The Playing Board


Morabaraba is a game for two players, and is played extensively throughout Africa, Asia and Europe.


1)   The rules are known as the Generally Accepted Rules (GAR), and are as follows:


Play consists of three stages:


Stage 1:


·        Each player starts with 12 tokens called "cows".


·        Starting with a clear board, each player alternatively places one cow at a time on a junction (circle). The aim is to create rows of three, either vertically, diagonally, or horizontally. Cows may only be placed on unoccupied junctions.


·        When three-in-a-row is achieved, the player may remove (shoot) one of the opponent's cows. A player can not shoot an opponent's "three-in-a-row" cows if there are other cows on the board left to shoot.


·        Only one of the opponent's cows may be shot at a time, even if two (or more) lines of three-in-a-row are achieved with one move.


·        Once a cow is shot, it shall not be used in play again.


Stage 2


·        When all twelve cows of each player have been placed on the board, cows may be moved from one junction to another. A move consists of moving a cow from one junction to an unoccupied junction immediately linked and adjacent to that junction.


·        Players may break their own lines of three-in-a-row in order to make new lines, or simply reposition their cows.


·        Cows may be moved back and forth to the same two junctions repeatedly. A three-in-a-row may be made, broken and remade repeatedly.


·        Notwithstanding the rule that lines may be broken and remade repeatedly, if a player breaks a line to immediately create a new line of three ‘cows’, such player may not move such cow back to the original junction in his/her next move, if it creates a new line.


For example:


Should a player have a ‘cow’ on the junction marked E6, such player may move it to the junction marked as A6 to immediately create a new line. However, in such player’s next move, he/she may not move the cow back to A6, instead, such player must do another move before moving the cow back to E6 to immediately create a new line.



·        Each time a three-in-a-row is remade, an opponent's cow shall be shot.


Stage 3


·        When a player has lost all but three cows, then a player may move a cow to any vacant junction on the board with each move.


Winning the game


·        The game is won when the opponent cannot move any cows: or when the opponent has lost all but two cows.


·        When a player is down to three cows, and neither player is able to shoot an opponent's cow within ten moves, the game is a draw.


General rules


·          Boards and counters shall be provided for the competitors.


·        A modified Swiss Chess system will operate throughout the competition. Players shall not play against any relatives in the first degree of consanguinity. Thus a player would not be allowed to play against his/her spouse, parent, brother, sister, and/or child. Additionally where possible a player will not be drawn against any fellow club or team member in the first three rounds of the competition.


·        The current IWF scoring system shall be used, that is 1 point for a victory, ½ a point for a draw, and 0 points for a loss.


·        Each player shall play six games against each opponent. Each player shall start three of such games.