I couldn’t love this game any more!! Los Amigos Tejo in Salento is where I first played, it usually costs around $3.000COP to play and you’re expected to buy a beer (practically part of the rules!).
The game itself is simple. Each player picks a lead weight which they then throw from an agreed distance into an angled clay pit. The pit has a metal ring in the middle and around the ring you place little triangular paper packets which are filled with gunpowder. Players score points depending on where the weight lands.
Tejo – puck
Cancha – clay pit
Bocin – metal ring
Mecha – paper explosive-filled triangle
1 point: be the player with the tejo closest to the bocin
3 points: hit one of the mechas and make it explode
6 points: land your tejo inside the bocin, no explosions
9 points: land your tejo in the bocin and cause one or more explosions
How to play
You have to agree a line to throw from. The pros throw from one end of the hall to the other and have a cancha set up at each end.
Then you agree how many points you need to win. So far I’ve played first to 21 and first to 27, both suggested by different establishments so I guess there’s no set rule about that…
Then off you go! If you cause a mecha to explode then you can replace it or just rearrange the rest of them around the circle.
Almost every time one of the players hits the cancha it causes chaos with mechas falling, bouncing or sliding around so you’ve got to reset them up but it only takes a few seconds.
Frequently the tejo gets so deeply embedded that you’ve got to dig it out of the clay with a piece of steel rebar. Every now and again you might need to flatten off the surface using the tejos or a different tool.
Aside from that you can just keep going.
And that is Tejo in a nutshell.