January 17, 2013
Silence in the crowd. Emery steps up to the line. The spoon shakes in his hand. He takes aim, shoots, and a tea bag arcs through the air towards the bucket.
It lands clean. The crowd erupts. Two points up, Emery takes a bow, then retires for a brew.
Welcome to the sport of Tea Bag Tossing.
It’s the brainchild of Enigma Auto, a garage on the island of Jersey, and Yorkshire ex-pat Richard Emery and his colleagues have been playing it for two years.
And that picture above shows just one of the trophies annually presented to the winners.
Players stand at one end of the 21ft pitch, pick one of the two official spoons and launch the bag into the bucket at the opposite end.
They score two points if it lands inside, one point if it lands in after a deflection and half a point if it lands on the edge. If it goes in and knocks an edge bag in with it, that’s a huge two-and-a-half points.
Points are recorded throughout the year, with trophies presented at the staff Christmas dinner.
“Competition is now fierce and a two-pointer really makes your day,” says Richard.
“Yorkshire bags are far more consistent flyers. There would be a revolution if we ran out.”
It’s not in the Olympics yet, but it’s surely only a matter of time.