Stroboscopic photo of a wink being potted in the game of tiddlywinks The North American Tiddlywinks Association
T i d d l y w i n k s !
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Alleghany Airlines Book Club Presents

A compendium of tiddlywinks perversions by Sunshine, February 1976

Table of contents


Illustration of winks game on television Illustration of wink reading Winx Sports News


Two players. Board is an 18 by 18 inch mat divided into 8 zones. Each player starts with 8 small winks, positioned as shown below, each wink starting at 1 wink's distance from a zone line. A legal shot with a small wink consists of landing completely in the next forward zone, not touching any zone line or squopping any enemy wink. A wink is removed from the board (captured) when it is passed over by an enemy wink on a legal shot. Captures may be made of enemy winks either in the same zone or the next zone of the shooting wink, but in both cases the shooting wink must travel only one zone. In addition to the 8 horizontal zones, there are 2 sideline zones of 1/2 inch width. These are legal landing zones only on successful capture shots. Passing over more than one wink on a given shot causes all such enemies to be captured.

If a wink fails to land in the proper zone, the wink is returned to the starting point of the shot. The opponent can either accept a loss of turn for the player, or have the shot to be attempted again. Three failing attempts on a given turn cause the wink to be considered captured. Should a wink safely advance to the opponent's starting zone, it becomes a king and is transformed into a large wink. Kings may be played either forwards or backwards one zone.

An optional rule for obligatory capture attempts can be added to the game. A wink is considered capturable if it is in either the remainder of the same zone or in the first half of the next zone and is less than a squidger's width to the left or right of one's wink. This rule of shooting for any capturable winks can be applied either at all times or for an extra shot with a wink that has just made a capture. Games are played until only one side still has winks

.Layout of the winks perversion game of Checkers


Two players on an 18 inch by 36 inch mat divided into two 18 by 18 inch areas by a net. The net usually consists of several paperback books and is customarily six inches high. Each player has one large wink as their tennis player and a small wink constitutes the ball.

Service takes place from alternate back quarters of the court into the diagonally opposite half of the court. The large wink is placed on the ball by the server who then desquops the ball over the net with an at least almost continuous (legal) shot. An ace is scored if the ball lands on the opponent, or if the ball hits the opponent and then bounces off the court. A fault occurs if the ball fails to clear the net or if the ball fails to remain on opponent's proper half of court (unless ball strikes opponent). Twenty-three lets - ball touching net on way to proper side of court or ball resting on top of net, is also considered a fault. Two consecutive faults is a point for receiver.

The receiver of the serve (and of subsequent successful shots) has two shots in which to squop the ball. If two shots are needed, or if the player wishes to use the second shot for better possitioning for the return, the opponent (server on first return) has an approach shot to better position himself in awaiting the return. Return is then attempted, as in serving, by a (semi) legal desquop of the ball, hopefully with the ball clearing the net and then remaining on the mat. If a player completely covers the ball on first shot, no positional shot is allowed and the ball is to be returned immediately. If a player fails to reach the ball in two shots he loses the point, as also if he fails to get it back over the net. The final resting spot, not initial landing location, determines whether a return is good (except when the ball hits the player). Either conventional or World Team Tennis scoring conventions and serving rotations may be used.

If a player goes off the court (hitting the net is not considered off the court) he is deemed incompetent and misses a shot. If the opponent should reach the ball and return it is two shots the point is his. If the normal three shots are required, incompetent player merely loses his approach shot. If a player lands on the opponent's side of the net, he is considered athletic and no penalty is imposed unless he covers his opponent (he then loses the point). However, he will have to be very athletic to jump back over the net for his next return. If a player goes under the ball he is deemed to have tripped and loses the point, as well as being embarrassed. Should the ball or player land on the sideline or baseline, they are considered on the court. If the court boundaries are determined by the edges of the mat (as opposed to a drawn line), any time a ball or player rests on the boundary, both ball and player may be moved one small wink's distance, maintaining same distance between ball and player.

