A Sjoelbak is the board used for a game of Dutch origin known as Dutch Shuffleboard or Sjoelen. Sjoelen consists of each player being given three chances to slide the disks along the long two metre (6.5 feet) table in an attempt to get them through 4 arches at the other end. The twist that makes the game particularly engrossing, is that players have to aim at the low scores as well as the high ones because each set of 4 disks in 4 compartments scores double.....
Dutch Shuffleboard comes into its own at family get-togethers where it can be enjoyed by four year olds upwards but is also a game of great skill that is played competitively in Holland, Belgium and Germany.
Dutch Shuffleboard Hire
Masters Traditional Games is also in touch with a company who organise and run group Dutch Shuffleboard tournaments throughout the UK. They offer free hire of boards. This might be of particular interest to Social Secretaries (i.e. PTA's, Churches, Golf Clubs, Leisure Centres, Village Halls etc.). For more information, please email us.
The Origin of Sjoelbak
The old English Tudor game of Shuffleboard or Shovelboard has been credited by some as being the ancestor of Sjoelbak but this seems unlikely. Shovelboard involved players sliding metal disks down a table aiming to get them as near to the end without toppling over the edge. While Sjoelbak is also a disk sliding game, the board, disks and objective are quite different. A similar game is still played in America but the old game which was played largely by the aristocracy had pretty much died out in England before 1800.
In Holland, the game of Sjoelbak first appeared around the time of 1900 and it is still a very popular game in Holland, Belgium and Germany.
You can learn more about the History of Sjoelbak from the Online Guide to Traditional Games.