Europe

Cornish Wrestling (England)

Name of sport (game): Cornish Wrestling
Name in native language: Cornish Wrestling
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):

England

History:

Source: http://www.cornishwrestling.co.uk/category/history/
Wrestling is a distinct Cornish tradition that survives to the present day.
The history of Cornish Wrestling goes back so far it is lost in the midst of time. The first mention of Celtic Wrestling appears in the ancient book of Leinster, referring to the sport being included in the Tailteann Games which date back to at least 1829 BC. We know Wrestling was established in Cornwall before the Roman invasion and that the Cornish meetings on Halvager Moor were held during the dark-ages.
The Cornish contingent with Henry V at Agincourt (1415) marched under a banner depicting two Wrestlers “in a hitch”. The banner needed no words; the pictures of the wrestlers was enough to let anyone know the men of Cornwall were behind it.
During the famous meeting between Henry VIII and Francis I of France (on the Field of the Cloth of Gold) a team of wrestlers representing the English king defeated the champions of France. This contingent, which humbled the French team, consisted entirely of men from Cornwall. Godolphin the chief wrestler had received the Royal command direct to bring his men to uphold the king’s honour at Calais.
Wrestling is national sport in Cornwall, a direct living link with our ancestors handed down through an un-broken chain, from father to son, brother to brother and friend to friend for over 3,000 years.
Many times, Cornish Wrestlers have displayed their prowess before a royal audience. King Charles II believed that the Cornish were “masters in the art of wrestling” after attending a tournament at Bodmin while on his way to the Isles of Silly. It was during his reign that Tomas Hawken of Cubert threw Lyttleton Weynorth, who claimed to be the champion wrestler of “all England”.
Richard Carew, famous for his survey of Cornwall (1602) said that at about 1590 even their Breton neighbours did not match the Cornish in the art of Wrestling. Men from all walks of life took part in the sport. One of the best known wrestlers of the 17th century was Richard Stevens, the head master of Truro Grammar school; inventor Richard Trevithick was another. In the 18th and 19th centuries for which information is more readily available, we see records of tournaments that ran for a week to find the standing men to contest the semi-finals and finals on the Saturday and Sunday. With crowds of upwards of 10,000 for such finals or big name challenge matches, large sums of money often changed hands.

Source: https://thatsmycornwall.com/cornish-wrestling/
Wrestlers from those times are still remembered today. Thomas Treleaven and Benjamin Samble both stood 6’ 2”, while from St Mawgan came six-footer Richard Parkyn; at 16½ stone he competed until his 50s. Parkyn was born at Parkyn’s Shop, at the point of three parish boundaries: St Columb Major, St Columb Minor and St Mawgan. From 1806 he enjoyed a staggering 20 years undefeated and became known as The Great Parkyn, celebrated from Saltash to St Just.
Richard Parkyn was followed by James Polkinghorne, a truly huge man. At 5’ 11” and just under 20 stone – according to some reports he weighed 320 lb – he was an intimidating prospect for any opposition. He duly became Cornish champion and was also landlord of St Columb Major’s Red Lion public house, which must have been handy on Saturday nights if anyone dared become playful.
During 1826, late in the season on 23October, Morris (or Morice) Town at Devonport saw the last great wrestling battle between Cornwall and Devon. Watched by as many as 17,000 people, the purse was a staggering £200. For Cornwall appeared the giant 38-year old Polkinghorne, while Devon fielded their champion, Abraham Cann, at 32 a mere 5’ 8½” and weighing around 12½ stone.
At first sight the outcome might have been felt a foregone conclusion, but the bout was fought under Devonian rules. Polkinghorne’s upper body attacks were pitched against the kicking, with boots, of his opponent; Cann was reportedly strong in the leg, and nimble. Today the result of the encounter isn’t clear to us, but it seems the contest was a long one and finally ended in a draw.
Nearly 20 years following their retirement from wrestling the two old adversaries worked together, acting as sticklers at the Inter-County Wrestling Championships at Camden in London. They officiated at the clash between Thomas Gundry and Chapple of Devon, which ended in victory for Cornwall. A sour Exeter newspaper correspondent accused Gundry of winning through bribery but when challenged by the Sithney man, his accuser melted away.
In hard times at home, as Cornish miners emigrated they took Cornish wrestling with them. Competitions sprang up across America, Australia, and also South Africa where the renowned Sam Ham, originally from Condurrow near Camborne, became Middleweight Champion. Finally, in 1923 the Cornish Wrestling Association was formed at Bodmin, to provide a uniform set of rules under which all could compete. Wrestlers became registered, and an annual Cornish championship was held.
During the 1930s and ‘40s, several members of the Chapman family achieved great wrestling success; grandfathers, fathers and sons all fought. Many Cornish towns and villages held tournaments, and hundreds would turn out to watch the contests. Other well-known wrestling families were the Hawkeys and the Warnes, but the most famous competitor of his day was heavyweight champion Francis Gregory of St Wenn.
Gregory had his first match at the age of 13, and was youngest of the Cornishmen who showed their skills at London’s Palladium threatre in 1927. Seven times from 1928 he represented Cornwall at the official Cornu-Breton Championships: seven times he won, on four occasions in Brittany. Later he moved north, changing his sport to play rugby league for Wigan and Warrington, and was capped for England. Taking up professional wrestling he became known as Francis St Clair Gregory, and during November 1955 appeared in the first wrestling match shown on British television.
More recently though, in the face of fierce competition and promotion of other sports, interest in Cornish wrestling waned until just a small band of stalwarts were left. To put a stop to the decline, help raise awareness and secure funding, during 2004 the Cornish Wrestling Association became affiliated to the British Wrestling Association. Publicity was increased, while training sessions for would-be wrestlers were established in Helston, Truro and Wadebridge.
The measures have helped ‘wrasslin’ make a strong comeback. Based at St Columb Major, today Ashley Cawley is Cornwall’s current Heavyweight Champion; he’s also the CWA’s PR officer, while his uncle Mike Cawley is the Association’s Chairman. Last year, Ashley’s father Gerry came out of his wrestling retirement to win two championships.
Over the summer months the CWA runs tournaments in villages and towns across the Duchy, and also features at the Royal Cornwall Show. All ages are welcome to try the sport; categories include under-18s, under-16s, under-14s, under-12s, even under-10s. Today too there’s a tablet on the frontage of the Red Lion, commemorating St Columb Major’s James Polkinghorne and his mighty 1826 contest against Abraham Cann.

