toptafel

Name
toptafel
Place of practice
Flanders, coastal region and Brugge
Family (typology)
skittle game
Participants
adults
Material of game
table, top and skittles
Playing ground
indoors
Goal
knock down skittles with a top

 

SHORT PRESENTATION OF THE GAME

 

The 'toptafel' is fascinating game still practised in West Flanders in the region of Brugge and in the coastal region. By means of a strong, short pull on the rope, a spinning top is launched; on its way on across the table. The top has to knock down as many skittles as possible.

 

GOAL OF THE GAME

To score as many points as possible by knocking down the skittles set out in a wooden box by launching a top.
 
PROGRESS OF THE MATCH – THE PLAYERS

A first condition for obtaining good results in the top table game is being able to wind the rope correctly, i.e with a so called false knot, around the top. The wound top is placed on the inner side of the front of the table. The rope is put through an opening in the box. The player puts one hand in the leather loop and slightly pulls the rope with this hand. While holding the rope tight, the player stands at a distance of about half a meter from the table. With his other hand, he hits the tight piece of leather so that the knot comes loose, the rope unrolls and the top is launched on the table.
The spinning top has to knock down as many skittles as possible. The sum of the points of the skittles knocked down makes the score. The maximum is 400 points. The middle skittle ( the biggest one) scores 100 points, the four corner skittles 50 points and the ten small skittles 10.
  MATERIAL AND PLAYING GROUND
The top table consists of a square box (approximately 65 x 65cm) which is put on a table. Little wooden panels are placed on the square board in order to mark zones and to constitute additional obstacles for the top, such as the chapels in the four corners and the so-called prieel (summerhouse). Through the gates, the top can enter in the chapels or the summerhouse and knock down the skittles inside.
The top is manufactured of pockwood, a very hard kind of wood, and is about 6 centimetres high. The rope is connected with a piece of leather.
  CONTACT - MORE INFORMATION ON THE GAME
Centrum voor Sportcultuur, Sportimonium, Trianondreef, Bloso-domein, B - 1981, Hofstade-Zemst
Tél: +32/15/61.82.20, fax: +32/15/61.82.21
e-mail: sportimonium@sportimonium.be