Weird Sports – Shin Kicking
We are looking at the wonderful sport of shin kicking this week. Shin Kicking is a sport that I unintentionally participated in when I was much younger in primary school.
I can’t remember what the point of it was back then or if there was ever truly a winner, so in some ways I am glad to see that the general futility of the sport has been resolved; leaving participants with more than mutual assured destruction to hope for.
According to Robert Dover’s Olimpicks website here: http://www.olimpickgames.co.uk/contentok.php?id=883
The current Olympic Games can trace its name and some of the traditions from this 400 year old event. I seem to remember the ancient Greek Olympics having some sort of influence on the modern games as well.
Shin Kicking is quite famous in the wider world and forms an integral part of the Robert Dover’s, or Cotswolds Olimpicks.
The sport itself dates back to the first Cotswolds Olimpicks as a possible variation of Cotswold Wrestling. The Competition dates back to at least 1636 and is easily tracked through the 18th and 19th century. In the early 19th century the participants decided that this stuff just got real. Villages would challenge each other and the chosen champions, like Achilles and other Greek warriors would advance alone into honourable one on one combat.
In preparation the village champion would harden their shins with coal hammers and combat one another with iron toe capped boots. Back then broken legs were unsurprisingly common and NHS waiting times were much much longer in the 18th century.
During each round the two combatants hold onto each other’s collar and kick their opponents shin to try and knock them to the ground. The game requires both agility and the ability to endure the pain of someone booting your shin as hard as they can, something that most footballers are incapable of doing without rolling round on the floor for ten minutes.
Luckily though in the modern game only soft shoes are worn and the participants stuff as much straw down their trouser legs as their pants can handle. Ambulance crews are also in attendance and the participants are happy that the NHS waiting times have decreased, since it was created in 1948.
The ever illuminating Wiki Page can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shin-kicking
As usual I have managed to find an acceptable You Tube video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jN21wCbxjWk