Welcome to the Yorkshire Meds Marbles Team Web Site

WELCOME to the Web home of the Yorkshire Meds Marbles team. This is about becoming a big kid again. We enjoy playing marbles as an indoor & outdoor activity. Yes, I hear you say, playing marbles - children & adults? eccentric, unusual, vintage, typical British tradition?

There are hundreds of teams across Europe such as the UK, Germany, Czech republic and the USA playing marbles and many of them are centred on leagues and tournaments.

Our main logo pictures a marble as background, the White Rose from Yorkshire and the Hibiscus flower from the Mediterranean bay (mainly Algeria). I put together this simple Website for friends and families to keep up with our mischief in marbleous games as well as for marble enthusiasts who might be interested in the game.

The Yorkshire Meds logo

Playing marbles has been (for me) the perfect antidote to modern life. It takes me back to my childhood and an age before we were all sat in front of computer screens. It's especially rewarding to encourage children to play; it's fantastic for them to have an interest away from today's playstations and x-boxes. Perhaps it is also a way to go towards vintage passtime renaissance. There is nothing like being a big kid at heart.

Contact Mourad Kara for further information


Yorkshire Meds performance in the Annual World marbles championships

World Champions 2008, 2009, 2011, 2016
Best lady tournament trophy 2008, 2011, 2014, 2016
Best Individual player trophy 2008, 2009

Yorkshire Meds is a team made up of players young and old and spans across three generations (grand parents to grand-children), friends and neighbours!

Yorkshire Meds is short for Yorkshire Mediterranean since the team is made up of people from Yorkshire, and people originally from the Mediterranean bay (mainly Algeria) living in Yorkshire.

For further information on each annual event and some photos to provide a flavour of the tournament, please scroll further down.


  • 2017: Finalists x3 (team, Best Lady, Golden Oldies)
  • 2016: Winners + Best lady champion
  • 2015: Quarter-finalists
  • 2014: Quarter-finalists + Best lady champion
  • 2013: 1st round
  • 2012: Semi-finalists
  • 2011:Winners + Best lady champion
  • 2010: Semi-finalists
  • 2009: Winners + Individual champion
  • 2008: Winners + Individual champion + Best lady champion
  • 2007: 1st round
  • 2006: Quarter-finalists
  • 2005: Quarter-finalists
  • 2004: 1st round (1st participation)

How Yorkshire Meds started?

In 2003, a friend and neighbour (Jackie), knowing my passion for marbles, gave me as a birthday present the 1991 book edited by House of Marbles, called "Marbles, the pocket book of marble collecting, history & games" . At the very end, this book had two pages on an international marble tournament in Tinsley Green that has been running since 1932. So researching the Internet, I found that the marbles championship has been running ever since. I just could not believe it. I contacted the organiser (Sam McCarthy-Fox) and Sam suggested that if I could put together a team of six players, I could register for the 2004 tournament. And this is how we got involved in the marble championships.

The 2017 team members are Leila Kara, Akil Tata, Halim Tata, Bob Croft, Karim Djemame and Mourad Kara (c) . Five members of the team remained unchanged for over a decade. The sixth member was Aziz Kara until 2009. In 2010, Rose Croft took over from Aziz Kara. In 2013, Nacera Tata took over from Rose Croft. In 2016, Karim Djemame took over from Nacera Tata. The photo on the left is the 2009 team (from left to right: Akil Tata, Leila Kara, Bob Croft, Aziz Kara, Mourad Kara (c) and Halim Tata.


Tinsley Green in 2005

World Marbles Championship in Tinsley Green (UK)

There are between 20 and 32 teams competing spanning from UK, Germany, Australia, USA and other countries too. On the day, the teams are competitive. However, it is all in a friendly atmosphere. Germany is well represented by up to four or five teams (and their fans); and for the past five to six years, German teams have been dominating the game, having sometimes two or three teams present in the semi-finals, and winning very frequently the cup. The tournament starts to be very competitive and heats up from the Quarter-finals onwards, this is where you start to see more or less the same teams year on year.

The Annual championships take place every Good Friday and they are a great fun day out for all, children and adults. There are outdoor activities for all as well as the main tournament events. It is free to attend. You can see some photos from the annual events below to give you an idea of what its like. In an age where children spend a lot of time in front of screens, it is always healthy to preserve some of the old outdoor traditions. Wikipedia has also a very good webpage of the tournament and its history.

Photo on the left, this is the central ring at the 2005 Marble Championship. I took the photo from the Greyhounds pub (balcony). We can see the tournament main referee on central stage; Mol.