Description:

The object is to throw your challenger, from a standing-up position; no grappling or holding on the ground is allowed, a measure intended to bring out skill and technique rather than relying on strength alone. A bout begins when the competitors grasp each other’s jackets by collar, lapel or sleeves in what’s called a ‘hitch’. To win you must score a ‘back’, throwing your opponent onto his shoulders and hips – his four ‘pins’; at least three pins must touch the ground at once. Once a back’s scored the contest is over, but single-pin scores can accumulate toward a points win if no back is achieved.
Sound’s easy? In fact there are many different techniques and throws you can use to defeat your challenger. Crooks and heaves are among the most popular, crooks being variations of trip to catch your adversary unawares, while heaves are often used by heavier, more powerful wrestlers to lift the opposition up in the air and fling him down on his back. If any part of the body except the feet touches the ground, the hitch ends and the bout must restart. And always there’s the traditional courtesy of the handshake, before the bout, prior to each hitch, and at the end of the contest.
Cornish wrestlers go barefoot or wear socks, together with simple shorts. Their most important piece of clothing is the canvas jacket, in past times sometimes made of sailcloth or even sacking, laced at the front and with baggy half-sleeves. It’s an indispensable item which must also be durable; contenders are only allowed to grip each other by the jacket. Specialist moves such as the ‘flying mare’ involve grabbing your opponent’s jacket strings, swinging him off-balance and onto the ground.
As they gain experience, Cornish wrestlers develop their own moves and counters, but some methods aren’t allowed. Finger- or wrist-twisting is forbidden; throat-holds, using your foot above your opponent’s knee or gripping his jacket below the waist are also out, as is touching the ground with your hand or knee to avoid being flung through the air.
Wrestling matches take place mainly in the summer, outdoors on grass; a 6-metre radius ring is marked out, together with an outer ‘no-man’s land’ into which spectators may not enter. Typically, for senior competitors one 10-minute round is allowed, overseen by three ‘sticklers’. These umpires are usually ex-wrestlers themselves; they carry walking-sticks traditionally used to enforce the rules if needed. The sticklers score the bouts, watch for illegal moves and their decisions are absolute – there’s no right of appeal for feeling hard-done-by and the wrestlers accept judgements with good grace.
(Source: https://thatsmycornwall.com/cornish-wrestling/)

Current status:

