Tiddlywinks

How many of you have heard of or played the game of Tiddlywinks?

www.tiddlywinks.org has a lot of info about the game.

Our highschool math teacher, Severin Drix, has his bio at that site, which says:

Severin was the founder of the Cornell team in 1966 and may be regarded as the forefather of American winks. In the Fall of 1965 he was playing winks using winks from Trix cereal boxes (“Trix are for kids!”). In looking for competition, he discovered that Harvard was playing winks, and signed up for a lifetime of winking one of his high school friends, Ferd, who lived in the well-known Bexley Hall at MIT, just down the road from Hahvahd. While other teams often dominated, Sev claimed a number of early NATwA and World Singles and Pairs titles… after a stint in Yunanistani Hududu in Turkey where he was an emissary for winks, leaving a mat and winks for the other inmates. After Cornell he formed teams such as Rivendell with young winkers from the school where he was teaching mathematics. Later he was a disciple of Wisdom’s Goldenrod while teaching high school mathematics at Ithaca High School… there encouraging several generations of new winkers to enter the fray. Severin was also key to the formation of noncollegiate teams such as Renaissance in the late 1970s. Now residing in Valois NY on the banks of one of the Finger Lakes, Severin continues along his beaten path, and continues to evangelize the ways of winks with his high school students.

I wrote an article for our school newspaper to introduce upcoming freshmen to the game of Tiddlywinks… perhaps it’ll help you become acquainted with it too:

Winkin’ at the High School

It is almost certain in my mind that less than one out of all the incoming freshmen know of the great, grand, and popular game of Tiddlywinks. And thus, it is thereby necessary to acquaint those deprived people of this strategic yet graceful game.

To be brief, the game of Tiddlywinks is played on a soft mat that is 6 feet by 3 feet in size. In the center is placed a “pot” (a little cup). Players start in the four corners of the table and have 2 large winks and 4 small winks (plastic disks), which are blue, green, red, or yellow in color. Tiddlywinks can be either a singles or a doubles game but the goal for both is to “pot out” by getting all the winks of a certain color into the pot by flicking the winks on their edges using round, sharpened plastic disks of customizable size called Squidgers. However, it’s not nearly easy as it sounds. Various techniques can be employed such as “squopping”, which is covering opponent winks with your own to disable their ability to move. There’s a plethora of odd names and moves in this fun game.

The history of Tiddlywinks is a long one and began in 1888 when it was patented by Joseph Assheton Fincher of London. As popularity gained in England, other variations of the game were patented by people wishing to profit from the original game’s successes. Tournament Tiddlywinks was established at Cambridge University in 1955 though it did not catch on in the USA till 1967 when the North American Tiddlywinks Association (NATwA) was established and clubs were founded in many premiere colleges such as Cornell, MIT, and Harvard.

The supervisor of the IHS Tiddlywinks Club, Severin Drix, teaches math during the day, but after school, he is also an avid winker. Having founded the Cornell Tiddlywinks Club in 1966, Tiddlywinks.org’s bio of him comments that he “may be regarded as the forefather of American winks”. Having won several NATwA, World singles, and World doubles titles, he has even traveled to Turkey as an emissary for the game! Mr. Drix offers extra credits to his students for attending the high school’s Tiddlywinks club, which meets after school on Wednesdays and Thursdays in his room. Tournaments are held in various places in the USA but many are also held at the high school during the year and are a great way to display learned skill and discipline in Tiddlywinks whether you’re an amateur or professional player. So to the freshmen class, attend a meeting or two and see if this game appeals to you. Without a generation of new players, how else can this simple game continue to stand the test of time?

ohh man, what a trip down memory lane, I havent played winks in at least 10 years… wow… I need to play now:D

Until about a year ago, I had never even heard of Tiddlywinks. However, for my birthday, my friends bought me a bunch of things to keep me occupied so i wouldn’t go completely crazy…being grounded for the entire summer.

Anyway, I played it a few times… but I personally like Ants in Your Pants and Jumpin’ Monkeys more.

I think one of my favorite aspects of the game is the fact you can make your own squidgers… and that is fun to machine because I love the lathe and woodwork on it too. Most people in the club don’t have the skill or patience to make them so they usually sell for around $5 - $10 each… not bad for a piece of plastic :stuck_out_tongue:

I think I’ll go and take a pic of the squidgers I have and post it up.

My mom had her original set from the 60’s, and my brother and I played when we were kids. I haven’t seen a set in years.

TIDDLYWINKS! I grew up on that game! And does anoyone remember Pogs? It was all the rage back in the mid-90’s I think. I remember having this slammer made entriely of lead. It would flip the whole stack every time! Ah well. I love those old kiddy games.

I used to play tiddly winks all the time we used to play with change and use quarters for squidges. There was some strange way we used to play and someone always ended up winning the change. I used to collect pogs, i was soooooooooo picky about which pogs I baught that I’d never play because if I lost any of I’d get really angry. I actually got the entire collection that McDonalds had out- even the really rare ones. I’ve actually had offers of people wanting to buy them for a nice chunk of change. (I’m holding out until the value goes up a little bit more- once they get in the catalog they’ll really be worth something I hope…)