Report 2002


The Johnson Jets play the Barrel Scrapers in the Quarter Finals

For the fourth year running the weather was fine and sunny - as many of you will know we British have a fixation with the weather. With just cause I think, as those of you that have played marbles at Tinsley Green in the cold with rain running down your nose and freezing fingers will know. The Championship was early this year 29th March; in 1975 the championships was played on the 28th March and it was so cold that before we could play the snow had to swept from the ring.
I arrived at 7.30 am and set about organising the playing area. The BBC (local radio) arrived soon afterwards and at 8.10 I gave the second live broadcast of the day. My wife Julia gave the first at 6.50 from home before getting five year old Zachary up ready for the day ahead.
Chairs were set out; the rings cordoned off, both sand and the red target marbles made ready. I then went to the local train station to collect our friend Hal Sissons and his wife, who had travelled from Canada to attend the event. Just before I left one of the German teams arrived and began to put in some practise on the side ring (no wonder they won).
This year saw the fifty years not only of our dear Queen Elizabeth II, but also of two members of the Handcross Rebels Barry Ray and Tom Chamberlain. To mark both events we saw the inaugural ‘Golden Oldies’ tournament. The Golden Cross is a simple game devised by The British Marbles Board of Control in celebration of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. It is a combination of the traditional English game of Ring Taw and the children’s game of Ringer as played at The National Marbles Tournament in New Jersey, USA. And is for players over the age of 50.


The sun sets on the final, this year saw one of the latest finishes on record

Individual Championship

In the Individuals a preliminary round was held to bring the number of players down to 12, Mark Parsons the current champion was added making 13 in total. 4 marbles for each player plus one were placed on the centre ring, a nose drop was held and the order of play was determined. After two rounds 33 of the target marbles were knocked out, in the third round Granny scored one, Colin six. At this point Benni made a break of nine and with a score of 11 marbles was unbeatable and was declared champion.

Granny Cruisers 1
Darren Handcross 49ers 0 K
Colin Black Dog Boozers 6
Hal Greyhound Dogs & Bitches 2
Benny 1st MC Erzgebirge I 11
Mark Johnson Jets 6
Torstan Sachsenbrunner 3
Paul Johnson Jets 4
Rick Turners Hill Tollmen 4
Colin Barrel Scrapers 2
Andreas II Saxonia I 6
Stepan Schwarzmurmler 3
Tom Handcross Rebels 2

The runner-ups prize

• 22 Teams or 136 players
• 68 Tolleys were nose dropped
• 1135 target marbles were used, 777 or 68% were knocked out
• 19 players were killed
• 24 players had no score and 21 players made double figures
• Highest Break of the day was made by Alex of the Saxonia I team with 13 marbles

Golden Cross Factoids

• 26 players took part
• 50 Tolleys were nose dropped
• 325 Yellow target marbles were used, 195 or 60% were knocked out
• Both Barry Ray and Graham Smith had the highest break of 6 marbles


Not often seen Mol and Sam the main tournament referees
Take part in a nosedrop in the ‘Golden Oldies’

This year we were delighted to have been included by Charles Wells Brewery as part of the Bombardier English Premium Bitter Eternal England Series celebrating the eccentricity of English pastimes. It is a great honour to be part of this elite group of events alongside such illustrious happenings as rolling pin throwing, Stilton rolling and nettle eating.


Rules of The Golden Cross

The inaugural game was played at the British and World Marbles Championship at The Greyhound, Tinsley Green on Good Friday 2002 in the “Golden Oldies” competition for players aged 50 years or over on that date.

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