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.
The Frisbee Ten Pin Bowling championships take place in Canberra on Australia Day by the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. There are two separate events: the straight throw that takes place in Kings Park and the obstacle throw that’s held in Weston Park.
The straight throw contests take place over 25 metres, 50, metres, 100 metres, and 250 metres. There are ten pins in each contest and the scoring system is the same as normal ten pin bowling. The pins are made from sponge making them easier to knock over, although the scrutineers always watch very carefully to make sure that none of the pins fell over because of a gust of wind. Video replays are used to help adjudication on occasions.
The rules are quite simple: the Frisbee must be released behind the starting line and must not touch the ground before hitting the pins. Strikes can still be scored but tend to be rare in the longer events where accuracy matters more than power. Two people play against each other and the one with the higher points total goes through to the next round.
Michael Stonehaven has won the men’s 25-metre event most often with seven wins between 1978 and 1999; he threw the Frisbee with tremendous force and scored many strikes over this distance during his career – his score of 232 in 1989 is still a record for this event. He missed out on an eighth title in 2001 when one of his throws hit a seagull and was deflected into the lake. Stonehaven’s protests that the gull was the pet of his greatest rival Gordon Gribben fell on deaf ears. Julie Gribben won the women’s event three times in a row between 1998 and 2000, the only person to have ever achieved this feat at any distance. Her total of 217 in 2000 is a lady’s record.