Odd Balls…

Bex Law 29 October 2009

Bex Law takes a sideways look at the world of sport

A game of pool seems a fairly safe sporting venture, but recently two men enjoying a beer and a quiet match discovered otherwise.

The metro reported that two men playing in a bar in Wisconsin were nearly hit by their own car as it was knocked through the wall by a drunk driver. The proprietor of the bar suggested that the driver, who had been a local at the pub “may have missed the turning” for the car park!

The best way to spoil a good walk has just got a lot longer with the opening of the Nullarbor Links Golf course spread across two states in the Australian Nullarbor Plain. With one hole called the 90 mile Straight there’s a fair way to walk for each hole.

The BBC reported that the course has eighteen holes spread over 848 miles and can take up to seven days to play. A golf buggy just won’t cut it on this terrain with some holes 100km apart. Golfing enthusiasts will find this course a break from tradition with black greens and artificial tees. Along with the traditional bunkers and water hazards the 72 par course has many yellow signs warning of kangaroos, wombats and dingoes.

Any golfer finding the dingoes a problem should talk to World Cup planners, who may be able to deal with the wild dogs as part of their 2010 plans. Reuter’s journalists have reported that South African traditional leaders plan to perform ritual animal slaughters to bless stadiums in true ‘African style’ for the football World Cup next year. Zolani Mkiva chairman of the Makhonya Royal Trust has said that, as this will be the first World Cup to be held in Africa, they will “sacrifice the cow for this great achievement and call upon ancestors to bless, to grace, to ensure that all goes well.”

The Makhonya Royal Trust would appear likely to fall foul of New Zealand animal rights protestors as the annual ‘rabbit throw’ competition in the New Zealand town of Waiau has been cancelled following complaints through the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). In a bid to win this sporting event children traditionally attempt to throw dead rabbits as far as possible. Along with other complaints one animal cruelty inspector really captured the gravity of the situation questioning: “Do you throw your dead grandmother around for a joke at her funeral?”

Finally, continuing with our foreign theme last week the Huffington Post reported that Japanese swimmers could face lifetime bans for dying their hair, wearing earrings or painting their nails. The high school-like rules don’t stop there; male and female swimmers are also banned from going into each other’s rooms on training camp.

In justifying the new regime the executive director of the Japan Swimming Federation stated “We have had many recent controversies (in Japan) with Marijuana in sport and at universities…this is about swimming taking a stand on its own initiative.” After all, nail varnish, earrings and hair dye are all up there with Marijuana in the illegality stakes.

Bex Law