Practiced

Contacts:

The Cornish Wrestling Association
http://www.cornishwrestling.co.uk/ 

Sources of information :

Books:
- Sir Thomas Parkyns, The Inn-Play or Cornish Hugg Wrestler, London 1727
- Michael Tripp, The Socio-Genesis of Cornish Wrestling, A dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of MSc in the sociology of sport and sports management, University of Leicester 1995
- Graeme Kent, A Pictorial History of Wrestling, Spring Books, Middlesex 1968
- Dickson G., The Origins of Cornish Wrestling. Sydney. 1999
- Kendall B., The Art of Cornish Wrestling. Federation of Old Cornwall Societies. 1990
- Willams M., Curiosities of Cornwall. Bossiney books, Bodmin, Cornwall. 1983
- Gregory C., Historic Inns of Cornwall. Bossiney books, Bodmin, Cornwall. 1986
- Johns, C., Cheer Like Mad for Cornwall: the story of Cornish wrestling, the author, St Stephen-in-Brannel, 1995

Articles:
- The Wrestling Championship Of Cornwall in The Cornishman (258). 21 June 1883. p. 6
- Holmes, R., Cornish-style wrestling, in Jaouen, G. (ed.) Celtic Wrestling Our Culture! International Federation of Celtic Wrestling, Lesneven, 1990, pp. 14-15
- Hooper W.T., The Story of Cornish Wrestling and its Relations with Brittany in Royal Institution of Cornwall Journal, N.S.II, II (1954), 88-97
- Hooper, W.T., Cornish Wrestling, in Cornish Review, vol. 1, no. 5, Summer 1950, pp. 30-32
- Hooper, W. T., Cornish Wrestling, in Old Cornwall, vol. 5, no. 1, 1951, pp. 13-15
- Hooper, W.T., Cornish Wrestling, in Cornish Magazine, vol. 1, no. 4, 1958, pp. 28-29
- Johns, C., The story of Cornish wrestling, in Canadian Wrestler, 10, (1), Fall 1986
- Jolly, Rev. L.V., Cornish Wrestling, in The Scillonian, no 13, March 1928, pp. 10-18
- Noall, C., A Cornish Champion Wrestler: James Polkinghorne, The Cornish Magazine, vol. 7, no. 6, 1964, pp. 183-188
- Pascoe, H., Cornish Wrestling, in Old Cornwall, vol. 1, no. 5, 1925, pp. 8-14
- Pascoe, H., Cornish wrestling, The Cornish Annual, 1928, p. 63-69
- Rowe, L.M.G., Cornish Wrestling in Nevada County, in Nevada County Historical Society, vol. 23, no. 4, 1969, pp. 1-6
- Sam Sam‘s Son, Wrestling in Cornwall and Devonshire, in The Table Book, 1827, William Tegg and Co., London, pp. 499-502
- Collier, W.F. Wrestling: The Cornish and Devonshire Styles, Cornish Magazine, vol. 1, 1898, pp. 193-201
- About Cornish Wrestlin, https://ejmas.com/jwma/articles/2000/jwmaart_roberts_0400.htm
- Ken Pfrenfer, Early Cornish Wrestling, Journal of Western Martial Art, March 2000, https://ejmas.com/jwma/articles/2000/jwmaart_pfrenger_0300.htm
- David Stone, Cornish Wrestling, http://www.the-exiles.org/Article%20cornish%20wrestling.htm

Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aebW82Epp8Q 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JdrPOQ4L1Q 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzXvTQIr6kQ 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=607VV-JIBWg 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fRgjwylTLo 

Gallery:

Documents:

pdfA_HISTORY_OF_CORNISH.pdf

pdfCornish-Wrestling-Rule-Book.pdf

Cragtag (Sweden)

Name of sport (game): Cragtag
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):

Sweden

Csürközés (Hungary)

Name in native language: Csürközés
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):

Hungary

Current status:

Csürközés is one of the most interesting examples of folk fighting games, and a very popular game in Hungary because it’s played for fun only and using just simple wooden canes. It’s part of the fencing family and it’s rooted in the bucolic culture. Nowadays it’s being taught in the physical education lessons in schools, but it’s known and practised all over the country by children and adults with small variations of the rules.

