Finnish Skittles is a traditional sport that originated centuries ago in Finland, and is still a popular sport in the country. It is also known as Karelian skittles, outdoor skittles or kyykkä (Mölkky). Besides Finland, the sport has a very minor presence also in Sweden.
The sport is played outdoors in a field measuring 23 x 72 ft. There are two playing squares, separated by a distance of 33ft. A set of 10 cylindrical wooden blocks, called skittles, and a wooden bat with a handle; similar to that of a baseball bat is used to play the sport.
Finnish Skittles can be played in singles, doubles or in team of four players. The objective of the sport is to knock down all the opponents’ skittles by throwing a bat.
In a match, opposing players take turns to knock and move the skittles out of the playing area. A player or team gets to throw four bats per turn. Each skittle thrown out of the playing area results in one point. Each un-thrown bat also yields a point. Each skittle left in the playing area at the end of a turn results in two minus points. The player or team with the most points at the end of the match is declared the winner.
Finnish skittles is a part of the annual World Championships of Gorodki Sport event. The Nordic Championships is another major event where competitions for the sport are conducted.
- Mölkky — a sport modeled after the much older sport of Finnish Skittles. Players use a wooden pin (also called a "mölkky") to try to knock over wooden pins.
- Gorodki — a folk sport from Russia, where competitors strike down a group of cylindrical wooden objects by throwing a bat.
- Skittles — a precursor to many bowling games, it is an indoor sport in a bowling alley, using one or more heavy balls to knock down nine skittles.
- Kubb — a lawn game where the object is to knock over wooden blocks ('kubbs') by throwing wooden batons at them.
- Bunnock — a kind of skittles game that is played with bones (commonly known as "Game of Bones")