Illustration of a shot in the winks perversion game of Tennis


Played by two teams (each using two small winks) on a 36 by 18 inch field, the short sides of the mat serving as goallines. The ball is a large wink. Play four six minute periods, time stopping only for long interruptions. Teams change goals after the first and third periods (reversing direction of play). After time expires in each half, the last possession is completed. The game can also be played to a specified point total instead of using a time limit.

Kickoffs are used to start each half and after all scores. Kicking team places ball one small wink from its own goal and shoots it towards the opponent team. All four winks (players) are to be positioned prior to the kickoff. Any ball landing partially on the field is considered in bounds and is to be played after moving the ball in one small wink. If the kickoff goes beyond the goal or out of bounds, the receiving team receives three shots on its possession, starting at center of goalline or where ball went out of bounds. If ball lands on field, receiving team has one attempt to squop ball. If squop is successful, squopping wink is moved aside and offense (O) begins a three shot turn (first shot is the runback), otherwise O has a two shot turn. Should the kickoff land on the goalline, O receives only a one or two shot possession (depending on whether squop is successful), starting one wink onto field. Squops are attempted before ball is moved inward.

On a possession, offense and defence (D) alternate shots, O trying to shoot ball to overhanging (squopping) the goalline, D trying to squop the ball with one of its players. A squop by D reduces the possession by one shot (i.e., a squop after the second shot of a three shot possession ends the possession.). If O shoots the ball off the field, D takes over the ball as in kickoff with a three shot turn. If O squops the goalline, touchdown is worth six points and an extra point is attempted. O has choice of trying for one point (a pot from five inches away with the cup placed just off the mat at center of goalline) or for two points (an overhang from three inches away).

O can also attempt a field goal during its turn instead of trying for a touchdown. O moves ball directly away from goal as far as it desires and D is allowed one squop attempt from the line of scrimmage. The other D wink can be placed anywhere between line of scrimmage and the goalline. If the D squop is good, the kick is blocked and D takes over with.a three shot possession from the point of the squop. If no squop, O attempts field goal for three points by potting. If pot attempt is missed and goes off field, D starts a two shot sequence from point of kick. If ball misses and stays on field, kick is treated as in kickoff above.

Should a defensive player be shot off the field, that player is ineligible for squopping until the next possession. If an O attempt has fallen short of the goal but the next D squop puts the ball on the goalline, touchdown is scored independent of whether squop was made.

Illustration of a play in the winks perversion game of Football


Two players, ten (or other) round fight. Each player starts with a big on big wink pile with a six inch separation between fighters at start of rounds. Play proceeds, either alternating shots or with continuous shooting (to be decided prior to bout). Fighting should take place in a nine inch circular ring, with leaving the ring being equivalent to falling down (pile separating). The object of the game is to keep one's winks in one pile and to squop the opponents pile. If one pile falls down. opponent has one shot to attempt to squop felled winks (no longer trying to stay in one pile himself). If neither wink is squopped, boxers retreat to corners and start round again. Squopping one of the felled winks wins the round by a 1-0 score. If both winks are squopped, a potting desquop is attempted (pot being placed at choice of boxer on top). If pot is successful, a knockout has occurred and the fight is over, otherwise the round is won 2-0. If a squop occurs of the other boxer's top wink with both fighters still standing but only top wink of squopping boxer is over the opponent, round is scored 1-0. If the bottom wink has the squop, boxer attempts to pot one of opponent's winks and then has one shot to resquop the remaining wink. If pot and squop are both good, fight is won by knockout, otherwise score round 2-0. Intentionally separating one's winks when other boxer is still standing is considered a dive and loses the fight.


In days gone by golf was occasionally played in the old Zoo. The classic hole of this classic course was a par 15, 80 foot hole with a course record of 11. The hole started with a dogleg right, another dogleg right, went down two flights of stairs, a dogleg left through an open door, and ended with a dogleg left to an elevated green on a coffee table. Random trash cans and other obstacles lined the fairway and protected the green (gray).


