In the minds of sports fans, Belgium is perhaps best known for its love of football, or soccer. This sport has dominated Belgian sports for decades; however, Belgium has other more traditional games that are still played by many. While rarely as energetic or loud as football, they do have a calm simplicity and charm all their own.
Crossage (or Crosse) is reputedly an ancient ancestor of the modern sport of golf (a suggestion some Scotsmen might debate). Crossage is a team sport in which one team will try to hit a wooden ball toward a series of goals, trying to get there in a given number of strokes. However, unlike in golf, you do not have your ball all to yourself. The opposing team can use their turn to try to knock your ball away from the goal. This opposing action on the part of the opposite side makes the game one of strategy as well as skill.
Darts are a traditional game in Belgium. The current game is derived from an older game called Vogelpik, in which participants propelled stuffed birds with needles affixed to them toward a board on the wall. These days, the bird has been replaced with feather darts and the board with a circular target. Each player has four darts and throws them one after the other. After the first player getting his score, the next player goes, and so on. After five rounds, the high score wins.
Colour Whist is a highly popular variant of Whist played in Belgium. In most regards, it is similar to the usual version of Whist. However, in Colour Whist the trump color is not the last card in the deck, but instead is the result of a bidding process. The cards have a hierarchy of value: hearts, diamonds, clubs and finally spades. Beyond this, there are countless variations on the game and approaches to scoring.
Rolle Bolle is a simple team game quite similar to other ball rolling games played throughout Europe, such as bocce ball. In the case of Rolle Bolle, the object of the game is for the player to roll a small eight-pound wheel, called a bolle, nearest to a stake placed in the ground some 42 feet away. While most players try to get as close as possible, other players, known as shooters, will try to knock an opponent's bolle away so a teammate's will be closer.
- darts image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com