NIMROD-- A committed group of teams hopes to popularize the game of Mölkky in the area. Mölkky is a Finnish game that is most similar to bowling.

The teams found their start in 2014 when Nimrod residents Clint Childers and Coleman Rydie formed the U.S. Mölkky Association. After playing similar outdoor European games, Daniel Charron of Minneapolis found he enjoyed the fast games of Mölkky better. He and Childers have been friends since growing up together in the Twin Cities.

“I’ve noticed that a lot of people that come their first time then they like it, they have fun and they keep coming back, so that's the best part and then hopefully they go back home and tell their friends to come out and play,” Charron said. The 12-15 teams at the 2021 Nimrod Jubilee Days has been the biggest event.

Charron finds his successful strides in the strategy of the game, like knowing which numbers to hit or knocking down a pin that the other team needs to extend the game. The goal is to get 50 points.

“It’s kind of like a chess game, you try to outthink your opponent,” Charron said.

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Since beginning to play in 2014, Charron took a few years to really understand and master the game, though he’s quickly come up the ranks with various team members. The games are played in two versus two team rounds. At the national championship on Sept. 26, his team including Jim Childers placed second, though with the highest ranking points for the season. The team of Cody Boyer and Kristin Eckman placed first with Clint Childers and Coleman Rydie placing third.

Daniel Charron, left, and Jim Childers, right, play for their second place win at the Mölkky national championship in Nimrod on Sept. 26, 2021.
Rebecca Mitchell / Pioneer Journal
Daniel Charron, left, and Jim Childers, right, play for their second place win at the Mölkky national championship in Nimrod on Sept. 26, 2021. Rebecca Mitchell / Pioneer Journal

Charron enjoys the time with friends but it is a competition for him. While he’s not upset when he loses, “I’m like very competitive,” Charron said. “It’s just fun to win, it just makes you feel good.”

His record includes:

2nd place with Pertti Lindewall at the Crashed Ice Tourney in St. Paul 2016

3rd place with Coleman Rydie Save the Carnegie Library Tourney in Bemidji 2016

2nd place with Becky Magadanz at Nimrod Jubilee Days Tourney 2017

1st place with Becky Magadanz at Nimrod Jubilee Days Tourney 2018

1st place with Cody Boyer at Park Rapids 4th of July Tourney 2019

1st place with Becky Magadanz at Nimrod Jubilee Days Tourney 2019

1st place with Jim Childers at Nimrod Jubilee Days Tourney 2021

At the Crashed Ice Tourney in St. Paul, Pertti Lindewall, left, and Daniel Charron, right, placed second in 2016. Lindewall is from Finland and Charron is from Minneapolis. 
Contributed / Daniel Charron
At the Crashed Ice Tourney in St. Paul, Pertti Lindewall, left, and Daniel Charron, right, placed second in 2016. Lindewall is from Finland and Charron is from Minneapolis. Contributed / Daniel Charron

While Charron would like to travel to the international competition in Finland, he knows it would be more for the experience than having a chance at winning.

Charron hopes to see more Mölkky organizations throughout the country. He said people of all ages can play, and win, the game.

To learn more about Mölkky, you can visit the U.S. Mölkky Association Facebook page.