Koestritzer Schwarzmurmler - Die Murmeltiere*




You have chosen the marblesite of Andreas vom Rothenbarth & the Koestritzer Schwarzmurmlers. This is a german site, translated by a german. If you find any mistakes, please contact us. 
The Koestritzer Schwarzmurmler have devoted themselves to the cultivation of traditional childrens games and the spreading of the marble playing.
Thatfor they practise regulary, organise marble competitions and fun fairs, contact marble players world wide and support schools and youth clubs, which want to protect traditional games for children and families. The club has its domicile in the thuringian capital Erfurt. The storyteller Andreas vom Rothenbarth and his familiy belong to the founders of the club.

* Koestritzer Schwarzmurmler - Marble players, who drink black beer. 
Murmeltiere - a german pun which is hardly translateable. 
Murmel = Marble, Murmeltier = marmot


Hah? Marble sports?
Yes, sure: the old childrens game has been played in competitions in germany since 1996.
The competition contains two categories: the "Englisches Ringspiel" and the "Deutsches Lochklickern".
Englisches Ringspiel: The same Marble Rules as played at Tinsley Green, UK. Players are knocking off one or more small marbles from a circular horizontal surface, six feet in diameter and covered with sharp sand. Two teams of six players are playing.
The first team to knock out 25 of 49 marbles is the winner of the game.

Deutsches Lochklickern: Two players try to throw 3 marbles in a hole each, but the winner is, who gets the last marble in the hole. In the team competition, teams á 4 players play against each other.

There are local, regional and german-wide competitions. The organisation of the german championship (mostly in summer) is assigned by the "Deutscher Murmelrat", which consist of the representatives of the teams, which are present in each case.
The organising clubs are offering mostly visitor competitions as well, where they show many traditional marble games.
Traditionally, playing marbles is connected with drinking beer, thatfor the sponsors are mostly breweries. There are clubs, who consider the renounce of beer as doping.

Playing rules
Click here for the official rules of the "Deutscher Murmelrat". (only in german)
Rules for family games you can find on the next lines.

Family games
Marble games encourage traditionally the communication between people of every age, colour, language, religion and philosophy of life. They are easy to learn, have to be negotiated each time, are cheap and can be played almost everywhere. Mostly, you should use your own marbles and be willing to win or loose with them, that makes it more attractive.

Below a few suggestions:

Zielkugel® (target sphere)
Players:          4 to 10, one banker.
Marbles:         Same number for everyone (3, 4 or 5), the bank can hand them out.
Game:             The banker places a marble in the center of the circle (or at the table). The others shoot in turns and the one, who hits the marble may keep both the aiming marble and his own. The banker puts another one in the center of the circle. If the shooter fails, the bank gets his marble. The bank can give credits and loans and negotiate interests. It's better to play on carpets or table clothes then on even surfaces. The one, who has marbles left in the end, is the winner. Everyone should be banker once.
The game is excellent for families with uneasy children, who are waiting for meals in restaurants.

Klickern und Spannen
Players:         4 to 8
Marbles:        One big  marble, everyone has got a normal marble on his own.
Game:            A game for outside, on the way to school or a walk. One throws the big marble a few steps ahead, all stop and throw their marbles to hit the big one. Whose marble lies nearest to the big marble or hits it, is the winner, gets the big one and may throw it the next time. Everyone has to remember, where his marble lies, otherwise they're soon lost.

Players:         4 to 8, one is the questioner.
Marbles:        Each player has got a few marbles or pebbles.
Game:            The questioner hides a number of marbles in one hand and asks the other players to guess a number by a rhyme. Those guessing correctly are paid that number of marbles by the questioner. Those guessing incorrectly must pay the questioner the difference between the number guessed and the number actually held. Players take turns to be the questioner.

This games and many more you can find in the booklet  "Eine runde Sache" by Andreas vom Rothenbarth.



There are lots of books about playing marbles. Please be aware, that rules for marble games are always only frames which have to be discussed and filled each time from the players. Try out, how you can play best!

Here's a little assortment of german books:

The most useful booklet is the pocket adviser "Eine runde Sache" by Andreas vom Rothenbarth. It contains clear, tested rules, is self-made and obtainable through the author. It has got the unbeatable price of 3 stamps (UK, 1st class) or 2 Euro previous cash.  5x7 cm, 32 pages, paper covers. In german language.

I think, the book with the best background information is (unfortunately presently not on the market available)
"Murmeln, Schusser, Klicker" by Renée Holler, Hugendubel-Verlag, ISBN 3-88034-293-8, 20x28 cm, Paperback

For UK, France and USA residents are the "House of Marbles" a interesting adress.


Where is Erfurt?
Erfurt is not only the capital city of the Freistaat Thüringen (State of Thuringia) but with nearly 200,000 citizens and an area of approx. 269 km² its biggest city. Its also the home of the famous sportsmen "Koestritzer Schwarzmurmler". You can decide for yourself after your visit to the "Green Heart of Germany" whether it is the most beautiful one as well. Click here for more information.



Andreas vom Rothenbarth, Erfurt

Köstritzer Schwarzmumler - Die Murmeltiere
Andreas vom Rothenbarth
Entenplan 117 * D-99634 Schwerstedt
Tel.  +49 / 36 376 / 5 66 10
Fax  +49 / 36 376 / 5 66 12

Don't use the phone, please, 'cause I speak not a word of english

For english calls ask for TINE