Egg tossing

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U.S. Marines and sailors participate in an egg-toss competition at the Commissary Commando competition held at the Camp Foster commissary

Egg tossing or egg throwing is a game associated with Easter. Various types of such games exist, common ones involve throwing an egg so that it lands on the ground without breaking. Such a contest may be known as an egg toss.


In Christianity, for the celebration of Eastertide, Easter eggs symbolize the empty tomb of Jesus, from which he was resurrected.[1][2][3] Additionally, eggs carry a Trinitarian significance, with shell, yolk, and albumen being three parts of one egg.[4] During Lent, the season of repentance that precedes Easter, eggs along with meat, lacticinia, and wine are foods that are traditionally abstained from, a practice that continues in Eastern Christianity and among certain Western Christian congregations that do the Daniel Fast.[5][6]

In medieval Britain there was an egg throwing festival held in the churches at Easter. The priest would give out one hard-boiled egg which was tossed around the nave of the church and the choirboy who was holding the egg when the clock struck twelve would get to keep it.[7]

In one version of the game the idea is to toss an egg so it falls on the ground without breaking. This is possible on, for example, grassy meadows.[8] In Germany, children invented a way to spin the egg during the toss so that it lands on its tip still spinning.[8]

Dutch children play a game called "egg sales" in which one child sells an egg to another. The new owner then throws the egg in the grass and if it does not break it must be returned to the seller.[8]


Egg tossing is also known as a team competition with basically the following rules, although the exact details may vary. One member of a two-person team tosses an egg to another. If the egg does not break, they step apart and the toss is repeated. The contest continues until one egg is left unbroken. (A popular variation uses water balloons.)


On July 4, 2011, in Grangeville, Idaho, the world record for the number of persons participating in an egg toss was set, with 2,130 persons participating.

An egg throwing feat was recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records: on November 12, 1978, Johnny Dell Foley successfully tossed a fresh hen's egg for a distance of 323 ft 2in (98.51m) to a Keith Thomas at Jewett, Texas.[9] The record was undefeated until at least 1999. Since 2000 the feat is no longer listed in the book.

Since the world record in Egg Throwing has not been recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records since 1999, the World Egg Throwing Federation, based in Swaton, England, now certifies official world records. The world record in Egg Throwing was held until May 19, 2013 by the Dutchmen Andries Smink and Hillebrand Visser with a certified distance of throw and catch of 69.5 meters (228.01837 ft) thrown on August 17, 2012. May 19, 2013 the Irish 'Wild' Willie O'Donevan and 'Big' Warren McElhone set a new world record at the Irish National Open of 71.2 meters.

WETF World Records:

  • During the Dutch Open Egg Throwing championship, July 9, 2012, The Dutchmen Andries Smink (catcher) and Hillebrand Visser set an official WETF World Record at 61.50 meters
  • On August 7, 2012 Andries Smink and Hillebrand Visser broke their own WETF World record and set it 69.25 meters
  • A WETF World Record was set on May 19, 2013, during the Open Irish Eggthrowing at Ballinrobe, when "Wild" Willie O'Donovan (tosser) and Warren Mc Elhone (catcher) overcame a distance of 71.2 meters.
  • During the Dutch Open Eggthrowing Championships, July 13, 2013 the world record was taken back by the Dutch, Andries Smink and Allard Adema covered a distance of 73.77 meters.
  • A new official WETF World Record was set on May 23, 2014 by the brothers Andries and Bauke Jetze Smink, at 76.27 meters (250.22 ft).
  • The WETF World Record was taken from the Smink brothers during WETF World Championships 2017 on June 25 by the New Zealand team Robbie Hollander and Nick Hornstein with a distance of 81 meters (265.74 feet).
  • The Hollander/Hornstein world record was broken on March 11, 2018 by Ricki Paewai and Kris Richards with a throw and catch at 85.96 meters.

The Hagerstown Suns have hosted the annual National Egg Toss Championship since 2005.[10][11]

A World Egg Throwing Federation championship is held in Swaton, England each year on the last Sunday in June since 2006.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jordan, Anne (5 April 2000). Christianity. Nelson Thornes. ISBN 9780748753208. Easter eggs are used as a Christian symbol to represent the empty tomb. The outside of the egg looks dead but inside there is new life, which is going to break out. The Easter egg is a reminder that Jesus will rise from His tomb and bring new life. Orthodox Christians dye boiled eggs red to make red Easter eggs that represent the blood of Christ shed for the sins of the world.
  2. ^ The Guardian, Volume 29. H. Harbaugh. 1878. Just so, on that first Easter morning, Jesus came to life and walked out of the tomb, and left it, as it were, an empty shell. Just so, too, when the Christian dies, the body is left in the grave, an empty shell, but the soul takes wings and flies away to be with God. Thus you see that though an egg seems to be as dead as a stone, yet it really has life in it; and also it is like Christ's dead body, which was raised to life again. This is the reason we use eggs on Easter. (In days past some used to color the eggs red, so as to show the kind of death by which Christ died,-a bloody death.)
  3. ^ Geddes, Gordon; Griffiths, Jane (22 January 2002). Christian belief and practice. Heinemann. ISBN 9780435306915. Red eggs are given to Orthodox Christians after the Easter Liturgy. They crack their eggs against each other's. The cracking of the eggs symbolizes a wish to break away from the bonds of sin and misery and enter the new life issuing from Christ's resurrection.
  4. ^ Murray, Michael J.; Rea, Michael C. (20 March 2008). An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion. Cambridge University Press. p. 68. ISBN 978-1-139-46965-4.
  5. ^ "Lent: Daniel Fast Gains Popularity". HuffPost. Religion News Service. February 7, 2013. Retrieved December 30, 2018. In some cases, entire churches do the Daniel Fast together during Lent. The idea strikes a chord in Methodist traditions, which trace their heritage to John Wesley, a proponent of fasting. Leaders in the African Methodist Episcopal Church have urged churchgoers to do the Daniel Fast together, and congregations from Washington to Pennsylvania and Maryland have joined in.
  6. ^ Hinton, Carla (20 February 2016). "The Fast and the Faithful: Catholic parish in Oklahoma takes up Lenten discipline based on biblical Daniel's diet". The Oklahoman. Retrieved 27 March 2022. Many parishioners at St. Philip Neri are participating in the Daniel fast, a religious diet program based on the fasting experiences of the Old Testament prophet Daniel. ... participating parishioners started the fast Ash Wednesday (Feb. 10) and will continue through Holy Saturday, the day before Easter Sunday.
  7. ^ "The Telegraph: Easter Eggs: time to get cracking". Archived from the original on 2008-03-21. Retrieved 2008-03-21.
  8. ^ a b c Venetia Newall (1971) An Egg at Easter: A Folklore Study, p. 335
  9. ^ The Guinness Book of Records 1999, ISBN 0-553-58075-2, p. 99.
  10. ^ "Egg-tossing event coming here", The Herald-Mail, April 28, 2005.
  11. ^ "Teams scramble for title"
  12. ^ "The Rowntree's Randoms Egg Throwing Championships - Swaton 28 June" BBC-Lincolnshire, June 2009