Service of Adults Competing in Games That Children Play

May 2nd, 2019

Categories: Competition, Games, Tournament, Toys

Many sports are played by kids which adults adopt and turn into big stakes competitions–think basketball, soccer, baseball, hockey, football, skiing or skating. We don’t think of table games as making such a transition but Scott Simon on “Weekend Edition Saturday” addressed one. He interviewed two men–Larry Kahn and David Lockwood for the segment “Not Just Child’s Play: World Tiddlywinks Champions Reclaim Their Glory.”

Lockwood told Simon “‘Tiddlywinks is not what you did when you were 5 years old. Tournament tiddlywinks is a fascinating combination of physical skill at a micro level and positional strategy.’

“Probability, physics and dexterity rule the game.”

Simon reported that the 19th century game, launched in England as an adult parlor game, got its own tournament at Cambridge University in 1955. In addition to Cambridge University, the professional tournament players hail mostly from MIT and Oxford. Lockwood and Kahn were at MIT in the 1970s where they joined their college team.

One of the challenges for the players today is that the winks are hard if not impossible to come by. Manufacturers aren’t making them. These players fashion their own by sanding down spice jar lids. They pin their hopes on 3-D printing that, once affordable, they anticipate will streamline the process.

So what happened: Did the Lockwood-Kahn team win in Cambridge? If you paid attention to the title of the article in the first paragraph you’d know that they are this year’s champions! While the two like to win they claim that the friendships they make at the tournaments are most important to them.

Lockwood said: “If you get a modicum of success, you’re more frequently willing to continue to play, but it’s also a very frustrating game because you miss these things that you’ve made so many times in the past.”

I’ve heard people say the same thing about all sorts of sports from golf to basketball—haven’t you? Aren’t most sports—with exceptions such as golf, which is expensive, and curling, which isn’t readily available–first played by children? Do you play traditional board or table games anymore? Are the friends you’ve made at your sport as important to you as winning? Do you play computer games? Are the benefits the same?

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7 Responses to “Service of Adults Competing in Games That Children Play”

  1. BC Said:

    We always enjoyed games with the grands. As retirees, we have played Tripoli and Scrabble. Our favorite game has been bridge and occasionally Pinochle. Chess was an old favorite in younger days.
    We like bridge, as there is some thought and memory, to play the game.

    Children’s games are great for nursing homes or dementia units.

  2. Debbie Kunen Said:

    Debbie wrote on Facebook: Years ago I played a lot of backgammon. As kids (and as adults) Monopoly & Scrabble.

    I play 0 computer games. I remember playing Jax in sleep-away camp which required coordination.

  3. Jeanne Byington Said:


    When young we’d play Monopoly, Clue, Pick up Sticks and Parcheesi. For years Homer and I played Backgammon and Chinese checkers and then we stopped.

    I was really good at jacks in the day. We had rest hour in lower school and I beat a lot of friends. I wonder if kids play it today–probably not with all the glitzier games on their electronic devices.

    I play solitaire and FreeCell on the computer when on a long conference call with a bunch of people and to relax when I need a quick break.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Homer played Scrabble for hours with my mother. He said as a bank executive that one of the questions he’d ask finalist job applicants was what, if any, games they played.

    I was never bitten by the Bridge bug but my sister is a Gold Life Master and a devoted player. I never played Pinochle.

  5. Lucrezia Said:

    I’m willing to play/learn anything which involves winning. Yes to computer games which include bridge online, and Total War offline, with a friend who’s in charge of battles and diplomacy, while I manage spies, assassins and clergy.

    While outside of cyberspace, should someone produce a Monopoly or Scrabble board, or pack of cards, I’m in.

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I am not big at games–I guess my powers of concentration focus elsewhere. I like winning–and although I don’t go to Vegas or Atlantic City, would no longer enjoy playing slot machines anyway because they are electronic and no longer one armed bandits. The physicality of pulling down the lever was part of the cathartic experience for me.

  7. Ginny Pulos Said:

    Ginny wrote on Facebook: I play backgammon with George. Shades and Bold Moves online

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