When you were a kid, haven’t you wondered how fun it would be to toss or catch an egg without breaking its shell? While egg throwing seems to be quite an enjoyable game to play, in England, it is considered a serious sport that is played by thousands of locals and tourists every year. Egg throwing, otherwise known as egg toss or egg tossing, is an obscure sport that originated in Swaton, England, since the medieval times. For a long time, egg throwing has been a local tradition for the people living in Swaton, but during the early 2000s, when the world championship for egg throwing was created, the game became an international sport. To know more about this peculiar sport, here is a guide on how it is played, as well as its origins.
How It is Played
The egg throwing game is played by two people, with one person tossing the egg while the other catching it. Whenever a successful catch is performed, the two players must walk one step away from each other. Then, the other player who caught the egg will then be the one who will toss it. The cycle of changing the tosser and the catcher repeats in every toss. As the game progresses, the distance between the two players will become longer and longer. The pair who was able to have the longest distance in the round wins the game.
Eggs are the objects that are primarily tossed in the game, but to make the sport less messy, some organizers would replace eggs with water balloons. However, since water balloons don’t break as easily as eggs, the game gets a lot easier for the players. As such, children would usually be the ones who are given water balloons, while the adults will have to toss eggs.
The game of egg throwing is said to have been invented in 1322 when a new abbot or priest in Swaton, England, was the only person who owns chickens in the area. In order to encourage villagers to go to church, the abbot would give out eggs to those who attended. Unfortunately for the abbot’s church, the river that is situated between the church and the nearby village usually gets flooded, so the only way that they can give out eggs is by tossing it to villagers on the other side of the bridge. It was during this peculiar event that they thought that it would be a fun idea to turn egg throwing into a game.
From then on, egg throwing became a local tradition for the people of Swaton for more than 700 years, until in the 1990s, when foreigners began participating in the event, which allowed Swaton to become a popular tourist spot. As many more international players are playing the sport, a group called the World Egg Throwing Federation was formed in the early 2000s in order to organize the event. The World Egg Throwing Federation was then able to regulate and inspect the eggs used in the competition to make the sport fair. Since 2004, the eggs used in the sport should come from chickens that are free-ranged and organically fed.
In 2006, the World Egg Throwing Federation created the Egg Throwing World Championships to promote the game internationally and make it as a legitimate sport. The tournament is held during Swaton Vintage Day, which was a holiday that was supposed to showcase vintage vehicles used by the locals’ ancestors. However, the highlight of the holiday eventually became the Egg Throwing World Championships.
Even though the game is believed to have originated in Swaton, the egg throwing game has already been seen in several countries. Some of those countries include New Zealand, Japan, and the United States. Because it was in Swaton where the world championship was created, professional egg throwers from all around the world went to England to compete and see which country produced the best egg throwers.
Besides egg tossing, the Egg Throwing World Championships also host other fun egg-related games, such as Russian egg roulette and egg trebuchet. In Russian egg roulette, participants would have to choose one egg from a tray, and then they must smash that egg against their forehead. If it is a raw egg, they lose the game, but if it is a hard-boiled egg, they will win the grand prize. In egg trebuchet, a team comprised of two or more players will have to construct a catapult-like machine that bears similar designs to the ancient trebuchet used in medieval battles. The team who launches an egg in the farthest distance wins egg trebuchet.
Egg throwing is a fun and messy sport that can be played anywhere. Of course, since it will be messy, be ready to clean up the traces of eggshells, egg whites, and egg yolks after playing it. If you feel like your egg throwing skills are at a professional level, you can visit Swaton, England, at the end of June to participate in the World Egg Throwing Championships.