Sources of information :

Source of photos used in this article:
https://www.deepfun.com/preserving-a-culture-with-traditional-games/

Gallery:

Cucañas (Spain)

Name of sport (game): Cucañas
Name in native language: Cucañas
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):

Burgos (Spain)

Description:

The river cucañas are a typical playful activity of the summer season, cause summer is the time ideal for the development of this game.
In the river cucañas the object of the game consisted of hovering over a polished log, placed parallel to the surface of the water, trying reach the end of it, in the one that is placed different awards.
To hinder the trunk test was smeared with soap or grease, which caused numerous falls of the participants to the water between revelry of the spectators of the cucañas.
There is another version of the game cucaña, played whit the caber in upright position.

Sources of information :

Source of photos used in this article and gallery:
Cucañas in the Duero River, Aranda de Duero (Spain) september 2021, Author: Alberto Calvo

Gallery:

Cumberland & Westmorland Wrestling (England)

Name of sport (game): Cumberland & Westmorland Wrestling
Name in native language: Cumberland & Westmorland Wrestling
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):

Northern England

Description:

Cumberland & Westmorland Wrestlingis played on grass, outdoor, during the summer fairs or sport festivals. Every body can inter the competition.
It is a standing up wrestling style with clothes. The wrestlers (men or women) wear a T-Shirt and long johnsLegs can grip legs and the arm position is fixed.
There are several weight and age categories.
Techniques are mainly with hips and legs and the goal is to throw the opponent on any part of the body.

Curling (Scotland, many countries in the world)

Name of sport (game): Curling
Name in native language: Curling
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):

Invented in Scotland in the 16th century it is popular in the UK (mainly Scotland) as well as countries to which Scots have exported it, including Canada, the US, New Zealand, Sweden and Switzerland. In addition curling is now played in a number of other countries, including many other areas of Europe, China, Japan and Korea.

History:

One of the world’s oldest team sports, curling originated in the 16th century in Scotland, where games were played during winter on frozen ponds and lochs. The earliest-known curling stones came from the Scottish regions of Stirling and Perth and date from 1511. In the 1600s, stones with handles were introduced.

Curlinga Scottish Game at Central Park 1862 by John George BrownCurling; a Scottish Game at Central Park (1862) by John George Brown

The Curlers 1835 by Sir George HarveyThe Curlers (1835) by Sir George Harvey

The first curling clubs appeared in Scotland, with the Grand Caledonian Curling Club, formed in 1838, being responsible for formulating the first official rules of the sport. The Club was renamed the Royal Caledonian Curling Club in 1843. The key 20th-century developments in the sport have been the standardisation of the stone, the development of the slide delivery, and the use of indoor, refrigerated ice facilities.
Curling
Men’s curling was included in the Olympic programme in 1924 at the first Olympic Winter Games in Chamonix. It was then dropped, and later re-introduced as a demonstration sport in 1932 in Lake Placid.
Between 1936 and 1992, curling was staged at the Games as a demonstration sport: in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in 1936 and Innsbruck in 1964, under the German name of “Eisschiessen”; and in 1988 in Calgary and in 1992 in Albertville, with both men’s and women’s events.
It was in Nagano in 1998 that it officially joined the Olympic programme, with both men’s and women’s competitions.

curling olimpiada

Description:

Curling has similarities to bowls and shuffleboard (deck) and involves sliding granite stones, also called rocks, into a target area at the other end of a long, thin, strip of ice which constitutes the “pitch”. The team that propels their rocks closest to the centre of the target scores points accordingly, with the path of the stone influenced by team members who sweep and brush the ice ahead of the stone in order to alter its speed or curl.
Curling is played between two teams of four using eight granite stones each. The “pitch” is a flat, smooth area of ice measuring 45-46m long and 4.4-5m wide. There is a “house” at each end, a circular target made up of a blue outer circle with a 12ft diameter, a white circle inside that with a diameter of eight feet and a red circle with a diameter of four feet.
The stones themselves weight between 17 and 20kg, are at least 11cm high with a maximum circumference of 91cm and have a handle attached to the top. They are made of granite and the handles are usually red for one side and yellow for the other.
The two sweepers who follow the rock down the ice use brushes or brooms, usually made of fiberglass and fabric or horsehair but there are no real restrictions on the materials from which it is constructed. In addition the players wear curling shoes which are broadly similar to standard trainers except that one sole is smooth to enable sliding.
Players also usually use gloves, specific curling trousers and a stopwatch to better understand the pace of the ice and the need for sweeping.
Scoring is done after each “end” (an end being a set where both teams have thrown all eight stones) with whichever team is closest to the centre of the house being awarded a point. Further points are awarded for each stone of theirs that is closer than the best of the opposition’s. In order to score any points at least one stone must be “in the house”, which is to say touching any of the circles or overhanging them (due to the shape of the stones).
The game is won by the team that scores the most points after all the ends are complete. Most curling matches take place over ten or sometimes eight ends. If the scores are level after the allotted number of ends then an extra sudden-death end is played.

