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This Week in Weird Sports: Goanna Pulling

It’s like tug-of-war but with your head! And in Australia! And stupid!


Dating back to the 19th century, this down-under sport didn't reach “mainstream” popularity in Australia until 1984, when seven intrepid and slightly brain damaged men got together to form the Woolie Sports Club (Woolie is a real place in Australia and not a deserted forest in Narnia). The club now organizes the yearly Goanna Pulling tournament and festival.

So how exactly does one “Goanna Pull”? Glad you asked! You loop one end of a honking big belt around your noggin and the other end around a friend’s noggin, get on all fours, and start wank—we mean yanking away! If the belt goes over your head or if you’re pulled over the centerline, you lose. Imagine a version of Human Centipede where two guys are sewn mouth-to-mouth and trying to get away from each other, and you’re kind of, not, really, vaguely in the right ballpark.

The tournament has organized weight classes and people train, we assume, literally hours in advance for this mighty contest. Think you have the neck-girth to handle this year’s competition? Try out Goanna Pulling