Are you a tosser? No, we’re not yolking. It’s a serious question if you’re thinking of competing at this year’s World Egg Throwing Championships. This quirky sporting contest is the main event at Swaton Vintage Day in Lincolnshire.
Actually, the egg throwing championship is made up of five different contests. Like any sport, there are different expertise required for each discipline, from eggcellent throwing and catching to unshakeable nerves. If you fancy taking part, you can choose from, the Russian Egg Roulette, Egg Throwing, the Static Relay, the Egg Trebuchet and the Accuracy Challenge. But, what do these egg-based contests involve?
The quirky sport of egg throwing
Egg Throwing is a two person sport. It requires accurate distance lobbing from one and perfect catching from the other. A catcher and tosser are all that’s needed to make up an Egg Throwing team. The team members begin by standing ten metres apart, spreading out after each successful catch. Drop or break the egg and you’re out!
Meanwhile, the Accuracy Challenge is all about hitting the target. The human target. This game awards points for hitting the arms, legs, body and groin of the willing volunteer.
Teams of eleven spread out at ten metre intervals for the Static Relay. Twelve eggs then have to be passed individually along the line. The fastest team wins, but there are penalty time points for breakages. So, you need to be careful as well as quick for this contest.
The Egg Trebuchet is a knock-out challenge. It’s played with the aid of specially-built trebuchets. These contraptions help to hurl the eggs over long distances, with the longest achieved being the winner.
Our favourite competition is the Russian Egg Roulette. It involves two players sitting opposite each other, wearing bandanas. The players have six eggs — five hard-boiled and one raw — and take it in turns to smash the eggs against their foreheads. The first one to ‘find’ the raw egg loses! This game can get messy!
The egg throwing backstory
The events are open to all, although the egg-trebuchet competitors register in advance. To take part in any of the other egg throwing events, simply register at 11am on the day. It’s a popular sport and places are limited, so do get there in plenty of time!
You may be wondering how on earth egg throwing became to be so popular in Swaton. Well, it reportedly first happened in Swaton some time in the 1300s. Back then, the Abbot of Swaton was the area’s only owner of chickens. And he used to give out eggs as alms to the peasants who attended church. However, when the river flooded, the eggs needed to be thrown across the torrent to reach the waiting masses.
This eventually grew into an informal sport called the ‘egg toss’, played at many country fairs, sports days and fetes. And so, the World Egg Throwing Federation was formed in 2004, to cater for the growing sport and regulate the variety of disciplines involved.
Other entertainment at Swaton Vintage Day 2023
Of course, Swaton Vintage Day isn’t just about egg throwing. The gates to this year’s event open at 10am, where classic and vintage vehicles will be on display around the field.
A craft and refreshments tent, stalls and a bar, along with amusements, face painting and music adds to the day’s entertainment. There’ll also be model boats and radio controlled cars, food stands and wood carving. As well as egg throwing, the main arena hosts a novelty dog show at 12 noon.
When: 25th June 2023
Where: Swaton Vintage Day, The Park at Thorpe Latimer, near Sleaford, Lincolnshire
£: Admission to Swaton Vintage Day costs £5 for adults, £3 for school children and £12 for a family (children under five years go free). It costs £2 to enter the Accuracy Challenge and there’s no extra charge to enter the other egg throwing games