International Mangold Hurling

Mangold Hurling from Around The World


A  view of Peru

Peru (partial view)

One of the first South American countries to take up the noble sport, Peru was dogged by three particular problems, but was driven to solve them due to an undoubted commitment to Mangold Hurling along with the enormous yield it was possible to produce in this very fertile country.

Peru, as many will know, is mountainous in the greatest part. Whilst this undoubtedly gives rise to a fit and healthy population, it produced particular difficulty for early Hurlers. The initial problem was caused by the thin air that exists at altitude.

The lack of drag that therefore predominates in those parts was thought at first to be an advantage as mangolds could be hurled enormous and indeed record-breaking distances. However, it became apparent early on that disputes would arise as the Norman Official was only rarely able to fulfil his designated role, as the Norman and indeed all the other mangolds would frequently disappear out of sight.

After a particularly acrimonious Hurl during which at least one Llama was mortally wounded and several Mangold Maids were mysteriously deflowered whilst helping to seek out the missing mangolds, it was agreed that a flight-limiting device should be designed that could be attached to the mangolds by the Watcher (thereafter known locally as the Watcher-Fitter).

This device ("The Fitting") was constructed of wire and canvas and attached to the mangold by means of wire pins at each end. It is quite difficult to describe accurately but is best thought of as a string of pearls around the middle portion of the mangold. Each pearl bears a close resemblance to certain royal ears.

The second Peruvian problem was caused by the mountains themselves. Mangolds are circular in most cross-sections and the combination of this property and steep inclines frequently caused the Norman, which of course is topless, to roll several leagues down the mountain after it had landed. It was very difficult for Hurlers to get their mangolds anywhere near to the Norman and a willow of adequate length could never be found thus leading once again to disputes.

The MHA therefore agreed to allow an "Angle of the Mangel" whereby the Special Cutting Tool could be used to modify the Norman (and individual Mangolds should the pitcher request it). The new cuboid Norman was much less likely to roll out of sight and competitions have flourished ever since.

The final problem was one of errant llamas. It seems that llamas are very fond of mangolds and will try very hard indeed to seek out and consume any stray mangolds lying about. Due to the importance of llamas to the local economy the MHA forbade anything that might threaten a llama's welfare and so, we have produced a handy silhouette guide (below) that will allow Peruvian Mangold Hurlers to spot at an adequate distance, and therefore avoid, any roaming llamas.

Llamas and their relatives

Saharan Africa

A desert environment would probably be enough to put off all but the most determined Mangold Hurlers. The French Foreign Legion is fortunately made of stern stuff, so, when holding their annual competition in the Sahara proved difficult, Legionnaires showed extraordinary diligence and adaptability. The scarcity of mangolds led to much experimentation with alternative aerial vegetation. After many hours, and we suspect weeks, of laborious work, Legionnaires discovered that the most appropriate replacement for a mangold in the desert is fennel. Once wilted by the desert sun, fennel acquires a combination of mass-density and aerodynamics that makes it virtually indistinguishable from a mangold (in terms of hurling that is). Special dispensation was also given by the MHA to allow replacement of the Norman with a Legionnaire's hat.

Legionnaires in preparation

A last-minute check of the rules before play commences.

The effect of the desert sun on hurlers was also countered, with the Pitching Basket placed under a specially designed sunshade, the construction of which was such that it provided adequate shade whilst allowing an accurate and lengthy hurl.

Despite toiling diligently to overcome the aforementioned hazards, Saharan Hurlers had one more problem to overcome: that of camels. It is little-known but camels have an almost insatiable appetite for mangolds, and this, from an even-toed ungulate that will eat almost anything, caused extreme difficulties at times. Fortunately, through careful use of the patented MHA "animals to avoid when hurling" guide, Saharan hurling is now possible.

(See also 2006 special rules, not currently available.)