Interesting Sports, Outdoor & Backyard Games

How To Play: Molkky

Molkky is a backyard game similar to yard bowling that requires a player to strike down 12 numbered wooden pins (skittles) by throwing another wooden pin (molkky) at them. The game is played by teams of one player, two players or four players each.   


Invented by Tuoterengas Company in Finland in 1996, Molkky resembles the centuries old game of Finnish Skittles in which a player throws a wooden bat at other wooden pins with the goal of removing as many of them as possible from the play square with the fewest throws.   

The Union of Youth Clubs in Tavastia, a southern town in Finland, created and sponsors the Finish Championships for Molkky held in Lahti, Finland since 1997. Technology students In Tampere, Finland organized world championships in academic Molkky in 2001. The Finish Molkky Union was formed in 2010 to promote the game.  

Molkky USA and the US Molkky Association have been sanctioning tours in the United States since 2014., and other online sites and toy stores offer the game. However, energetic Molkky players have been known to construct their own game pieces.  



Constructing Molkky Game Pieces  

The materials you will need to construct your own set of Molkky game pieces include:  

  • One 3-foot wood beam intended as fence posts 
  • 120-grit sandpaper 
  • 220-grit sandpaper 
  • Palm or belt sander 
  • Saw 
  • Pencil or sharpie 

Constructing the game pieces is not a difficult task. It can be accomplished in just 11 steps.  

  1. Sand the wood beam. 
  2. Cut a 12-inch piece from the beam 
  3. Cut the 12-inch piece in half at a 45-degree angle resulting in pieces roughly 7.25-inches tall and a short side of 4.5-inches. 
  4. Cut two 9-inch tossing sticks (Molkky). 
  5. Stuff water-based wood putty into any cracks 
  6. Sand the skittles with 120 grit sandpaper 
  7. Wipe away the wood dust with a damp cloth. 
  8. Draw a number on the top of each skittle with a pencil or sharpie 
  9. Cover the sticks with two coats of polyurethane floor finish, paint, or stain or you can leave each stick raw if you want. 
  10. Sand with 230 sandpaper. 
  11.  Add a third coat of polyurethane floor finish, paint, or stain. 

Rules Of The Game

Each player throws the Molkky to try and knock over the skittles. Points are rewarded based on the number of the pin or the number of pins knocked down. The pins are placed tightly grouped in an upright position 10 feet away from the throwing area. 

 The pins must be set up in a specific order: 

  • First row: #1, #2 
  • Second row: #3, #10, #4 
  • Third row: #5, #11, #12, #6 
  • Fourth row: #7, #9, #8 

Points are earned in the following manner:  

  • A thrower who knocks down one pin is awarded the number of points marked on the pin. 
  • A thrower who knocks down two or more pins is awarded points equal to the number of pins knocked down.  
  • A pin that is not knocked down, but is leaning on the molkky or on one of the numbered pins is not a score. 
  • After each throw the pins that are knocked down are returned to their previous location. 
  • The first player or team to score exactly 50 points wins the game. 
  • The player or team that scores more than 50 points will be penalized by setting his or her score back to 25 points. 
  • A player is eliminated from the game if he or she misses all of the target pins three times in a row.  

Andrea H

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