pitch

A curling sheet, with dimensions in feet (1' = 1 ft = 0.3 m). CL: Centreline • HOL: Hogline • TL: Teeline • BL: Backline • HA: Hackline with Hacks • FGZ: Free Guard Zone

Rules of Curling
Teams of four take it in turns to curl two rocks towards the target area with the scores being counted after all 16 rocks have been sent down the ice.
International matches have a time limit of 73 minutes per side with two timeouts lasting a minute each. 10 minutes and one timeout are permitted per extra end in the event of a tie.
The stone must be released its front edge crosses a line called the hog. Foul throws are removed from the ice before they have come to rest or in contact with other rocks.
Sweeping may be done by two members of the team up to the tee line, whilst after that point only one player can brush. After the tee one player from the opposing side may also sweep
A stone touched or moved when in play by a player or their broom will either be replaced or removed depending on the situation.
The team to go first is decided by coin toss, “draw-to-the-button” contest or, in Olympic competition using win-loss records. Subsequently the team that failed to score in the previous end has the advantage of going last, called the hammer throw.
A team may concede if they feel they cannot win, although depending on the event and stage of event they may have to wait until a certain number of ends have been completed.
Fair play is of huge importance so there is a culture of self-refereeing with regards fouls and this is a big part of curling.
(Source: https://www.rulesofsport.com/sports/curling.html)

Equipment include:
- The curling stone (also sometimes called a rock in North America) is made of granite and is specified by the World Curling Federation, which requires a weight between 38 and 44 pounds (17.24 and 19.96 kg), a maximum circumference of 36 inches (914.4 mm) and a minimum height of 4.5 inches (114.3 mm). The only part of the stone in contact with the ice is the running surface, a narrow, flat annulus or ring, 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 inch (6.4 to 12.7 mm) wide and about 5 inches (130 mm) in diameter; the sides of the stone bulge convex down to the ring and the inside of the ring is hollowed concave to clear the ice. This concave bottom was first proposed by J. S. Russell of Toronto, Ontario, Canada sometime after 1870, and was subsequently adopted by Scottish stone manufacturer Andrew Kay.
- The curling broom, or brush, is used to sweep the ice surface in the path of the stone (see sweeping) and is also often used as a balancing aid during delivery of the stone.
- Curling shoes are similar to ordinary athletic shoes except for special soles; the slider shoe (usually known as a "slider") is designed for the sliding foot and the "gripper shoe" (usually known as a gripper) for the foot that kicks off from the hack.
- Curling pants, made to be stretchy to accommodate the curling delivery.
- A stopwatch to time the stones over a fixed distance to calculate their speed. Stopwatches can be attached either to clothing or the broom.
- Curling gloves and mittens, to keep the hands warm and improve grip on the broom.

curling equipment

chapte33

Current status:

Practiced

The ICF was initially formed in 1966 as a committee of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club in Perth after the success of the Scotch Cup series of world championships held between Canada and Scotland. At the outset, it comprised the associations of Scotland, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, and the United States. In the wake of its formation, it sanctioned the World Curling Championships. The WCF currently sanctions fifteen international curling events (see below). The WCF is managed by eight Board Directors, one president, three vice-presidents (one from each WCF regional zone - Americas, Europe, Pacific-Asia) and six Board Directors. The six Board Directors must all come from different member associations. All positions on the Board of Directors are elected by WCF member associations. The Board of Directors are supported by and a permanent staff of 20 employees. There are currently 61 member associations (https://worldcurling.org/member-associations/).
World Championship 2020World Championship Glasgow 2020

Contacts:

World Curling Federation
Tel: +44 (0)1738 451 630
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Webside: https://worldcurling.org/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/worldcurling
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/worldcurling/
Fb: https://www.facebook.com/WorldCurlingFederation/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/worldcurling/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/WorldCurlingTV
World Curling Federation

Scottish Curling
Springkerse Business Park
Stirling FK7 7XE
Tel.: +44 (0) 131 333 3003
Weside: https://www.scottishcurling.org/
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/scottishcurling
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/scottish_curling/
Scottish Curling logo

