Extract from Sports the Olympics Forgot

The coconut shy is a staple attraction in British country fairs, but in India the game was taken far more seriously and evolved into a major sport especially around Cochin. The Cochin Coconut Shy takes place over the Easter weekend and involves many different events, which have gradually been added since the competition first took place in 1911.

The original events largely consisted of throwing cricket balls at coconuts perched on stands at various distances from the thrower. The shortest distance is 30 yards and the furthest distance 70. Each thrower has one minute to knock off six coconuts with a maximum of 10 balls. The winner is the person who knocks off all the coconuts in the quickest time with the fewest number of throws. Since 1972, professional cricketers have had their own separate event to allow other people to win the prizes. Gurdeep Singh has won the most coconut shy titles with 36 victories between 1988 and 2005 including an unprecedented Grand Slam of titles in 1997, when he only used 33 balls to knock off the 30 coconuts.