The 16th annual Marshall Quoits began this week and will be played throughout the month.
The event, sponsored by John Deaver Drinko Academy, is hosting three separate Quoits tournaments. One event, “Open Tournament” is open for anyone to register and played from Sept. 7-16.
On Sept. 17 will be the President’s Invitational Quoits, in which the champion of the Open Tournament will face MU President Dr. Jerome Gilbert and his partner, Maurice Cooley, the Vice President of Intercultural Affairs and Student Affairs.
Finally, on Sept. 24, the Media Quoits Challenge will take place, in which local and student media will participate in a Quoits tournament.
Dr. Dan Holbrook, a former history professor at Marshall, is still helping volunteer with the tournaments and playing in the open tournament. Holbrook said he has nothing but great things to say about the rebuilt grounds and pits built by the Marshall Physical Plant for the tournament. “Physical Plant did a fantastic job at rebuilding these because they were full of a soft material, so the Quoits just dove in and disappeared and they are supposed to be flush with the ground,” Holbrook said. Holbrook said the metal boxes surrounding the pit are pieces from the former Fairfield Stadium, the football stadium of the Herd prior to the Joan C. Edwards Stadium.
Quoits is a game that has been played since the late 19th century, described has a mix of horseshoes and cornhole and known as a “gentleman’s sport”. Dr. Montserrat Miller, Executive Director of the John Deaver Drinko Academy said, “When you play Quoits you’re not supposed to talk about politics, ideology, religion, business or say disbarring things to each other, so it is an exercise in civil discourse.”
Some historians say that this game was played by politicians in the late 19th century as a way for people to come together by playing has a team. This seems to hold true in today’s games, as last year’s winners of the Media Quoits Challenge were Delegate Chad Lovejoy, a member of the Democratic Party and Delegate Matt Rohrbach, a member of the Republican Party.