2017 Annual World Championship

A year of finalists (runner-up) in three competitions …

This year was a year of “finalists” (or runner-up if you prefer) for Yorkshire Meds. The team and its members were finalists in three out of the four competitions of the Annual World Championship; (1) Main team event, (2) Best Lady and (3) Golden Oldies.

In the Golden Oldies, The semi-finalists were Bob, Karim, myself and Colin Gardner (Black Dogs). I lost to Karim and Bob to Colin. The final was Karim against Colin, which Colin won. It was good though to have three Yorkshire Med players out of four in the semi-finals.

Leila played the “Best Lady” tournament. Towards the end, only Alison (49ers) and Leila remained on the ring (all the others were out) and it was a narrow victory for Alison this year (reverse from last year). For the last few years, the Best lady has been coming to a final between Alison and Leila. Halim participated in the Individual event. Most players did not stand a chance really as Chris (1st MC Erzgebirge) got in and delivered a break of about 20+ winning the trophy.

Our fan base includes both my mother and mother-in-law; and like the past few years, they got to participate to the Golden Oldies competition, making it very interesting from their perspective too, by taking part and having fun. The competition took place on the 14th of April. It was dry and fine weather. On the team front, as with previous years, we practised in our Leeds training ground (full squad present).


2016 Annual World Championship

YorkshireMeds wins a fourth World title

This year, the championships came quite early (25th of March). We also got a new player who has been a friend of the family and team for a while (Karim Djemame). As with previous years, we practised well as a team in our Leeds training ground. The weather on the big day was sunny and dry. Five of the six members of the team played in the Golden Oldies tournament , with Akil and Mourad reaching the semi-final. Leila won the “best lady” trophy in the female competition for the fourth time. The other great delight was our win in the main tournament After a four years absence as champions (since 2011), we fought back from the quarter-finales where we met last year semi-finalists all the way to the final, and meeting last year winners, the german team (1st MC Erzgebirge).

The strength of YorkshireMeds this year was all six players played really well. So it has been great to bring back two trophies to Yorkshire, and winning both trophies for a fourth time


2015 Annual World Championship

The championships took place on Good friday the 03rd of April 2015. It was cold with some rain. We trained well in our "Leeds training ground" for a few weeks and ready as a team. In the main (team) event, we cruised comfortably to the quarter-finals by beating "Trueringian National Team 1" by a score of 25-1. We met the "Black Dog Boozers" (the 2014 winners) and lost to them 26-17. We participated in all three other main competitions (Golden Oldies,Best Lady trophy and Individual championships). We thoroughly enjoyed the day but very disappointed to bring no trophies back to Yorkshire and in particular to lose in the quarterfinals for the main event.


2014 Annual World Championship

The tournament took place on Good Friday the 18th of April 2014. The weather was simply great, sunny, hot & dry and hence attracted the crowd. Just a few weeks earlier, the venue (the Greyhound) had a full remake indoors, outdoors as well the side and main marble rings finished to a high standard. So all the conditions were met for a great event. The proceedings started at 11am with team events and Golden Oldies on the side rings.

Tinsley Green 2014

We won the first game (first round) comfortably 34 to 4 against "Gabby’s gang" team. We were knocked out in the Quarter-final in a strikingly similar fashion to last year: Again the truly-in-form Paul Smith who managed in a single break 23 points knocked us out in the Quarter finals. Up to that point we were leading comfortably 11-5. But it was really frustrating to loose the next game to Johnson Jets. There was not much one can do against a single break of 23 points – so we accepted the defeat and decided to really enjoy the rest of the day.

Tinsley Green 2014

Leila won the Lady’s final and so we were all pleased to bring one cup home. Like in previous years, she ended up head to head with Alison and won this year. Leila and Akil reached the semi-finals of Golden Oldies. Halim scored the highest break of the tournament with an impressive 31 marbles in a single break in the first round

The same four semi-finalists as last year made it again; Black Dogs (Colin Gardner), Hand Cross 49ers (Darren), 1st MC Erzgebirge and Johnson Jet (Paul Smith). Last year's two loosing semis made it to the final, namely 1st MC against 49ers. The German team won this year showing more resilience & consistency.

Tinsley Green 2014

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2013 Annual World Championship

Another very successful tournament, well organised and managed throughout the day. It was a great day, dry throughout (bitterly cold). We were shocked to lose to the "Johnson Jet" team in the very first round (we beat them 32-2 in 2012). The KO blow came via the truly-in-form Paul Smith who got 23 marbles in one break and hence finished the game. Up to that point, we were cruising at a score of 10-2. We also participated in the Golden Oldies, with Bob Croft reaching the semi-final and lost to the eventual winner Paul Smith (it was Paul Smith's day). Leila played the Ladies competition and came runner-up against Alison - the game went to the last marble on the ring, where Alison was first to get it out.

