Thursday, July 10, 2008

Someone Call A Toe Truck

Knowing my affinity for stretching the definition of sport my pal Carolyn from And One sent over this gem. Thank you for your continued support and contributions Carolyn! If you haven't seen her beautiful basketball blog then you are truly missing out. I swear she finds the most interesting hoops-related bits on the web!

Think your lower digits are something special? Not afraid to put one toe over the line? The Bentley Brook Inn in Derbyshire, England, needs you for the Ben & Jerry’s World Toe Wresting Championship.

Begun in 1976 at Ye Olde Royal Oak Inn, Wetton, Staffordshire, with the specific goal of “establishing a sport the British could win," the World Toe Wrestling Championship languished in obscurity after a Canadian won the crown the following year. Publican George Burgess rediscovered the rules in the early 90s; socks were tossed with disdain and toe training began in earnest.

In 2003, George toe-ld the BBC:

It's all down to perseverance, ankle strength and having a `toe-riffic' sense of humor.

Toe wrestling slogan? What else?

There’s no ‘arm in it.

No luck yet finding the rules online; each time I get close, the link is broken. Here’s a teaser:

Rule 7 - A player may, if the agony becomes too great, surrender by calling out the words "”Toe Much.”

Kids News Room clarifies:

The sport of toe wrestling has a similar format to arm wrestling. The day begins with an official Toe Inspection; no dirty feet allowed! Contestants sit facing each other on the "Toedium" and place their feet on a small wooden frame. They lock big toes and with the cry of "Toe-down," they wrestle both right and left feet until one person pushes his opponent’s foot to the bookend on the side of the frame.

The event is closely monitored by a referee.

The couple to beat and yes, I said couple, is Paul and Heather Beech. In 2005, at the 12th annual championship, Heather out-toed her sister, Alison Redfearn, for the women’s title while Paul, otherwise known as the "Toeminator", dashed Alan “Nasty” Nash’s hope for a 6th title. Mr. Nasty is no slacker; in 2000 he won the title with “an undisclosed broken foot.”

Ben and Jerry’s donated a year’s supply of ice cream to the winners. With four baby Beeches at home, that’s a lot of Jerry Garcia. And, if freakishly strong mutant toes are genetic, imagine the possibilitoes.


Toe Tidbits

World Toe Wrestling Federation president George Burgess and WTWF organiser Brian Holmes have unsuccessfully applied for Olympic status … world champion Alan "Nasty" Nash has even been knighted in the West Indian island of Redonda.

Nasty Nash is knighted.

(you'll have to follow the above link to see the certificate that was once here)

All proceeds from the event go to the Derbyshire charity When You Wish Upon a Star.

Scoured the Ben & Jerry Web site (US and England) for proof of past, present and/or future World Toe Wrestling Championship sponsorship in vain. We’ll have to take the BBC’s word for it.

July 22, 2008 (annual)

Bentley Brook Inn

£2.50 to enter; free to watch

Opening Hours:
Wrestling begins at 1pm


Lindsay said...

Ha, this is pretty gross. It is a funny idea and I am not surprised people take part in it. Plus, it is all for a charity. I just can't stand the thought of people's feet. Yuck.

Apryl DeLancey said...

Yeah, I can't say that I'll be signing up any time soon.