Carrom is a board game played on a tabletop. It originated in India but is now hugely popular across Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan. Carrom is also played across the western world, though it is less widely known.
You can find a straightforward answer here.
The standard size of a carrom board is 29 inches by 29 inches, which is the regulation size used when playing in federations and tournaments. Meanwhile, the most common measurement of carrom board made by American manufacturers is 28 inches by 28 inches.
Carrom across the Globe
Carrom became a common household game among the masses in the early 1900s across India and Sri Lanka, though it originated much earlier than this. In the first half of the 20th century, after the First World War, serious tournaments for the game were being held in India, but by the latter half of the century, this had become official with both Sri Lanka and India having carrom club federations by 1958, and tournaments which attracted sponsorship and even offered prizes.
The International Carrom Federation was founded in India in 1988, which also published the official rules. The United Kingdom followed closely behind, with the United Kingdom Carrom Federation forming in 1991. This federation holds World Carrom Championship tournaments, where over 20 countries take part.
The game’s popularity is strongest across Asia, but it is also reasonably popular across Europe, the United States, and Australia. The United States Carrom Association was founded in 1995, and the Italian Carrom Federation in the same year. In Germany, the German Carrom Federation was founded a little earlier, in 1986. The Japan Carrom Federation saw its beginnings in 1997, and the Pakistan Carrom Federation was established in 2004.
The most recent Carrom World Cup was held in 2018, where Sri Lanka was the men’s team winners, and India was the women’s team winners.
Carrom Board Sizes
Federation Size Board
The standard size of a carrom board is 29 inches by 29 inches.This is the regulation size that would be used when playing in federations and tournaments.
The 29 inches by 29 inches measurement is the surface area used for playing, but there is usually also a border around the board which will measure between 2 and 4 inches, giving the board a total size of between 31 by 31 inches and 33 by 33 inches. These measurements are the equivalent of a playing space of 74cm by 74cm and a border of between 5 and 10cm.
American Size Board
Carrom was first introduced to America towards the end of the 19th century by Christian missionaries who had visited Asia and brought the game back with them. The original carrom game was adapted slightly to suit the tastes of Americans and, as such, is now known as American Carrom.
The main differences compared to the original carrom is that the striker is not as heavy, and the carrom men have a reduced size. The corners also feature pockets instead of circular cut-outs, which will make it easier to score. In traditional carrom, you would use your fingers to flick the striker, while in American carrom, you can use a cue stick.
The most common measurement of carrom board made by American manufacturers is 28 inches by 28 inches, making it slightly smaller than the traditional sized board but keeping it in line with the slightly smaller pieces. This is the equivalent of 71cm by 71cm.
This size is for the measurement of the playing surface, and in most cases, there will also be a border around the playing surface which will add an extra few inches onto the total size of the board. The board and its pieces would traditionally have been made from wood, but today they are more commonly plastic in this carrom variation.
Non-Standard Size Board
Carrom boards can vary in size when you are playing the game casually among family and friends rather than on a regulated competitive platform. Some families may make their own carrom board if they are good at woodwork or have a board custom made to a particular size to suit their table.
Non-standard carrom boards can come in any size that is exactly square, such as 20 inches by 20 inches or 30 inches by 30 inches. If you want to practice playing carrom to play it competitively, then you should find a regulation size board or 29 inches by 29 inches.
Carrom is played on a square board which is usually made of plywood. The standard board size is 29 inches by 29 inches, and this is explored in greater depth below. Each corner of the board will have a hollow cut-out circle or a pocket. The game is made up of several components. These are carrom men, strikers, the queen, and powder.
The carrom men are discs or rings which are made from wood or plastic, and these are struck by the striker and will slide across the board and rebound against the side, similarly to in billiards or air hockey. Each game has 18 carrom men in two different colors; 9 pieces in one color for one player and 9 pieces in a second color for the other player. The queen is a further different color, usually red. The queen is the most valuable piece on the board and will start in the center. Each player gains one point for each carrom man pocketed, but whoever pockets the queen will gain an additional 3 points.
The striker is a larger disk held by each player, and this is used to strike the carrom men in order to propel them across the board. Powder is used with carrom to help the pieces slide more easily across the board’s surface. Commonly boric acid is used; however, this has been classified as a harmful substance by the EU, and as such, a powder made from vegetable starch is used as an alternative in many countries.
Each player can only pocket the color of carrom men they were assigned, and if they pocket a carrom man of the wrong color, they must forfeit a turn. The aim of the game is to be the player with the most points. It is widely enjoyed by adults and children alike and is a great family game.