Trugo, or alternatively TruGo, is a sport or game said to have been invented in the Newport Workshops in the western suburbs of Melbourne, by railway workers in the 1920s. The first club was in the suburb of Yarraville. The requirements for the sport were based on what the railway workers could find: the length of the pitch was the length of a carriage, the goalpost width was the distance between seats, the mallet was a sledge hammer, and the black rings were an internal component of buffers.
Played outdoors on a green similar to that used for lawn bowls (90 feet / 27.4 metres in length for men, 70 feet / 21.3 metres for women), the objective of the game is to score goals or points by striking a rubber ring (wheel) with a mallet though a pair of goal posts. The player stands on a rubber mat and is facing away from the goals, feet either side of the wheel. The short handled mallet is swung between the player's legs to strike the wheel ('tunnel ball' style). The player's opponent ensures that the wheel is safely contained by collecting it in a canvas bag attached to a long pole once the wheel has passed the goal line.
The players swap roles after four wheels have been struck by the first player. Each player has 24 shots, 12 from each end. The player or team with the most goals at the end of the playing period is declared the winner. The sport is played by both men and women; the women's version of the game traditionally has the player strike the ring while standing to one side ('side sweeping style'), and is known as GoTru.
In January 2009 the sport was featured on the American TV travel show Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.
The principal Trugo clubs are Ascot Vale, Brunswick, Port Melbourne, Sandridge, South Melbourne and Yarraville. Clubs closed in recent years include those in Prahran, Carlton, Coburg, Moonee Ponds, Newport, Preston, Reservoir and Williamstown. In 2009 Footscray, the second-oldest trugo club in the state closed.