Growing up in rural Pennsylvania, I was lucky (?) enough to witness and participate in all sorts of strange games and contests. One contest that I remember vividly was the annual greased pig catching contest at our local town fair each summer. The premise is simple: The first person to catch a thoroughly greased oinker (they’re hard enough to catch when they’re “clean”), gets to keep the pig. I never won the contest, and now that I think about it, I’m not really sure what I would have done with the pig if I did.

Which leads me to today’s entry. A friend of mine who, I think, loves watermelon almost as much as I do but isn’t ready to admit it, sent me a link to instructions for playing a summertime game called “greased watermelon polo.” The name alone was enough to pique my curiosity and convince me, even before I read the rules of the game, that I’d have to stage a greased watermelon polo tournament at my house by summer’s end.

Here’s how the game works:

Two teams enter a swimming pool. A referee drops a watermelon covered in vegetable oil or petroleum jelly into the center of the pool. The teams then kick, push or swim with the watermelon in an effort to get the watermelon to the opposing team’s side of the pool while the opposing team tries to do the same. Sort of like soccer, only in a pool… with a really slippery watermelon.

More detailed rules can be found here, but I’m thinking once that watermelon hits the water, all rational thought and pool etiquette go right out the window and mayhem sets in pretty quickly. Sounds like my kind of game. All I need now is a nice-sized backyard pool!

Below is a video of greased watermelon polo in action. It should be noted that the players in this video are violating a very important rule of the sport by lifting the watermelon out of the water and throwing it. My old age (mid-30s, thank you) is showing when I say this, but throwing a watermelon into a swarm of people seems pretty dangerous. That’s a definite technical foul for the polo player in the gray swim trunks.

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