Once again we're taking time to celebrate the one tradition common to all cultures: gathering in large groups to participate in utterly pointless and often mind-bogglingly dangerous sports.
All it takes is a lot of bored males and, more often than not, alcohol.
What is it?
Shin Kicking is part of the Cotswold Games, a four hundred year-old tournament that claims to be the oldest Olympiad in the world, and, because of the absence of synchronised swimming, it may also have a valid claim to be the best.
There's rarely a sport more perfectly summed up by its name. Shin Kicking is a contest between two fighters as to who can knock the other down by the simple, honest method of kicking the shit out of one another's shins.
If you cause your opponent to fall, you earn a point. Bouts are won on a best-of-three basis, the winner going through to the next round. Call us unadventurous, but we think we'd probably throw the fight immediately after some hairy, beefy, rosy cheeked English farmer demolished our wizened, malnourished shins with one swing of a sheep-shit covered boot.
Competitors are allowed to cram hay down their pants to try and protect their shins, but what with hay having the protective qualities of a soggy tissue, we can't picture it doing much good.
The Cotswold Games began in the early 1600s when a local attorney called Robert Dover organised the games a protest against the rampant growth of Puritanism. Because if anything is going to make those prudes lighten up it's the horrific breaking of another man's shins.
In the games early days, duelling was an event. In one fight between Sir German Poole and a Mr. Hutchinson, Poole sliced off three of Hutchinson's fingers before Hutchinson even drew his sword. Hutchinson responded by slicing off Poole's nose, and the gruesome turn of events probably short-circuited plans to combine the events by strapping knives to contestant's shoes during the shin-kicking event.