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  Germany wins world marbles crown
Updated 10 April 2004, 10.19
Shaking hands after a marble match
Britain has failed to claim the World Marble Championship crown, held in a car park in Crawley, West Sussex.

The German Saxonia 1 team won the day, beating fellow Germans, 1st MC Erzgebirge, by 24 marbles to 11.

The Brits, The Handcross Rebels, were knocked out in the semi-finals by a single marble.

Hundreds of marble fans turned out to cheer on 27 teams from around the world. The championships have been played in West Sussex since the 1930s.

Hand with marble
The teams gathered with their glass balls from as far afield as north Africa. A team from the US pulled out at the last minute.

Britain has failed to win the contest for three years in a row, losing to Germany, who have proven to be the grand marble masters.

As a game, marbles is thought to have started 500 years ago as a battle between two suitors for the hand of the fairest maiden in the village.

    The rules of the game:

  • 49 marbles are placed in a ring
  • There are six players in a team and each member has four marbles
  • The first team to knock 25 marbles out of the ring is the winner


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