Three of the four semi-finalists were similar to last year. The fourth slot got taken by the Johnson Jet who went to final and met the Black Dogs. This latter won it.

Tinsley Green 2013

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2012 Annual World Championship

We were not sure about the weather on the day of the tournament; 6th of April; mainly to an unprecedented set of weather behaviours (yes even by British standard) - we had three interesting preceeding weeks - the first two were continuous dry and sunny spells to make any British Summer jealous - followed by a week of snow and rain and low temperature (we had snow in Leeds!) Anyway back to marbles - it turned out to be a glorious sunny day. It was well attended from the beginning and crowd cheering. All seem to have enjoyed themselves. Most of the regulars were there as usual and hence catching on events over the past year.

The organisation was really good and streamlined this year; with very little gaps between games. As usual the Mayor of Crawley came to open the sessions. The main (central) ring was used for all team games, the individual and best lady championships. The side ring was used for the Golden Oldies tournament.

Tinsley Green 2012

This year, we made it to the semi finals; having had a very good set of games all way the semis. We lost to the eventual German winner "1st MC Erzgebirge". The latter were equally in great form. The same four semi-finalists as previous years also made it the semi-finals. So no new challengers yet to the tournament. Interestingly enough since 2007, the cup was won three times by us and three times by the "1st MC Erzgebirge" German team.

So despite practicing and training well this year, no trophy this year, Leila came second in the Best ladies championship and Halim lost to Chris Pampel from 1st MC Erzgebirge in the Individuals. Bob lost to the eventual runner up in the Golden Oldies. However, we thoroughly enjoyed the day.

Tinsley Green 2012

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2011 Annual World Championship

Yorkshire Meds are back as Champions!

This year saw a special long holiday break with Easter closing on the Royal Wedding and Bank Holidays - meant that most people were on holiday for a good period. The weather did not disappoint either with some glorious continuous sunshine, hot temperature for over ten days. The tournament was on Friday 22nd of April. The good weather meant that three rings could be used this year. It was needed as a new one-off tournament called "Royal Wedding" was added to celebrate the event taking place exactly a week later. The teams got there by 10am and ready for the big day. The Mayor of Crawley made his usual appearance and wandered around various matches taking places and showing a keen interest in how it is played. Photo on the right is one of the morning games.

Tinsley Green 2011

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It is always refreshing to see new teams joining in and also teams that only came a year or two ago returning. After the initial knock-out rounds, the tournament lived up to its expectation - with usual suspects showing up from the quarter finals. The four 2010 semi-finalists ended up in the semis in 2011. The four semi-finalists were "1st MC Erzgebirge I" (2010 Winner, Germany), "HandCross 49ers", "Blackdog Boozers" and "Yorkshire Meds". We met the German team in the semi-final. It was a very exciting and nail-biting game; we won it, a sweet revenge from last year's semi-final defeat. So, we progressed to the final where we met a well-prepared "Handcross 49ers". We also won this game to take back the trophy to Yorkshire!

Tinsley Green 2011

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Leila from Yorkshire Meds won the best lady tournament in what became a trio thrilling finish between the three best female players (and all previous winners of this trophy, including Alison Reimer and Jen McGowan). Photo on the right is Leila in full focus.

We had a new addition to the team this year (Rose Croft, wife of Bob Croft). Rose came to replace Aziz Kara. She had been in intense practice a few weeks prior to tournament in our Leeds training ground to bring her up to speed with theory, practice, rules etc. Rose absolutely lived up to expectations by scoring the winning marble (the 25th marble) of the final!

Tinsley Green 2011

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2010 Annual World Championship

The World marbles championship took place as usual on Good Friday, this year being 2nd of April 2010. The weather played its part to challenge the tournament and the forecast was accurate with heavy rain between 11am and 3pm. So it was the gazebo had made a few trips back and forth on the main marbles ring. As usual, all the teams got there by 10am to get ready for the big day. It was really pleasing to see a number of children interested and playing in the ring. It also helped to have the mayor of Crawley showing a keen interest in playing and practising shooting. Photo on the right is one of the morning games that escaped the heavy rain.

