LEWES, England (Reuters) - Gathered in a town hall in the southern English town of Lewes, teams of competitors battle it out by throwing brass coins towards a lead tabletop for a somewhat unusual British pub game -- Toad in the Hole.
From a distance similar to darts of nearly 8 feet (2.44 m)they aim to get the coins, known as “toads”, into a small hole, scoring two points if they succeed and one if it lands on the tabletop.
According to competitor Ben Ward, the game is said to have originated in France but was embraced by British pub-goers mainly in the southern county of Sussex.
“We know that it’s been played in Sussex for a couple of hundred years. Some of the tables are very, very old,” he said at the Toad in the Hole World Championships held in Lewes on Wednesday.
“It’s minutes to learn and years to master.... It’s quite easy to score...a certain number of points but to get them all in the hole regularly is a difficult thing to do.”
More than 40 teams took part in a recent contest. Competitor Gregor Beedie said the key to success was releasing the toad flat from the hand, making sure it does not wobble in mid-air.
“It’s all about the way you release the toad out of your hand -- a lot like darts, more skilful than golf obviously and football,” he said.
In the end, team Rodmell Toads Club retained their title.
Writing by George Sargent