Layout of winks mat for the winks perversion game of Basketball

  1. Game - four periods of ten minutes duration each followed by 18 turns (see 6 below). In case of tie score, additional four minute periods with 10 turns are to be used until tie is broken.
  2. Court - 18 inches by 36 inches, baskets (pots) placed 1 inch from edge at middles of short sides of court.
  3. Team - Five players (winks) per team, no more than two of which may be large winks. Players may be positioned at start of a period and, if not squopped, before any free throw.
  4. Ball - Small wink. Ball is to be moved by squopping it with a player and subsequent legal desquopping.
  5. Scoring - By potting the ball. Score three points for field goals of over nine inches (to base of pot), two points for other field goals, and one point for free throws (foul shots) from the six inch line (see diagram below).
  6. Turn - A sequence of shots by offense (O) or defense (D) which start when ball is in possession of O. Rebounding shots, attempts at loose balls, foul shots,, jump balls, and defensive fouls are not considered turns. A turn often consists of more than one winks shot.
  7. Incompetence - A wink that is shot off the mat by its owner (not by opponent) is considered incompetent for remainder of the team's turn and is also inactive for its next turn. If a big wink is incompetent, it is replaced by a small wink (which misses the turns) until the next basket or foul is committed.
  8. Possession - Ball is possessed by O when it is squopped by a player or after opposition's possession is over and until either the end of the subsequent O turn, a basket attempt, the ball goes out of bounds, D knocks O off the ball, or a foul occurs.
  9. Jump ball - Each team places one player two inches from ball and has one attempt to squop ball, teams alternating having the first shot. Player squopping more of ball wins jump, other player is moved aside (if also on ball) and play starts. If neither player squops ball, jump is tried again. Each period starts with a jump at center of court. If during play it happens that the ball either squops players from both teams or subs under both teams, a jump is to be done at the closest foul line. Players always jump toward their own basket.
  10. Field goal attempt - must be announced by O prior to shot. O desquops ball with intent of potting. Cannot be done on an inbounds pass.
  11. Pass - Player desquops ball and a teammate is used to try to retain possession on the turn, usually receiving two shots to do so (see description of play below).
  12. Inbounds Pass (IB) - O inbounds ball after opponent baskets (from either IB1 position near the basket), after opponent shoots ball out of bounds (ball partially off court is out of bounds), after tie ups (see 19), after non-shooting fouls, travelling violations (see 20), airballs (see 21), and after shot clock violations (see 27). Ball is to be inbounded from IBI or IB2 spot nearest to where the violation occurred, placing a player on the ball ½  inch from the inbounds spot. Except for on tie ups, O may choose any of his nonsquopped players to make the pass. After tie ups, O receives only one shot to catch inbounds pass, otherwise two shots (with exception of when D utilizes steal option. (See 29 and description of play below).
  13. Dribble - Player desquops ball and shoots back on ball
  14. Set up - Player positions itself on wink for a basket attempt or pass on the next turn. O must announce variety of setup prior to shot.
  15. Motion of players - Shot by D or by a non-ball carrying memberof O in which no squop attempt of ball is made.
  16. Rebounding - After missed basket attempts (including last free throw) teams alternate shots to gain possession. D shoots first.
  17. Screen - Any D player or non-ball-carrying O member may be squopped and made inactive, except when violating 23 or 30 (see below).
  18. Free throw - foul shot. Attempts for one point per basket from six inch line. Player fouled is positioned on ball for foul shot. Rebounding shots need not be filled but are reserved for proper teams (see diagram).
  19. Tie ups - D squops part of ball but not ball carrier O retains possession with an inbounds pass (12) but has only one shot to catch pass.
  20. Travelling - O player remains on ball without announcing setup and without ball hitting basket, or by coming off ball on a setup.
  21. Air balls - Basket attempt that does not go off court but which fails to reach as high as pot or within one inch of the pot during its trajectory.
  22. Defensive foul - D squops ball carrier. O receives two free throws. If O was going to attempt basket, D player is removed and basket attempted. If basket is good, only one free throw is awarded.
  23. Illegal screen foul - Foul occurs when a team squops more than three opponent players, or has two separate squops on the same half of the court (player squopped on midcourt line is considered in its backcourt). Illegal squop is removed. Foul is a non-shooting one unless committed by D in the penalty situation (see 25)
  24. Offensive foul - O player goes in basket (basket will still count if ball also goes in) or if a D wink submarines between ball carrier and ball or under ball while in 0 possession. This is always a non-shooting foul.
  25. Penalty situation - A team is in the penalty situation if it has committed three or more fouls during a period or two fouls during the rounds at the end of a period. Screen fouls (.23) by D become 2 shot fouls. Two shot fouls become three attempts to make two, and one shot fouls become 2 shot fouls
  26. Screen removals - after any successful field goal and before any shooting foul, each team must release one screened player (if it has any) of its choice other than the one involved in the foul. Any screens in the free throw lane to be used must be released
  27. Time limit - A basket attempt must be made by the end of the third turn of O. Fouls reset timer to 0, tie-ups to 1. If the ball is temporarily uncontrolled after a turn, shot clock is stopped but not reset. if time limit is violated, D gains possesstion with an inbounds pass (12).
  28. Ball positioning - Any time the ball squops a player, the player is positioned on the ball by hand at its team's choice.
  29. Steal attempt - D tries to knock O off ball, or to squop ball in the middle of an O turn. If knockoff is successful, D has first shot at ball, then teams alternate . until possession is established. See description of play below for interrupt steal attempt.
  30. Violence - No player should squop an opposition player with undue violence, lest the player be hurt and suffer undeserved pain.
  31. Major powers - A non-major power becomes one when they receive a vote of confidence of at least 50% of the then existing major powers.

