THE MARTIAN GAME OF YANO
A game of skill and chance, played by rolling
tiny numbered spheres at a group of numbered holes
(Note: Martian units of measurement have been converted to Imperial Earth units)
The Martian game of Yano is usually played with six players.
Counters or oval metal coins change hands between winners and losers.
Each round of Yano is played with six spheres, numbered from one to six.
Each player has a numbered sphere...
(serious players carry game pouches
containing numerous sets of numbered spheres).
The spheres used in a game must all be of the same diameter and weight;
The diameter of these Yano spheres varies from 1 ¼ inches to 1 ½ inches.
The regulation Yano court should be level, with a hard, smooth surface.
Most courts feature a containing barrier and banking wall behind the holes area.
The traditional court is laid out with seven holes,
six in a line parallel with the Players’ Line.
The diameter of the holes is two inches.
The distance between the edges of the holes is two inches.
The seventh (Zero Hole) is one foot to the rear of
the centre of the space between Holes 3 & 4.
A line passing through the centers of Holes 1 to 6 is
a distance of 15 feet from the Players’ Line.
For each play the spheres must be mixed and redistributed.
The spheres are placed in a jug and are shaken.
One sphere is then rolled out to each player.
Each player's turn to play is determined by the number of his sphere,
the lowest number playing first.
Standing behind the Players’ Line the players, in their turn,
roll or toss their spheres toward the holes.
The Players’ Line may be marked with a cord,
tightly stretched and pegged down at each end but...
Usually a leather belt from the harness of a warrior is
used to designate this Players' Line.
If a player sinks his sphere into his own hole
he collects five counters from each of the other players.
If he sinks it into any other hole he pays five counters to
the player holding the sphere bearing the numbers of that hole.
(If no player holds this number the counters are placed in the Zero Hole or sorak pot and are claimed by the next player
who rolls his sphere into the Zero Hole.)
If his sphere rolls into the Zero Hole
he collects 10 counters or coins from each of the other players.
If a player misses entirely he places one counter
in the Zero Hole or sorak pot to be claimed by the next player to hit the Zero.
The spheres are mixed and redistributed after each play.
All counters in the Zero Hole at the end of the game go to
the player who has lost the greatest number of counters/coins.
A game normally ends when each player has had five rounds but this can be increased to any number of rounds if done so by general consent,
prior to the game.
(Players who participate in extended games usually
enter into it with a good number of playing spheres and coins.)
There can be a greater number of holes and a correspondingly greater number of players, but there must be an even number of holes in the Hole Line and the Zero Hole must always be directly behind the exact center of the line of holes.
Variations of the game feature cleverly designed courts with many duplicate numbered holes strategically placed among a variety of obstacles.
Many miniature versions of the game are created for children to play.
Yano is a game steeped in tradition.
In fact, when the Warlord of Mars, John Carter, suggested that some
Jasoomian elements be incorporated into the game, a great backlash of discontent
and rebellion rippled through Helium.
The thought of using clubs to repeatedly clobber the spheres until they fell into their assigned holes struck Heliumites as being silly - a complete and utter waste of time - despite the reverence they all held for their esteemed Earth-born leader.
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