Tinsley Green 2010

The usual teams were present and a few additions with marbles champions from the USA and the mayor of Crawley also playing. After a long wait due to the weather and poor conditions on the side rings, the games one by one made their way to the quarter-finals around 4pm. The four semi-finalists were the same as last year "1st MC Erzgebirge I", "HandCross 49ers", "Johnson Jets" and "Yorkshire Meds". It seems that these are the regulars that make it to the semi-finals year on year. We (Yorkshire Meds) faced the German team "1st MC Erzgebirge I" and lost. So after winning the trophy two years in a row, we let the Cup slip to the German team who also won the final against the "HandCross 49ers" to claim the 2010 trophy back to Germany. As usual, it was very good to see so many familiar faces and teams. Image on the right is a painting by Lydia Kara (May 2009).

Tinsley Green 2010

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2009 Annual World Championship

Defending Champions Retain Their Title: Yorkshire Meds are British & World marbles Champions in 2009

On Friday 10th of April 2009, Yorkshire Meds went to the World Marbles Championship in Crawley (United Kingdom) as defending and reigning champions. They successfully defended and retained their title. The tournament has witnessed some thrilling quarter-finals, semi-finals and final games. This year, the tournament had seen an all British final for the first time in years, given previous German domination. In addition, Halim (one of our star player) has won and retained his titlle as the individual champion second year running.

Click here or above for the 2009 photo album

When we won it in 2008, it was a surprise for many (since our previous best were two quarter-finals in 2005 and 2006). So there was an element of surprise in 2008. However, this year, every team we played tried to be at their best with us. So we practised and prepared accordingly. As usual, once you get to the quarter-finals it gets very competitive and serious. Two strong German teams (including last year runner-up and 2006 & 2007 winners) were there.

It featured in a number of newspapers, TV programmes, radio programmes, various forums and live radio shows, including:

  1. "Top Stories" on the BBC News Web site on 11/04/2009
  2. Crawley Observer and Crawley Times on 11/04/2009
  3. BBC Leeds Web site on 15/04/2009
  4. Leeds Metropolitan University latest news on 14/04/2009
  5. Yorkshire Evening Post newspaper, website (and video online) 16/04/2009
  6. BBC Look North TV 21/04/2009

Photos from top right are Yorkshire meds team after trophy ceremony; next down is HandCross 49ers team and Yorkshire Meds team photo after the final. The one at the bottom-right is Mol addressing (singing to) the crowd. The middle photo shows how spectators crowd (gather) around a marbles ring when raining. Finally right-side photo includes some of Yorkshire Meds supporters.

The four semi-finalists were "HandCross 49ers", "1st MC Erzgebirge I", "Johnson Jets" and "Yorkshire Meds". The final was between HandCross 49ers and Yorkshire Meds. There were some great games from quarter-finals onwards, including some scores of 24-24 going for the last marble in the semis. The weather forecast was quite depressing (heavy rain) but the organisers were well prepared as usual with gazebos on the main and side rings. In the end, the weather was not as bad and hence the focus was on the games and less on the impact of the weather. It was a really enjoyable day with plenty of family atmosphere and catching up with players and spectators we have not seen for a year. The tournament also witnessed a great individual final between Halim (Yorkshire Meds), Darren (HandCross 49ers) and Chris (1st MC Erzgebirge I). Image on the right is a painting by Lydia Kara (March 2009)

Tinsley Green 2007

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2008 Annual World Championship

Yorkshire Meds are the new British & World marbles Champions in 2008

On Friday 21st of March 2008, having gone all the way to the final at the Annual British & World Marbles championship in Tinsley Green, Crawley (UK) and defeating the reigning champion, 1st MC Erzgebirge from Germany.

The Yorkshire Meds won two other trophies adding to the main championship trophy; the best lady player trophy (Leila Kara) and the best individual player trophy (Halim Tata). All Trophies are staying in the British Isles this year and for the first time in the history of the tournament (since 1932) the main trophy is coming to Yorkshire.

It featured in a number of newspapers, TV programmes, radio programmes and live radio shows, including:

  1. "Top Stories" on the BBC News Web site on 22/03/08
  2. BBC Look North TV on 25/03/2008 and
  3. Yorkshire Evening Post Web site and the daily newspaper (26/03/2008)
  4. The Leeds University Alumni Magazine Spring 2008 Edition
  5. The Yorkshire Ridings Magazine in the September 2008 issue

  6. SKY News (download) on 24 March 2008
  7. ITN News (download) on 25 March 2008
  8. Asia Brief News (download) on 26 March 2008
  9. HUTC (Hot Under The Colar) News (download) on 25 March 2008

Other interesting things to mention in 2008: The mayor of Crawley unveiled a new plaque to mark the historical significance of the Greyhounds and Tinsley Green for the British & World marbles tournaments. There was also participation of the BBC Sportsround in the first round and they got knocked out by the Australian champions (The Bevers). The weather forecast was not promising at all, but it turned out much better than anticipated.

