Malaysia's Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sport has launched a campaign to revive the ancient sport of top-spinning.
SV & CU Judges inspect tops (2 shots)
GV Contest starts
CU Competitor with damaged top
GV Contest in progress (4 shots)
GV Contest and crowds (2 shots)
SV Participant prepares top
GV Contest under way (2 shots)
Initials ES. 1710 ES. 1725
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Malaysia's Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sport has launched a campaign to revive the ancient sport of top-spinning.
In many countries, top-spinning is a game for children, but in Malaysia it is taken seriously by adults.
Top-spinning was introduced to Malaysia by foreign traders, and before the advent of television and the cinema, top-spinning competitions were a highlight of village festivals in the country.
The Ministry wants to organise village teams into a national league, with a "cup final" being held in the country's leading stadium every year.
Special top-spinning demonstration teams have been formed to tour the country to revive interest in the sport.
SYNOPSIS: The game of top-spinning is child's play in most countries, but in Malaysia it is a serious sport. However, there is concern that top-spinning may die out, so government campaign has been launched to revive the ancient art.
Before the advent of television and the cinema, top-spinning competitions were a highlight of village festivals throughout the country. Now the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sport wants to organise village teams into a national league, with a cup final to be held in Malaysia's leading stadium every year. Expert teams have been organised to tour the country, giving demonstrations of how a top should be spun. The game is believed to have been brought to Asia by Arab traders.
The rules of top spinning are simple. A team of four spin their tops in as close a formation as possible. The rival team has to try to knock over the tope one at a time. The winner is the team with the last top still spinning.
Judges inspect the tops at the start of the contest to ensure that competitors do not add metal weights to make their tops spin faster. The spectators can be as noisy as any football crowd as the excitement increases. Betting is officially discouraged, but is usually keen among the spectators. For some, the sport can turn out to be a money-spinner.