UK: Egged at Egg-Throwing Competition


A sport for the hard-boiled eggs and not soft shells, the World Egg Throwing Championships returned to Lincolnshire in rural England on Sunday (30th June).

The day's events included Egg Roulette - where two contestants take turns smashing half a dozen eggs against their head to find the raw one, Trebuchet challenge, and the main event - Egg Throwing.

The sport involves teams of two people - a tosser and a catcher - throwing an egg from various distances. Teams have three attempts to make the throw at each distance, and the competition continues until there's only one team left.

The sport of Egg Throwing involves teams of two people.

"With the two-person throw and catch, you have a thrower and a catcher who are various distances away from each other which extends as the game goes on. The tosser lobs to the catcher and he's got to catch the egg without breaking it. So we start at shorter distances and we go to longer distances," explained Andy Dunlop, World Egg Throwing President.

Teams have three attempts to make the throw at each distance, and the competition continues until there's only one team left.

"People have said Egg Throwing is not a real sport, but of course it is. It's not like javelin throwing where you've just got a guy throwing a pointy stick down a field. This you've got to throw the egg over ever increasing distances and then you've got to catch it at the far end without breaking the egg. Nobody in javelin throwing has to catch the javelin," said Dunlop.

"You'll see a lot of crushed shells of sporting endeavor here today," he added.

The sport's origins span from many centuries ago when people would throw eggs across flooded rivers to get their meals to the other side.

This year the occasion saw teams from Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands and even Japan competing for the glory.

The Japanese were led by the original Power Ranger - actor Mitsuomi Takahashi

"So it's quite hard to compete against a Power Ranger of course, but we're pretty sure that the German skill, like preciseness and quality of measure of work, and we're sure that we can use our German skills which are in our genes to compete against the Power Ranger," said German competitor and last year's runner-up, Timo Breunig.

The Japanese team couldn't quite make the distance in the Egg Throwing competition but was able to celebrate success in the Trebuchet event.

The Dutch team, on the other hand, was shouldering the heavy expectation of the entire nation as it had a better chance for success than the Dutch national football team, said one competitor.

"They've (the Dutch football team) been doing badly. It was even on the press that all the hopes were invested in the Dutch egg throwing team for the championship," said Jacques Hoogenboom, President of the Dutch Egg Throwing Federation and competitor.

He said egg throwing is not as easy as it looks.

"First of all you have to make sure you don't throw a straight egg because it will have too much speed. You have to throw it in a curve and then make sure the end of the curve is almost at the end of where you want the egg to come, so it will not have too much downward speed because then it will go too fast to catch and then it will break," added Hoogenboom.

In the main draw the title stayed with the home team and was taken by local cricketers and debutantes Richard Wells and Tom Harrison, whose successful throw of 58 meters was the longest of the day.

"One-handed catching so you've got plenty of give, but just practice. We've practiced for the last two weeks on and off, so it was just that really," said Harrison.

And they intended to defend the crown next year.

"We're going to have to, aren't we? It'd be rude not to, really," said Wells.

The unpredictable British weather put on its best face on Sunday, giving the competitors and spectators one of the hottest days in Britain this year.

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