The day after we arrived, we were out at 6:30 in the morning and we went to the arena where the various teams were practicing or repeating the opening ceremony. And in the early afternoon, I had the chance to attend the first launch of the 1100 kg spinning top. A team of top players had moved the giant top in the middle of the arena, and the players took turns in a group of two to launch this monster, which was of course suspended from his gallows.
For having already tried the Song’s 30 kg spinning top, I knew that hitting a top of this size is like hitting a concrete wall. But I didn’t resist the urge to try. As it was an informal training, I spotted a player whose whip pole was less than two meters away and I asked her to lend it to me.
She wanted to show me how to handle the pole, I told her that it was not worth it. I wait my turn and I attacked the spinning top, in cadence with another player. I do not know if the dozens of stick strokes I gave helped to get the spinning top started but I had to try and my wife took some pictures, it was, it must be said, the purpose of the game.
There was still remaining an unanswered question : when would they unhook the top from the gallows? I had to wait until the competition day to understand the rules of the game. And then I learned that the players were playing in a team of ten; The spinning top was started by hand, then the team had 4 minutes to start the router so that it would reach its balance point. After that, the top of the stem was lifted by blowing a pin and the players still had a few minutes to maintain the rotation. If the router turned in balance, it was won. If it continued to wobble, it was a bad point. In any case, they then hurrying to bring the gallows back and hook the spinning top to the chain that held it in balance.