Please click here for more photos on the 2008 tournament. The official report of the 2008 tournament can be found here.


2007 Annual World Championship

It was a thoroughly enjoyable day like all previous tournaments but we suffered a dent in our confidence. We got a "bye" in the first round (the other team did not turn up) and in the second round we met with the team that beat us the previous year and reigning champion (1st MC Erzgebirge). We lost in our first game played and although we practiced before coming, it was not enough and lost 25-17. The 2007 tournament saw an all German final.

During the tournament, Sam McCarthy-Fox received a well-deserved present for his long-standing contributions to the marbles game and this tournament. Other long standing contributors worth mentioning are Julia McCarthy-Fox and Mol the main referee.

Tinsley Green 2007

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2006 Annual World Championship


Like in 2005, we made it to the quarter-final by beating the "Principality of Sealand" and "Simply Marbellous" but we lost to the German team who went on to win it (1st MC Erzgebirge). During the 2006 tournament it started to rain. Fortunately, it did not stay long and the organisers were well equipped to cover the main ring. Another great day.

Tinsley Green 2006

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2005 Annual World Championship


The 2005 tournament was our second participation and by now we had a better understanding of the game and what to expect - we also practiced a bit in Leeds prior to turning up to the big day. Surprisingly, we went to the quarter-finals beating Royal Oak and Handcross Rebels but losing to the "Turners Hill Tollymen".

Tinsley Green 2005

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2004 Annual World Championship


The 2004 tournament was our first participation. We lost in the first round against a German team (Saxonia II) but thoroughly enjoyed the day. When we arrived, we were not sure what to expect. Although we read a lot about the tournament, the way the game is played, we had never seen a marble ring before. We were used to the Mediterranean games (single hole). Since understanding the rules a bit better, we built an official ring in our back garden in Yorkshire (Leeds).

Tinsley Green 2004

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Yorkshire Meds Team Activities

  1. We participate in the Annual British & World Marbles Championship, held every year on Easter Friday since 1932 in Tinsley Green (Crawley) in Surrey (south of London).
  2. At home, we use marbles games as a good excuse to invite friends and relatives around for a "marbles & barbecue" - of course Yorkshire weather permitting!
  3. We run marbles demonstrations, and team games in Leeds for Scouts, beavers & cubs
  4. We play and train in our back garden, since we have a full size - official marbles ring (see photo on the left) - and of course serious training takes place before going to tournaments (Yorkshire weather permitting).
  5. We have been looking at other potential tournaments in the USA, France or Czech republic
  6. Photo on the left - our marbles ring in Leeds

In August 2010, Akil Tata from Yorkshire Meds has setup a new training ground in Algiers. He built a full size ring, compliant with the ones in Tinsley Green to play games and training. See photos on the right. Akil started to initiate locals to the World championship games & rules. This is really different to the typical Mediterranean game known as single hole game; similar to the one played in the Czech republic, except that the marbles are flicked through the thumb like in the UK (as opposed to rolled as in the Czech republic's tournament).


Yorkshire Meds with Leeds Cubs & Scouts

We have been trying to explore ways to encourage the younger generation to play marbles; and what better ways than approaching our local Beavers and Cubs in Leeds. From around 2006/07, we have been talking to local leaders about possibilities of getting involved in marbles. We have run multiple demonstrations and training sessions with a number of Cub packs. We have received tremendous support and enthusiasm from their leaders, notably those 7th North Leeds Cub pack. The North Leeds Scout District has now an annual marbles tournament around October.

Together with the 7th North Leeds Cub leaders, we visited other Leeds Cub packs to introduce them to marbles and ways these are played in the World marbles championship. This has resulted in the first District marbles knockout competition in September 2010 in Leeds. It was a great success and the cubs, leaders and parents really enjoyed themselves (and so did we). The 2011 annual tournament took place on the 06th of November 2011. The 2012 tournament took place on 21st October 2012.You never know, we might get a team or two from these young cubs into the main championship over the next few years. Photos on the right and below are from the September 2010 District tournament.

Demonstration session (below): Our visit and marbles demonstration to the Scouts (Cubs and Beavers) in North Leeds in November and December 2008. It was great to initiate scouts to marbles and they thoroughly enjoyed it. As well as a brief history of marbles, the Tinsley Green tournament (and Cups) and our team, we set them to play games, with five scouts and a member of the Yorkshire Meds in each team, and Mourad being the referee.


If you would like to get in touch with us, please email Mourad Kara (founder & captain) mourad@yorkshiremeds.co.uk

Last Update November, 19th 2017: Webmaster