Description of Play

A turn may start in four ways: by moving a player, attempting a basket, setting up to pass or shoot, and by attempting a release of ball.

  1. Moving a player - O moves one player, D moves one player, end of two turns. This option cannot be used twice in a row.
  2. Basket attempt - only if announced at end of previous turn. If shot misses but is controlled by any O player, another shot can be attempted or another turn started with another option.
  3. Set up to pass or shoot (14) - O sets up, D moves a player (15) or tries for ball. End of two turns unless foul or steal occurs (only one turn).
  4. Attempted release of ball (11, 12, or 13) - if player remains on ball, end of one turn and travelling (20) is called. Should ball cover only a D, end of one turn and a change of possession with ball positioning (28). If ball covers only on O, 28 is used and O has one more shot to complete turn. If ball covers both O and D, jump ball (9). if ball does not touch any player, O takes one shot to squop ball. If O squops ball, O takes one more shot to complete turn, followed by one defensive shot (turn) unless possession has already changed. If O misses, D has option of attempting a steal. If no steal is tried, O has one shot to end turn, D has two shot turn to be used by two different players. If steal attempt (29) is used and is successful, two turns are over, If steal fails, but an O player is squopped, a non-shooting foul has occurred and one turn ended. If no squop occurs, D turn is over and O has two more shots to complete turn, and D only a one shot turn. If O is inbounding ball after a tie up, O has only a one shot turn (above does not apply).


We have attempted to carry over baseball's rules to winks baseball in the simplest form that would allow for pseudo analogy to the physical game with relatively similar probabilities for the various possible events. Basic rules such as nine men to a side, three outs to an inning, four balls and three strikes per walk or strikeout and the like have been kept in entirety. It was, however, necessary to reduce the distance between the bases to fit a baseball stadium onto a regulation mat. The field described below is Kendall Park, a one mat stadium. As in baseball, only the infield measurements are sacred, with the shape, size, and special areas of the outfield being up to the particular stadium designer.

A team consists of 9 winks, 5 large and 4 small ones. The pitcher is to be a large wink, as is the ball. Three winks are to be positioned in the outfield, four within the infield, and one behind the plate. The other 4 large winks (besides the pitcher) may be used at any positions. When batting, the 9th player is large or small, depending on whether the designated hitter rule is in effect or not.

The game can be played with any number of winkers, though thus far the standard team size has been only 1 or 2 winkers. With a 2 man team, batting is done on a strict rotation, with winks reaching base later being run by their winker batter. (Thus one winker might be playing 2 baserunners and the batsman should their partner make outs in between.) Winkers also alternate being scheduled to start innings as the pitcher. A relief pitcher may be brought in but not until at least 1 out and only once in a given inning. If a pitcher has been relieved he replaces his partner as the starter for the next inning and must pitch to only one batter after the first out has been made (none if a double or triple play occurs). The winker not pitching has the catcher's responsibilities. The rest of the fielders may be divided in any way desired, providing that the same division is used regardless of who is pitching.

