With 2012 being the year of sport in Great Britain I was having a search around the world wide web the other day and came across the World Marble Championships, which takes place every year at the Greyhound Public House in Tinsley Green (21st and 22nd April this year).
With my only marble playing experience being as a schoolgirl I have very limited knowledge of the sport. If I am being honest the only thing I remember about it is wanting to win the prettiest one (always the speckled or cloudy ones) and the fact that it always ended with the defeated running off crying and the winner ending up handing over the sparkly new marble they had rightfully won back to the previous owner (loser!).
Upon closer inspection the tradition actually seems to have originated from a playground spat (well more or less) with a man from Surrey and a man from Sussex competing for the hand of a maiden from Tinsley. The men had competed in all major sports of the time, but drew at everything. This obviously called for a new sport to be invented to settle the dispute (obviously no extra time or golden goal back then) and the rest as they say is history!
Today marbles is still going strong with 100 competitors, competing in 20 teams. For those of you (like me) who don’t have a clue about the rules the game is played on a 6 foot diameter ring, with 49 marbles placed inside. There are 5 players in a team and each member has 4 marbles. The winning team is the first to knock 25 out of the 49 marbles out of the ring.
After finding this new competitive form of marbles I am kick starting my year of sport early and heading down to as many London hotels in the area as possible before the mad rush in 2012!
If you know of any more unusual sporting events taking place across GB then let me know and I might just go and check them out.