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November 13, 2015

Could it be possible for Christmas tree throwing to become an Olympic sport? If you have asked yourself this question, then read on.

Probably not. But can you name a more enjoyable way to dispose of your Christmas tree?

With Christmas slowly approaching, getting and then disposing of your Christmas tree will become a subject of frequently asked questions. You can lie your family that you didn’t have time to buy one, or you could… you could tell them that you were too busy reading this.

Being aware of the existence of sports like extreme ironing, underwater hockey, blind football and worm charming, Christmas trees throwing seems to be the most reasonable one to be included as part of the Olympics. Since the rules in different countries may vary, let us see how they do it…


Thomas Lohnes/Stringer / Via Getty


Germany is the pioneer in Christmas trees throwing. Harsh and solid, the Germans have 9 championships held until this year. In 2016, probably the most experienced Christmas tree thrower, if such thing exists, Frank Schwender, will have the chance to win the tournament for the unprecedented 4th year in a row. Last year, he took the crown with a total distance of 22.45m.

Comment: I am sure that Frank uses these mad Christmas tree throwing skills to get rid of household waste,
and maybe of his wife when she is not in mood. How convenient, isn’t it?

Rules: Each thrower carries his own tree and there are three different throwing categories: ‘Hammerwurf’(hammer-style), ‘Weitwurf’ (javelin-style) and ‘Hochwurf’ (highjump-style).
After all three challenges are taken, each thrower’s distances are added up to find out the the winner of the Christmas tree throwing championship. At the end of the tournament, a big bonfire is built out of the Christmas trees.
Comment: So many efforts just to get rid of your tree?


Irish are getting better and soon they may surpass Germans. In 2015, the fourth annual championship took place in Ennis, Clare County. Last year nearly 250participated, and to make the challenge more fun, women and under 12’s sections also tried their Christmas three throwing skills. After losing in 2014, John O'Dea from Limerick came back stronger and regained his title from 2013, and was crowned as 2015 champion. He shares the Irish record of throwing his tree in a distance of 10.2 metres.

Comment: Secret experiments show a significant increase in male participant’s results, when they had been stimulated with liquor before their try.

Rules: There is no specific technique that participants should follow. Unlike in Germany, there is only one category and the tree is provided by the organizers. The Christmas tree has a specific height of 1.5m in order to be fair for everyone and it is provided on place in exchange of your own tree. Event is done with fund rising purposes, which is noble.

United Kingdom

The tournament in UK was inspired by the one in Germany and it is held in the end of November. The UK based Christmas tree throwers seem to be the rookies in this battle with only one championship so far, which took place in Keele, Newcastle-under-Lyme. Ex-marine Owen Davies was the winner with combined score of 15,4m. With nearly 100 participants and more than 1500 visitors, the UK Christmas tree disposal championship have enough popularity to soon surpass their neighbours and beat the inventors in their game (yeah, right).

Rules: Anyone over 16 can participate. Each tree used weighs approximately 10kg and it is 1.5-1.8m tall. Tournament includes two categories: throwing a tree in distance and throwing it over a bar. Bar is set at 3m at first and then it is gradually raised by two inches at a time until it reaches the highest point of 4.5m. Like in Ireland, no specific throwing technique is needed – contesters may use whatever technique they want. The raised money were donated to charity foundations.

Actually a Garry Lineker’s comment: “Football is a simple game. Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win.”



As we can clearly see charity is the driving force of these creative and and fun tournaments. But since the subject of this articles is whether Christmas tree throwing has any future as an Olympic sport, some issues come to my mind.

What has to be improved before the sport qualifies for Olympics:

Unified rules –even if there are not many countries in which the contest exists,there are far too many differences between them. This will show what country really is the best one in Christmas tree throwing.

Lack of video technology – many contesters commented that some of their opponents have been over the line in the moment of throwing. And this is not fair. Unifying the rules plus installation of video technology will make the contesters’ results more measurable and fair.