Areas of the mat are designated in the diagram of Kendall Park. After a batter hits the ball, different rules are used depending on the area in which the ball has landed. In case the ball is on a dividing line, the following order of priority is used to determine the area: B (batting box), H (home plate), C (catcher), F (foul ball), FB (foul bunt), A (up the alley), O (outfield), L (down the line), T (Texas leaguer), and I (infield). The rules of the area in question govern the defense's first turn (number of shots allowed to catch or throw ball), the offense's first turn (batter or baserunner), and when alternation of one shot turns is to start.

In general, batter tries to hit ball into area that best suits his team's needs (long ball, a hit, etc.). The defense must squop the ball and then desquop it towards the appropriate base. Batter and runners attempt to advance to their next base. Only the first throw need be a desquop, therafter only the ball is shot. To be safe a runner must get any part of itself in or touching the base in question before defense registers an out by either placing the ball within the base or on the runner. If a runner changes its mind about advancing, it must get back to the previous base before the ball arrives at either base. When more than one runner is on base, runners may run in any order between the defense's turns. Any time offense opts to keep all runners on base during its turn, the play is over. After a runner has reached 3rd base safely and wishes to try to score, a pot is placed at the center of the batting box and a pot is attempted to score 1 run. If the shot misses, the pot is removed and defense tries to throw out the runner by having the ball reach any part of home plate or by squopping the runner. Baseball rules apply for scoring of runs on plays on which the side is retired.


Layout of the playing field for the winks Baseball perversion game of Kendall Park

b to h 16.0 cm
h to q 20.0
h to [1] 46.5
[1] to [2] 39. 0
n to p 24.0 cm
p to r 27.0
[2] to r 4.0
r to t 23.0
h to W 146.0
H 12.9 by 18.0 cm
B 4.3 by 10.3
[1], [2], [3]  3. 0 by 3. 0
L ~12.0 by 19.0
A 13. 0 base
    20.0 cone
S 8. 0 bowl
S1 winx pot

In the following rules discussion, suggested rules changes that might add realism but definitely add complexity have been enclosed in braces { }. These rules need not be used.

Play starts with the placing of the pitcher on the ball (both are large winks) on the pitcher's mound (P). A batter awaiting the pitch is placed totally within area B. The pitcher legally desquops the ball towards homeplate. A pitch landing in, or touching the lines of, H or B is a strike, otherwise a ball. Batter swings at pitches by choice, swinging by attempting to squop the ball. Unsuccessful squops are strikes regardless of where the ball lies. After successful squops batter attempts to desquop ball into fair territory. Any batted ball landing in (or touching) F, H, B, FB, C or striking the rolled section of the mat (W) is a foul ball (unless it bounced out of S). An obviously illegal swing is considered as a swing and a miss unless defense accepts the play. Disputed plays without the presence of an umpire should be reattempted if possible, otherwise ignored as if the pitch never happened. Should the pitch land atop the batter, he is hit by pitch and receives Ist base. If pitch subs, batter must swing in that position. A pitch going off the mat is a ball, and with runners on base is also a potential wild pitch (see below under steal).

Let us assume that the ball is pitched, squopped, and then hit onto the playing field and that there are no runners on base.


Any infielder may go for the ball. If caught (squopped) on 1 shot then the play was a pop up or a line drive and the batter is out. Otherwise infielder gets 2 more shots, then batter runs and alternation continues until play is completed. Once ball is squopped, fielder then attempts desquop to base. Batter starts from center of H (regardless of where followthrough of swing left him). If batter goes for hot dog in stands he gets placed where he went off mat but not within 15 centimeters of base in question and also loses next turn. Similarly, if ball leaves field defense loses next turn.

Outfielder gets 2 chances to squop ball for a fly out. Batter runs after first shot but still is out if fielder gets ball on their second shot.

Outfielder must catch ball on 1 shot for an out. Batter runs after first shot.

