World Finger Jousting Championships
at World Alternative Games 2014
Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales, UK, 10 August 2014 - Competitors from five countries competed in the World Finger Jousting Championships at the World Alternative Games 2014 in Wales. Sara Galvao of Portugal and Denis Taylor of Russia crowned as new world champions.
On Sunday, 10 August 2014 the official World Finger Jousting Championships were hosted by the World Alternative Games 2014 and sanctioned by the sport's governing body, the World Finger Jousting Federation (WFJF). The tournament took place in Britain's smallest town, Llanwrtyd Wells in Wales.
Split into two categories - Male and Female – the competition was once again a truly international affair with competitors hailing from Russia, Portugal, New Zealand, Wales, and England. Players competed in a round-robin format played to a six-point victory, or a time-limit, over three quick-fire, 30-second rounds of finger jousting action.
Finger jousting – known as Ymwan Bys in the Welsh language – is a sport where two consenting players square off in an attempt to prod their opponent with their lancing (right) index finger before the opposing player can. The competitors must keep their right hands locked in an arm wrestling fashion and not use their legs or latent (left) arm in an offensive manner. The competitors are known as jousters, and the act of touching the other person's body with the index finger is known as lancing.
The day of the tournament saw ex-Hurricane Bertha land on the British Isles, but that didn't put off the hardy competitors at the World Alternative Games, with outdoor events including worm charming, a space hopper race, and egg throwing taking place outside.
During the morning a number of exhibition matches and preliminary contests took place to whet the appetite for the afternoon's major tournament. A number of local competitors lined-up to take on the tournament referee and the WFJF's British Consul, "Squire" Richard Gottfried, in a mixture of Quick Play and Point Play Rules matches.
The afternoon saw competitors able to head indoors to the Victoria Hall (Neuadd Fictoria) which was home to the World of Grip, the Portaputt Crazy Golf course and the stage for the World Finger Jousting Championships.
With the draw completed, the action got underway with a pair of matches in the women's tournament with Jasmine Reah from Wales taking on Sara Galvao of Portugal with the match ending in a hard-fought draw at 2-2.
Next up was Andie Dale from New Zealand who would face off against Tazzy Cadman of England. The match saw both competitors joust with all their might, with the win going to Cadman with a 2-1 scoreline.
The first men's matches saw England's Marc Broughton drawn to face Wales's Rhodri Haines. The action in the match resulted in a 1-0 victory for Haines. Denis Taylor of Russia then took to the stage to face Marc Broughton with the match ending in a 2-2 tie.
There was a short pause in the action to allow for the World of Grip medal ceremony and a chance for the finger jousters to rest before the final matches. Then all eyes in Victoria Hall were fixed at the stage to see who would become the World Finger Jousting Champions of 2014.
In the next group of women's matches, Dale defeated Galvao 1-0, while Reah demolished Cadman with a 5-0 winning margin.
The final contest in the men's competition saw Haines and Taylor face-off with the match ending in a clear win for Taylor 3-0.
In the final female fights, Dale bested Reah 1-0 and Galvao beat Cadman 6-2.
With a short break to add up the scores, it was soon clear that there would be no sudden-death play-offs to decide the placings, much to the relief of the battle weary finger jousters.
With the results handed to marshal Richard Gottfried it was time for the medal ceremony and the declaration of Sara Galvao of Portugal and Denis Taylor of Russia as the new World Finger Jousting Champions.
World Finger Jousting Championships 2014 – Men's Event rankings
1. Denis Taylor (RUS) – 5 points
2. Marc Broughton (ENG) – 2 points
3. Rhodri Haines (WAL) – 1 point
World Finger Jousting Championships 2014 – Women's Event rankings
1. Sara Galvao (POR) – 8 points
2. Jasmine Reah (WAL) – 7 points
3. Tazzy Cadman (ENG) – 4 points
4. Andie Dale (NZ) – 3 points
Richard Gottfried, British Consul of the World Finger Jousting Federation and marshall at the tournament said, "As a finger jouster of some eight years experience, I was very impressed with how well the competitors in this year's world championships at the World Alternative Games handled the pressure of competing and wowing the crowds at the Victoria Hall in Llanwrtyd Wells. Many congratulations to Sara and Denis on their big wins, and also hats off to the other competitors in the magnificent seven that put on an amazing show of finger jousting prowess."
Upon returning from a trip from Mexico City and announcing in Washington, DC with Chief Marshal Aaron Contreras the results of the Games, Julian Gluck, President of the World Finger Jousting Federation, offered his sincere congratulations to the international competitors. "Once again the tournament in Wales has exhibited the international zeal for the sport. If we have jousted further, it is by lancing the shoulders of giants, and we have Karen Perkins and the World Alternative Games to thank for hosting our championships. After the Games in 2012 and with our new champions from Portugal and Russia, truly this is the dawn of a new age of European dominance in the sport. I challenge competitors from the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Oceania to strive for gold in our next World Championships."
The World Alternative Games in Llanwrtyd Wells were created in 2012 as an alternative to the "other big event" taking place in the United Kingdom that year. In 2014 the World Alternative Games held their over 60 interesting sports, games, and events between Friday, August 8th and Monday, August 25th.
World Alternative Games 2014 Finger Jousting Championships Stats and Facts:
• Players from five countries competed in the event – Wales, England, Russia, Portugal and New Zealand
• The longest index finger in the tournament belonged to men's bronze medalist Rhodri Haines from Wales who had a lance length of a whopping 10 cm.
• The player with the shortest index finger in the competition was the eventual men's champion Denis Taylor of Russia with a digit measuring 7 cm.
The World Finger Jousting Federation would like to thank the World Alternative Games 2014 for hosting the championships and showcasing the sport as well as Richard Gottfried for refereeing the tournament, Emily Gottfried for scoring the championships and heading photography/videography, Seve Kukielka for his role as a sparring partner in the exhibition and warm-up matches, each and every competitor who participated in the tournament, and of course the roaring fans in attendance in Llanwrtyd Wells.
The 2014 World Finger Jousting Championships were the second finger jousting event to take place in the UK, following the success of the 2012 event at the inaugural World Alternative Games. That competition also saw athletes from five countries compete, with Philip "Mr. Big" Large from Coventry, England winning the Men's Championship, while Danitsja "Dani Banana" Kallendorf of the Netherlands won the Women's title.
The sport of Finger Jousting is governed by the World Finger Jousting Federation. Formed in 2005 in LaGrange, Georgia the Federation is known for its encouragement of healthy competition and exercise, philanthropic nature, and dedicated online community. Against performance enhancing drugs and all forms of cheating inside and outside of the arena, the WFJF has made continuous efforts to make sure that matches are played honorably, and events are a safe environment for the whole family. For more information and details on how to join the World Finger Jousting Federation please visit http://www.fingerjoust.com/.
The full events list and downloadable World Alternative Games brochure can be found at http://www.worldalternativegames.co.uk/events/.
Further information about the World Alternative Games 2014 can be found at http://www.worldalternativegames.co.uk/.
WFJF Media Department