. Radhakrishnan, B. Arokiaraj, S. Dillu, A. Appa Rao, and Suhas Kambil.
Maria Irudayam is a Chennai-based carrom player who has won the World Championship twice and the National Championship of India nine times. In 1996, India recognized his contributions to the carrom game and awarded him the prestigious Arjuna Award.
Kajal Kumari is an Indian carrom player who represents the country in International Carrom Championships. In the 2018 Carrom World Cup, she created history, becoming the first-ever woman to win the overall combined Swiss League. These two carrom champs have made India proud on several occasions.
You can read more about the best carrom players here.
As of now, the carrom game is not a part of the Olympics or the Commonwealth Games. However, the Carrom Championships are held in different parts of the world. Carrom players can enjoy the online carrom tournaments and carrom games on MPL. The games are fast-paced, played against real opponents, and you can stand a chance to earn cash prizes.