If ball stays within S, which is some sort of saucer, cup, or winks pot (S1), batter has struck a home run. If ball bounces out but stays on field, play as in A above. if ball bounces out and then off field, ground rule double, scoring a man from 1st if runner can get to 2nd on one shot. Saucers may be moved aside after catches if it would interfere with subsequent throw.

Fielder must catch ball on I shot for a fly out. Batter runs after first shot. {If an outfielder tried for catch, batter gets 2 shots before turns alternate.}

Infielder gets I chance to catch ball on-the fly. If catch is missed, ball is considered down the line and must be retrieved by the outfielder. Outfielder gets 1 shot (not considered a catch attempt) and then alternation starts.

If ball hits or goes over the rolled up section of the mat (but not by bouncing out of S), foul ball. if an outfielder going for a ball hits the wall or goes off the mat, he is considered unconscious. Any other fielder elgible to go for ball may do so, gets one shot to be considered simultaneous with that of his injured team-mate's last shot and then normal rules apply, save that ball cannot be caught for an out.

Ball landing in F or C is a foul pop up and any fielder has 1 shot to catch it. A ball landing in B, FB, or in H is a foul bunt and counts as a strikeout if done with 2 strikes on the batter.


Runners may leave base after 1st defensive shot, or wait to tag up if outfielder might catch ball on second shot. {To tag up to home, runner goes after fielder's catch; to 2nd after fielder's 1st throw; and to 3rd after throw if ball caught in leftfield, otherwise after catch.} If an unconscious fielder has caught the ball, another fielder must pry ball loose from his rigid grasp before throwing.

Runners may run after the hit, before defense goes for ball. However, if ball is caught on 1st shot for an out, fielder gets 1 throw to catch runners off base, then turns alternate.

If ball is within 5 centimeters of any infielder when runners may be forced with fewer than two outs, infield fly rule is invoked. Otherwise, runners go after 2nd defensive shot. Whenever ball gets to a base to register an out, defense gets a bonus throw to try for double play (or more)

OTHER (T,L, or F)
If the ball has landed in T (Texas leaguer) or L (down the line), runners may leave bases after the hit. If a foul ball is caught, fielder has 1 shot, then runners may try to tag up.


Stealing may only be attempted from 1st base. Runner shows intention by leaving base (by shooting) prior to pitch. Runner must go off base entirely but not past the l line. If attempt to take a lead fails to get off base or goes too far, runner is placed back on base and may not steal that pitch. Pitcher may also try to pick off or scare runner back to base. instead of pitching, hurler (without changing his position on the ball) tries to squop the runner. If he does so successfully, or if ball lands on 1st, runner is out. If not, 1st baseman tries to catch ball and then place it on base or on runner. if this is done in 2 shots, runner must return to first and cannot steal on the next pitch, otherwise he must try. if, however, fielder failed to catch the ball in 2 shots, runner may break for second. If pickoff throw went off the mat, fielder loses one turn and runner can head for second if fielder misses on his first shot.

If the runner is stealing, pitcher pitches. If batter hits the ball, a hit-and-run play is in progress. If batter misses or doesn't swing, catcher goes for ball, then runner runs, catcher gets 2 shots, then alternation. Catcher always gets removed for throw to second. Should the pitch go off the field, catcher loses his first turn. On a hit-and-run play, the runner goes before the swing (overriding rules given above for plays with runners on base).

For pitch out, honor system prevails. To indicate a pitch-out, catcher sends himself to side of homeplate (the only time catcher is allowed outside of C prior to a pitch). Then runner verbally announces steal intent if he had so planned, regardless of catcher's position. if pitchout is being tried, pitch is automatically a ball unless batter swings for it or is hit by pitch. If runner is going, catcher gets 2 shots, then alternation. Catcher loses his first turn if ball goes off field.

Runners may try to advance a base on wild pitches without having announced steal attempt. Ball is placed I large winks distance from where it left the field and catcher has 1 chance to squop the ball. If he does so, he throws it to the appropriate base to forestall runners advancing. if squop attempt failed, or if there was a bad throw, runners may decide to try to advance, each runner shooting once, defense twice, then alter- nation.

Back to the table of contents for Sunshine's Alleghany Airlines Book Club Presents catalog of tiddlywinks perversions.

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