The lists of curling clubs worldwide: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_curling_clubs
List of curlers: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_curlers

Sources of information :

Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyObtpOpPkw  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlifqV_0bQY  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjxcZhbVSVQ&t=23s  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOk9SVzqHsk  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6axpWJ_j850  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kwz-cicOUFk  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgiG5gHiAq4  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsA6grFDamo 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrVgfaDPI4w 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjxcZhbVSVQ

 

Source of photos used in this article and gallery:
https://olympics.com/en/news/muirhead-and-team-gb-rout-japan-for-womens-curling-gold
https://www.eurosport.com/curling/
https://www.nbcboston.com/news/sports/beijing-winter-olympics/here-are-some-fun-facts-about-the-history-of-the-sport-of-curling/2610290/
https://dcist.com/story/22/02/04/local-curling-league-winter-olympic-sport/
https://www.mmow.org/curling-a-small-beginners-guide/
https://electricscotland.com/history/curling/chapter2.htm
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/old-curlers-out-in-the-cold-as-the-rules-change-sh0z2fkxqlp

Gallery:

Documents:

pdfTechnical_Officials_Manual_Oct_2018.pdf

pdfThe_Rules_of_Curling_Oct_2020.pdf

pdfThe_Rules_of_Curling_Showing_Changes_Oct_2020.pdf

pdfTOM_Forms_Oct_2018.pdf

pdfClassification_Rule_V_2_-_Oct_2014.pdf

pdfCompetition_Policy__Procedure_Manual_Sept_2019.pdf

pdfCurling_-_Sheet_of_Ice_-_Dimensions_and_Terms.pdf

Fierljeppen or Polsstokverspringen (Netherlands)

Name of sport (game): Fierljeppen/Polsstokverspringen
Name in native language: Polsstokverspringen From Frisian language: Fierljeppen - the Frisian name fierljeppen came from the English "far leaping" (fier-far, ljeppen-leaping), which means "far jumping".
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):

The Netherlands (especially Frisia, Utrecht region).

History:

Because the Netherlands is largely below sea level or right on sea level, there are many waterways and canals. In the swamps of the Netherlands, the pole has been used to jump over watercourses for a long time. People often tried to jump over these canals using the pole.
The favourite entertainment, in the old days of, people living in the northern regions of Groningen and Friesland was collecting eggs of peewits. They were considered a delicacy. Often, to get them they had to overcome wide channels.
Brueghel's paintings already show the Dutch jumps through the canals. The first written certificates come from 1200.
Obviously, people were not satisfied only with jumping, so they started using longer and longer poles. Over time, it becomes an opportunity to compete in jumping above the canal with its use. That was the beginning of fierljeppen.
In the village of Baard (Frisia), on 24 August 1767, the first known official tournament took place, organized by the widow of Ype Gerbens, the local ruler. The competition was the result of bet, as reported by Leeuwarder Courant (the oldest daily newspaper in the Netherlands). Some sources claim that the year 1771 has been the official beginning of the competition.
In the 1930s, the sport competition was very similar to what it is nowadays. Official rules were established regarding the course of the competition, measurements and conditions of competition. Since 1956, regular competitions have been held in Friesland (all archive data with results are available on Polstokbond Holland (PHB) and Frysk Ljeppers Boun (FLB) websites.
The chairman of BFVW (Bond van Friese Vogelwachten) Sjoerd Span and Lykele Miedema the director of the Miedema factory, founded Fryske Ljeppers Kommisje (FLK) together with representatives of Vogelwacht, Winsum department. FLK consisted of members: Feije Broersma, Geert Dijkstra, Klaas Jepma and Sybren Bakker as well as Sjoerd Span and Lykele Miedema. Sjoerd Span became chairman. On August 10, 1957, De Fryske Ljeppers Kommisje (FLK) have organized the first official fierljep competition in Winsum under the guidance of BFVW. On 13 January 1960, the Association "Frysk Ljeppers Boun" was founded from the merger of FLK and Bond Voor Friese Polsstokverspringers - BVFP. On 28 June 1978, the statute was established in Winsum, and the last modification took place on 26 April 1988.
In 1957, the Friesland league was created, afterwords leagues in Utrecht and South Netherlands, and in the 1970s the first championship of the Netherlands took place.
In the German region of East Frisia, this sport is known as Pultstockspringen. Today it is primarily cultivated for entertainment or as an attraction for tourists, but there is still an official annual National Fierljepping Manifestation (NFM) in the Netherlands. The competition takes place between the clubs that deal with this sport.
Up to 1975, people jumped on wooden poles, with a maximum length of 10 meters, which were then replaced with aluminium poles with a maximum length of 12.5 meters, including the extension. In 2006, they were replaced with plastic poles with a maximum length of 13.25 m, which are stiffer and less bend. The plastic allows to jump further. The Dutch record was 19.40 m for 15 years, belonged to Aart de With from Benschop which has been beaten many times during the season, four jumpers in 2006 managed to break the record from 1991. The disadvantage of plastic is its poor resistance to point loads, which should be handled with poles carefully.
Foreign tourists who visited Friesland and watched this sport contributed to its popularity around the world. Currently, competitions are organised in other places, although at a lower level due to the smaller number of competitors and the lack of appropriate locations.

