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Mölkky, or Lawn Bowling, Game information

Mölkky is a Finnish throwing game which originated in the Päijänne Tavastia region in Southern Finland. Mölkky requires no special equipment and success is based on a combination of chance and skill.

Mölkky could also be called Yard Bowling, as it’s been described as a cross between bowling and bocce. It can be played in all kinds of weather, due to the simple nature of the game. Young kids can easily take part, while older players can add additional levels of strategy and skill, making the game fun for everyone! The game can requires at least 2 people, but can be played by as many as you want.

Molkky Game Rules

DOWNLOAD Molkky Game Rules

Have the rules with you when you’re ready to play. Click the download button & print the Molkky instructions found on this page.


The object is to be the first (or the first team) to mark 50 points without exceeding them.

  • The players use a wooden pin (called a mölkky) to try and knock over numbered wooden pins (skittles).
  • Points are rewarded based on the numbers on the different pins, which are marked from 1 to 12.
  • Pins are initially placed in a tight group in an upright position about 10 feet away from the throwing area.

Order of Pins:

1st Row: #1, #2
2nd Row: #3, #10, #4
3rd Row: #5, #11, #12, #6
4th Row: #7, #9, #8


  • If the thrower knocks over ONE pin, the player receives the number of points marked on that pin. (e.g. #1 – #12)
  • If the player knocks 2 or more pins, the score equals the amount of pins knocked over.
    (e.g. 3 pins score 3 points)
  • A pin does not count if it is leaning on the mölkky or one of the numbered pins (they have to be parallel to the ground to count).
  • After each throw, the pins are lifted up again in the exact location where they landed. The first one to reach exactly 50 points wins the game.
  • Scoring more than 50 will be penalized by setting the player’s score back to 25 points.
  • A player will be eliminated from the game if they miss all of the target pins three times in a row.

How to make your own Mölkky game

DOWNLOAD Mölkky Building Instructions

You can make your own Mölkky game. Just click the download button, and print out the Mölkky game making instructions found on this page.

Find Wood

Finding wood to use can be the hardest part. The “official” diameter is 2.5″, but that’s almost impossible to find at a lumber yard. 3″ fence post works well. One could also use landscaping wood or cut up tree limbs. Use your imagination!

Buy or Create:2 1/2″ diameter, round wood pieces.

  • Diameter and length can vary to suit. Some like fatter, taller skittles and molkkey’s. Some like skittles that vary in size to make it more challenging.)

Cutting the Game Pieces

Mölkky: Cut one piece to 8 3/4″, with two right ends

Skittles: Cut 12 pieces. One end has 45° bevel.

** The long edge should measure 6″ in length, the short edge is 3.75″

Mölkky Links

Making a Mölkky Game

Molkky Photo Gallery
How to make your own Mölkky game
Molkky Game Rules