Excerpt from the Book Sports the Olympics Forgot This book describes 40 sports that ought to be played but aren’t, because I made them up.
Knocking down the Roman Soldiers is a very popular event. It’s an open draw which means that everyone’s name goes into a tam o’shanter and then the names are drawn out. Two players play each other; they both have five attempts to knock down as many soldiers as possible and the person with the highest cumulative total goes through to the next round. There are a number of techniques to knock down as many of the 20 soldiers as possible. T
he most dangerous is the leg splay where a competitor tries to do the splits in mid-air thus giving him the widest possible coverage to knock down the soldiers. The problem is that a small misjudgment can lead to a Roman soldier making contact with the athlete’s groin. Other people prefer the feet first approach with their arms spread wide, which leads to fewer injuries. There’s also the bowling ball technique where the athlete vaults into the soldiers at an angle using their shoulder, hoping to cause a ricochet down the line of cutouts.