Missed out on grand final tickets? The Australian Rope Quoits Championships could be for you
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If you missed out on tickets to this weekend's AFL or NRL grand finals, there are still a few seats left for the 66th Australian Singles and Teams Rope Quoits Championships.
A clash of the nation's most dedicated "throwers" will take place this weekend in the tiny Victorian town of Coleraine, four hours west of Melbourne.
Unlike the AFL and NRL grand finals, quoits players don't have to qualify to compete, so everyone from one of Australia's six remaining quoits clubs can play.
Around 80 throwers of all ages from those clubs — in Coleraine, Melbourne, Sydney, Ballarat, Bendigo and Broken Hill — will compete in the event, which comes complete with a country-style supper in the Mechanics Hall.
Each club takes its turn to host and this year, Coleraine has the honour of welcoming visitors for two long days of quoits.
Sam Harbridge, 24, is the chief financial officer of a Ballarat engineering company, has a law degree, and expects to be a practising lawyer by next year.
She's also the Australian Quoits Association's secretary and treasurer, and the hot favourite in her division heading into this year's championships. 
For Ms Harbridge, quoits has always been a part of her life, in part due to its all-ages accessibility, thanks to the sport's complex handicap system.
"It's made for everyone," she said.
"I've played with people as old as 90 years old and as young as seven.
"It's great for a social night or just to get out of the house on a glum weeknight."
Ms Harbridge's parents fell in love via the sport, so she thanks those small hoops of coiled rope for her very existence.
"I was born into it," she laughed.
"My folks met at the 1990 Australian championships in Broken Hill — and the rest is history."
Like many quoits players, Ms Harbridge began as a child, starting aged seven.
By 19, she was the national secretary, an honour first bestowed on her grandfather. 
She said she loved the sport's inclusivity.
"It's very welcoming," Ms Harbridge said.
"If someone was in a wheelchair and wanted to play, we'd make adjustments so they could play."
At this weekend's championships in Coleraine, throwers will compete in divisions organised by age and gender.
Coleraine Quoits Club secretary Heather Brown was pulled into the sport by her husband Ian, who like many competitors, has played since he was a child. 
"He's been playing for nearly 60 years, since he was 12, I think," Ms Brown said.
"It's a very social sport, people really go to the championships to chat to people, but it is also competitive. 
"We do a supper, all our members supply some food and we make sandwiches — [it's] a bit of old-fashioned country hospitality."
Ms Brown said she enjoy the social aspect most.
"It used to be very quiet on the court, but now there's a fair bit of chatter," she said.
"Over the years there's been lots of families play, it's just something that mum, dad and the kids can all do."
There's more to quoits than just throwing a small hoop of rope over a stick.
Each division has a threshold of successful throws that must be met. For example, the intermediate women's total is 201, while the open men's is 1,001.
Throwers take it in turns to throw as many consecutive times as possible, only stepping aside when they miss a shot.
Players have 40 rounds to reach their target.
And Ms Harbridge said the sport's handicap system was not unlike golf's.
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