Washers is an outdoor game of skill, played by four contestants. The game field consists of two washer pits, each containing one recessed cup of 4 inches in diameter (101.6 mm) positioned a specific distance apart, toward which players throw washers to score points. The official distance, from cup centers, is 21 feet. Shorter or greater distances are occasionally used but are not certified for official competition. For a tournament to be official, 5 teams must be present.
Each player throws four washers toward the opposite cup. Subsequent throwing order is based on who scored last with the scorer throwing first. In games with a standard pit, players may stand anywhere inside the pit when throwing. In games without a framed pit area, players are allowed to stand no closer than one normal step in front of the cup. The starting contestant throws all four washers, one at a time, followed by the second player's throws. Only one player may score per round. A washer inside the cup scores 5 points, leaning over the side is 3 points, and closest to the cup is 1 point. Scoring is done after all contestants have thrown. Should player #2 hit player #1's washer, for example, and nudge it closer to the cup than his own, player #1 thanks player #2 and benefits.
Should player #1 land a washer inside the cup and player #2 also land a washer inside the cup, player #2's throw negates the cupper & no points are awarded for the cupper. In this example, points would then be awarded based on the remaining washers and their distance from the cup. (Distance from the cup is generally determined by visual observation but may require a measurement. In the rare event that the two closest washers are equidistant from the cup, no points are awarded) Should player #1 score two cuppers and player #2 cap only one of them, 5 points would be awarded to player #1.
A winning game is determined in several ways. Should one player or team reach 11 points before the opponent scores a single point, the game is called a skunk and the player or team with zero points is out of the competition. With two players or teams, and one reaching 11 points before the other scores, the game is finished. Should one player or team score 17 points while the opponent has scored only 1 point, the game is called a whitewash & the player or team with only 1 point is out of the competition. (A skunk & whitewash are not official tournament rules).
When one player or team reaches 21 or more points before the opponent reaches 20 points, the game has gone full-term and the team or player with 21 or more points is declared the winner.
*Special thanks to the IAWP for many of the above rules.
Official WPA Terms
ADD - Similar terminology to Horseshoes and Tennis; When one player's score reaches 20, and one more added to the score would make a winner. This player always tosses last. With more than two players, the player to reach 20 first always tosses last.
CAP - When an opposing player lands a washer inside the cup after the previous player has already tossed a washer inside the cup. A capper. (To "cap" the "cupper".)
CUP - Cups are the recessed circular targets toward which each contestant tosses his washers. Cups are separated by 21', center to center, are typically 4" in diameter (101.6 mm) and composed of PVC or metal, approximately 5" in depth.
CUPPER - When a washer lands inside the cup.
FULL TERM - When a contestant has scored at least 2 points, there is no possibility of a skunk or whitewash and the game is said to be going to full term or term. A game of at least 21 points.
HANGER - A washer that extends over the lip of the cup, but is not in the cup, is said to be a hanger.
ON THE FLY - Washers that land directly in the cup, without first striking the pit, are said to have landed on the fly. This term also refers to a style of throwing where one aims directly for the cup rather than in front.
PIT - The area around the cup, approximately 5' x 3', often framed with wood, tape, marks, or by other means.
POINTER - A thrown washer that ultimately scores a point at the end of the round is referred to as a pointer
ROUND - When each player completes his toss. No washers are removed from the pit or cup until all players have completed their toss and scoring has been determined.
SKUNK - Reaching a score of 11 points before your opponent scores at all. (11-0). The player with 0 points is eliminated from further play for that game.
SLIDERS - Washers that land flat and in front of the cup, sliding toward the cup, are referred to as sliders. Soil conditions of the pit frequently dictate whether or not this throwing style is effective.
THROW - Or toss. One throw consists of tossing two washers, one at a time. Who tosses first is determined by "diddle" or by whomever scored last. Throws are always underhand.
WASHERS - Four washers of the same color and size used per player. The recommended washer is 2.5" in diameter, with a 1" hole in the middle; made of steel and weighing about 4 ounces.
WHITEWASH - Reaching a score of 17 points and your opponent has scored only 1 point. (17-1). The contestant with 1 point is eliminated from further play.