by Jonathan Leistiko
Toss your bean bags to form a triangle around the target, then toss your scoring bag so it lands in your opponents’ triangles.
A large flat space to play in.
A large bean bag or fairly heavy ball (The target).
A set of bean bags per player. 3 bean bags all the same color, with a different color for each player.
A scoring bag for each player (Also color coded, but different from the other bean bags).
(Optional) A stick to stand behind.
Claim a set of normal bean bags and a scoring bag. These are your bean bags.
Choose a spot where the players have to stand when tossing. Stand there and toss the target out into the playing area.
Pick a player to go first.
Starting with the first player, take turns tossing your normal bean bags on to the playing field. Your goal is to form a triangle with the target inside of it.
Once all players have tossed their normal bean bags, take turns tossing your scoring bags on to the playing field. Your goal is for your scoring bag to land inside as many of your opponents’ triangles as possible.
Once all bags have been thrown, score 2 points if the target is inside your triangle and your normal bean bags are within 5 paces of the target. Score 1 point for every opponent’s triangle your scoring bag is in.
The game ends when a player has 10 points or more. The player with the most points wins.
It’s All For The Best
Only the player with the smallest triangle surrounding the target scores 2 points.
I thought of this game while watching young children practice soccer drills with their father at the then-new park next to the renovated Palmer Auditorium on February 20, 2008 at noon. I wrote it down in my note book and forgot all about it until stumbling across it on the evening of October 25th.
I like bocce quite a bit, but it uses heavy balls and requires a rather flat grassy surface that the balls can roll on. I wanted to make an active outdoor game that was simple, easy to understand, developed hand-eye coordination, safe for young children to play, portable, and sufficiently entertaining for adults. Not requiring a surface that enabled rolling and using components that anyone could make by hand (Anyone could make a Tri-ochee set out of stuffed old socks.) was a plus.
While watching the soccer drills, I thought of two other active games. One is a two-sided soccer game where the goal is in the middle of the field and goalies are on either side of it. The other is an ultimate Frisbee variant where you’re trying to pass your Frisbee to any player on the other half of the field. I’m still working out the kinks in these two games. Tri-ochee came to me while contemplating these games.
I like that Tri-ochee encourages you to make your triangle as small as possible by letting your opponents score points by landing their scoring bag in your triangle. I like how your previous “normal” tosses affect where you’re aiming now. I also like how the overlapping triangles create ideal zones for scoring bags to land in.
Wrote up the rules on October 26, 2008 instead of going to bed, which is what I really should have done.