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Hot of the Press - The Yorkshire Meds team are the new British & World Marbles Champions.

On Good Friday 21st of March 2008, having gone all the way to the final at the Annual British & World Marbles championship in Tinsley Green, Crawley (UK) and defeating the reigning champion, 1st MC Erzgebirge from Germany. The Yorkshire Meds won two other trophies adding to the main championship trophy; the best lady player trophy and the best individual player trophy. All Trophies are staying in the British isles this year and for the first time in the history of the tournament (since 1932) the main trophy is coming to Yorkshire.

SEE THE NEW YORKSHIRE MEDS WEB SITE www.yorkshiremeds.co.uk

Winners in 2008
  Winners in 2008        Winners in 2008        Winners in 2008

Ah! now this is the serious stuff! This is about becoming a big kid again. We enjoy playing marbles as an indoor & outdoor activity. Yes, I hear you say, playing marbles - adults? Weird?? Yes that is correct and it can be fascinating (if you are in those sort of things or as British say "if it is your cup of tea!"). There is nothing like being a big kid at heart. There are hundreds of teams accross Europe and the USA playing marbles and many of them are centred around leagues and tournaments.

In 2004, I put together a team called Yorkshire Meds to participate in the British & World Marble Championship, held every year on Easter Friday since 1932 in Tinsley Green (Crawley) in Surrey (south of London) . Our team is made up of players young and old and spans across three generations (grand parents to grand-children)! Yorkshire Meds is short for Yokshire Mediterraneans since the team is made up of people from Yorkshire, and from the Mediterranean bay living in Yorkshire.

In the photo on the right, this is the central ring at the 2005 Marble Championship. I took the photo from the Grey Hound pub (first floor). We can see the tournament main referee on central stage; Mol.

Tinsley Green in 2005
Aziz interview in 2005

On the day, the teams are very competitive. However, it is all in a friendly atmosphere. Germany is well represented by at least four or five teams (and their fans); and for the past five to six years, German teams have been dominating the game, having at least two or three teams present in the semi-finals, and winning very frequently the trophee.

The 2004 tournament was our first participation. We were not sure what to expect. Although we read alot about the tournament, the way the game is played, we had never seen a marble ring before. We were used to the Mediterranean games (single hole). Since understanding the rules about the ringer, we have built an offical ring in our back garden in Yorkshire (Leeds) - we call it our training ground. This allows us for better preparation to the tournaments. Every year, a couple of weeks before the event, there are some serious training sessions and the whole team is gathered to revise shooting and other strategies.

On the left, my son Aziz doing an interview for the BSN (British Satellite Network).BSN, BBC, like many other broadcasters turn up on the day.

How it all started again: Not Since I was a 11 to 13 year old kid playing marbles at Saint Joseph School in Algiers (that is around 1975!) , have I come across marbles again until 2001 when we were on holiday in Devon. I discovered the House of marbles and factory. So of course we visited the place, bought a lot of marbles and re-ignited my interest in marbles.

Since then (2001), We started to play at home (indoors) and had invented some simple marble games to play on our snooker table for the long rainy winter days (and nights). In 2004, we built the official marble ringer in the back end of our back garden: Yorkshire weather permitting, we try to play and practice and enjoy ourselves. We often use marbles as a good excuse to invite friends around and combine a barbecue and a marble game.

In 2003, a friend (Jackie) gave me as a birthday present the 1991 book edited by House of Mables, called "Marbles, the pocket book of marble collecting, history & games" . At the very end, this book had two pages on an international marble tournament in Tinsley Green that has been running since 1932. So researching the Internet, I found that the marble championship has been running ever since. I contacted the organiser (Sam McCarthy-Fox) and Sam suggested that if I could put together a team of six players, I could register for the 2004 tournament. And this is how we got invoved in the marble championships.

On the right, Leila, my wife playing in the second round of the 2006 tournament.

Leila in Tinsley Green 2006

Yorskhire Meds Photos from Tinsley Green Tournaments

         Marbles / 2008 Tinsley Green 2004

Marble Tournament

       Marbles / 2007 Tinsley Green 2004

Marble Tournament

  Marbles / 2006 Tinsley Green 2006

Marble Tournament

       Marbles / 2005 Tinsley Green 2005

Marble Tournament

       Marbles / 2004 Tinsley Green 2004

Marble Tournament

© Mourad Kara
Email: mourad@autonomic-labs.com