Description:

This sport is a kind of combination of long jump and pole vault. The goal is to jump over a water tank with a pole and land on the other bank. The competitor runs towards the canal with water, inserting the pole into the water, climbs up as high as possible, then to land as far as possible on the opposite sandy shore.
The pole is 8 to 13 meters (from 26 to 43 ft). At the end, there is a tile that prevents it from sinking into the mud at the bottom of the water tank.
The whole jump consists of several parts that can be trained separately: a short, fast run from a distance of about 20 m from the pole (polsstok), a jump in its direction and climbs up the top of the pole so that in the last phase, land on the sand, unless the competitor previously climbed insufficiently high, then he lands in the channel. Fierljeppen jumpers must be characterized by great strength and developed motor coordination, they must be able to concentrate and have a lot of perseverance.
Fierljeppen requires a lot of technical knowledge. To do and land a successful jump, you must be master in many different aspects. The pole must be placed at a suitable distance from the platform (in the case of deep water, it is placed closer because water resistance must be taken into account). Then make a short and quick sprint from 15 to 20 meters, grab the pole with both hands. Then you have to climb up the top of the pole as soon as possible because the higher you go, the more distance the player overcomes. However, be sure not to disturb the balance or trajectory. When the pole starts to move down on the opposite side, push back and turn the legs forward to maximize the momentum. Of course, a good landing is important to avoid injury.
The run-up is essential for a good jump. Its speed determines, among other things, how far you can put the pole in the water. Training of run-up is an important part of a practice as ,in addition to general basic training, run-up training is also necessary:
• the length of the run-up should be determined,
• Make sure that the consistency of preparations in all elements of the jump is maintained, which should be checked regularly.
The run-up length is different for each player. This is related to strength of leg, size and number of steps. The ultimate goal is to reach exactly at the end of the ramp without looking at the platform. Usually, the run starts with the strongest leg, making an odd number of steps: 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, etc. Warm-up starts with 3 initial runs. A measuring tape is placed next to the running way, which indicates fixed measuring points. Each of the runs is measured with a tape. The coach checks if the jumper ends the run in the right place. The jumper is looking only at the starting point, starting the run, then looking ahead at the endpoint. Training should be varied and cannot focus only on the run-up, because the exercise for a long time, causes fatigue, which affects the length of steps. In addition, in the start-up season, length of the entire run-up may change. This is due to increasing the strength and pace of the run-up. If the average step distance changes by + 1 cm, the total run-up distance increases, eg by 15 cm.
Jump is very complex. It becomes the transition from the run-up to climbing. Jump and grabbing the pole take place almost at the same time, followed by the simultaneous forwarding of the legs. The pole must be between both legs.
The jump must be made at right angles to the pole. When the altitude is too high, you lose strength and jump to the other side is not adequate.
Each player must locate his proper jump. Its purpose is to smoothly switch from the optimum speed of run-up to upward movement, without losing too much speed.
Gripping the pole with your hands should take place at least at eye level or slightly higher. This is important for a smooth transition from rushing to climbing.
The too high grip makes it difficult to pull up. If the grip is too low, this makes it difficult to climb gently.
Collaterally with raising your arms, extend your legs forward. At the same time, the head must be kept straight. In this way, the weight of the body and strength the speed of run-up from the flow are evenly distributed. Swinging also helps you climb higher on the pole and thus achieve a longer jump.
After grabbing the pole you have to lock your feet around it and pull up as high as possible. The hands can be moved up together or in rotation. Simultaneous shifting gives a calm style of climbing, but it costs more strength of the leg. Moving hands one by one gives a "wild style" of climbing, but it requires less leg strength. Right-handed jumpers surround the pole with their left foot. Left-handed jumpers surround the pole with their right foot. The climbing cycle consists of:
• Move your hand up while straightening your legs.
• Raising your knees and immediately blocking your feet on the pole.
• Straightening the legs.
It is possible to move from about 70 cm to 1 meter in one pull-up cycle. This, of course, depends on the height of the player.
The landing is one of the most difficult element. Partly because it is a complicated technique, and partly because it is the last section of the total jump.
The hardest part is when the landing begins and the pole is about 45 ° to the ground which is sand.
The competitor should take the pole as far as possible with stretch out arms and with both hands together. Then he throws the body forward, twisting it at the same time by 180 ° and bending upwards. If the whole operation is carried out correctly, then the whole speed and strength allow you to be pushed forward.

