We are based in Hastings, East Sussex, where the annual World Crazy Golf Championships are taking place this weekend (7th – 9th June 2019). Practice is currently underway, and don’t be misled by the name – people often take it very seriously indeed! Here’s a handy guide from BBC News. Here’s a link to the event’s official website to find out more. This year there’s also a junior event for Under-14’s, so we wish competitors of all ages all the best, and plenty of aces! (The crazy golf equivalent of a hole in one, FYI!)
Inspired by this, we’ve ‘rounded’ up more unusual or eccentric World Championships that take place on an annual basis. Perhaps you’ll be inspired to travel and take part (although a lot seem to be based in the UK – maybe we really are a particularly quirky and imaginative nation!)
Where: Willaston, near Nantwich, Cheshire in the UK
Date of next event: Saturday 29th June 2019
Legend: Local Farmer’s son Tom Shufflebotham charmed an amazing 511 worms out of the ground, on 5th July 1980 in the very first known competition of this type. The village where this feat took place, has been the venue for the annual World Championships ever since.
Rules: You bring your own worm charming equipment (no liquids allowed), and are then issued with a worm pot to collect your charmed worms. You are allocated your own plot to ply your charming skills.
Date of next event: tbc
Legend: Rumour has it that this is the oldest handgame ever played, and it originates in Asia, from where
it’s popularity then spread. The game has developed into a common method of settling disputes between both children and adults.
Rules: The hand signals for ‘rock, paper and scissors’ should always conform to the standard gestures. The players also usually count aloud to 3 to ensure both players reveal their chosen gesture at the same time.
Where: Easdale Island, near Oban in Scotland
Date of next event: Sunday 29th September 2019
Legend: The World Stone Skimming Championships were started in 1983 by Bertie Baker, and then lay fallow until they were resurrected in 1997 as a fundraising event. Competitors of all ages take part, and there is a special category for ‘Old Tossers’ aged 60 or over.Rules: There are numerous rules, read more here , but one of the key ones is that all stones used for skimming, must be naturally formed Easdale slate and be no more than 3 inches in diameter at its widest point. A stone must ‘bounce’ on the water no less than 2 times, and the winner is decided by the length of the skim, where the stone sinks into the water.
Where: Llanwrtyd, Wales (Waen Rhydd bog)
Date of next event: Sunday 25th August 2019
Legend: The event was first held in 1985, but bog snorkelling as an activity began as the result of an over-the-bar conversation in the Neuadd Arms, back in the 1970’s.
Rules: Competitors complete, in the shortest time possible, two consecutive lengths of a water-filled trench cut through a peat bog. Competitors wear snorkels and flippers and don’t use competitive swimming strokes, so must solely rely on flipper-power.
Where: Oulu, Finland
Date of next event: 21st -23rd August 2019
Legend: The World Championships were first held in 1996 as part of the Oulu Music Video Festival. It has now become a popular draw in it’s own right.
Rules: Each entrant has to ‘play’ air guitar on stage in two rounds, each lasting for 1 minute. They are judged on technical merit, mimesmanship, stage presence and ‘airness’ – how much the performance was an object of ‘art’ in it’s own right.
Where: The Bottle Inn, in Marshwood, Dorset
Date of next event: Saturday 27th July 2019
Legend: The event is held as part of a charity beer festival. The contest began in the late 1980’s after two farmers argued over who had the longest stinging nettles in their field, and one of them promised to eat any nettle which was longer than his.
Rules: No vomiting allowed! Competitors are provided with 2 foot-lengths of nettle stalk, and the competitors must strip the stalk of leaves and eat them, The winner is the hardy soul who has stripped and eaten leaves from the greatest number of stalks. Stings and swollen tongues are a common outcome, although some competitors say it is painless!
Where: Chipping Camden, The Cotswolds
Date of next event: Friday 29th May 2020
Legend: The painful-sounding Championship is held annually as part of the ‘Cotswold Olimpick Games’, which were probably first held way back in 1612. They were the brainchild of lawyer Robert Dover, who moved to the area and wanted to come up with a modern Olympics-style competition to channel the competitive nature of the local inhabitants.
Rules: The aim is to throw your competitor to the floor(best of three throws), whilst holding onto your competitors shoulders or lapels. The arbiter who starts and judges the bout is called a ‘stickler’. To take part, you must wear long trousers and you may cushion your shins with straw. Competitors wear a white coat to resemble the original shepherd’s smocks, and steel toe-caps are strictly banned!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this round up of unusual World Championships, both on our doorstep and further afield. Perhaps you enjoy taking part in a lesser-known sport or activity, ans whilst others may scoff, if you enjoy it – why not?
Whilst we may not specifically cover any of the pursuits listed above (although you are always free to approach us to see if we can offer cover for anything that you can’t find on our website) , we do offer cover for a wide variety of more mainstream sports and leisure pursuits, such as skydiving and trekking. Take a look at our Activity Packs and see how we’ve got you covered!