Current status:

sport practiced
Official competitions in the Netherlands are organized by: Polsstokbond Holland (PHB) and Frysk Ljeppers Boun (FLB). The National Sports Association - de Nederlandse Fierljepbond (NFB) is the organizer of the annual national-ranking competitions in which PHB and FLB athletes participate, as well as nationwide championships. The competition is held in the provinces of Friesland (Bergum, Buitenpost, It Heidenskip, IJlst, Joure and Winsum), Groningen (Grijpskerk), Utrecht (Jaarsveld, Linschoten, Polsbroekerdam, Zegveld, Haarzuilens and Kamerik) and Zuid-Holland (Vlist). The Dutch championships in Fierljeppen are held every year at the Grijpskerk Arena, from the 1930s.
The current Dutch record holders by category are:
• Veterans: 20.60 m (67 ft 7 inches), Theo van Kooten from Haastrecht, South Holland (31 July 2013, Linschoten).
• Seniors: 22.21 meters (72 feet 10 inches), Jaco de Groot from Woerden, Utrecht (12 August 2017, Zegveld).
• Juniors: 20.41 m (67 feet 0 inches), Joris de Jong from Dokkum, Friesland (9 August 2016, Dokkum); other sources give: 20.70 m; Erwin Timmerarends from Montfoort (August 15 2015, Zegveld);
• Boys: 19.81 meters; Reinier Overbeek from Benschop (July 30 2017, It Heidenskip)
• Women: 17.58 meters (57 feet 8 inches) Marrit van der Wal from It Heidenskip, Friesland (16 July 2016, Burgum)
• Girls: 16,57 meters; Marrit van der Wal with It Heidenskip in IJlst (17 August 2014, IJlst)
There are 532 registered active jumpers in the world; 190 of them are from the Netherlands.
The sports season runs from May to September.

Contacts:

Polsstokbond Holland - http://www.pbholland.com/

Polsstokbond Holland logo

 

Frysk Ljeppers Boun - http://fierljeppen.frl/

Frysk Ljeppers Boun logo

 

Polsstokkerdam - http://polsstokkerdam.nl/
Polsstokclub Linschoten - http://polsstokclublinschoten.nl/
Nederlandse Fierljep Bond - http://www.nederlandsefierljepbond.nl/
Polsstokclub de Vlist - http://www.polsstokclubdevlist.nl/
Polsstokvereninging Jaarsveld - http://www.polsstokjaarsveld.nl/
B.K. Fierljrppen Hamont - http://www.fierljeppen.be/

Frisian clubs:
Ljeppersklub Buitenpost - http://www.ljeppersklubbuitenpost.nl/
Fierljepferiening Drylts E.O. - http://www.fierljeppenijlst.nl/
Fierljeppen Heidenskip - http://www.fierljeppe.nl/
Fierljep Feriening Winsum e.o. - http://www.fierljeppenwinsum.frl/
Fierleppen in Grijpskerk - http://fierljeppeningrijpskerk.nl/
Fierljepvereniging De Lege Wâlden Joure - http://www.fierljeppenjoure.nl/

Sources of information :

Fierljeppen - Canal vaulting in Holland - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YP32iWoqjnQ
Fierljeppen former Dutch record (woman) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeMAMv6GaJQ
FIERLJEPPEN: Hoogtepunten NK Fierljeppen 2017 -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSiD92FbrFQ
Nationale Competitie Fierljeppen/Polsstokverspringen - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFRAtLJ4NnU

Gallery:

Documents:

pdffierljeppen_technique.pdf

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