Although the king of sports in all of Spain is football, in the region of Murcia, other sports and games are somewhat curious. Below, we mention some of the most prominent.
Olive bone throwing
Apparently, this curious competition was created by two friends in 1995. The Olive Bone Throwing Contest of Cieza
has become a massive party, having brought together more than 20,000 people in past editions.
The game couldn't be simpler: The winner is the one who throws the olive bone the farthest with his mouth, without the help of any utensil. The Guinness record is held by a native of Cieza
who managed to throw the olive bone with his mouth at a distance of 25.03 meters in 2016.
This game allows a maximum of six people to participate, though the usual participants are two pairs. The “caliche” is a cylindrical piece about 2 or 3 centimetres in diameter and 15 to 20 centimetres high. It is made of wood, although a piece of cane can also be used.
Some “moneos” are needed, i.e., metal discs of steel or iron, about 8 to 10 centimetres in diameter, square in shape but with rounded and flat tips so that they can move well when dragged on the ground.
In addition, a coin with a diameter the same size as, or smaller than, the caliche is needed.
To play, the caliche is placed at a distance of 15 to 25 meters; the coin is placed on top of it. The players throw all three “moneos” with the intention of knocking over the caliche and the coin. The team whose coin is closer to the coin than to the caliche wins points.
There are two modes:
The playing area, which is called “boliche”, must be a space of hard, flat land. The balls are circular, made of jinjolero palm wood, with a diameter of no more than 115 centimetres.
The pins are nine pieces of wood with a maximum height of 35 centimetres, with a conical tip. They are placed in three straight rows of three pins.
Two teams of four or six players each are formed, and seven balls are assigned to each team. The balls are used to knock down the pins. Players will make their shots from a marked circumference, called the “mande”. The team that knocks down the most pins wins.
In the region of Murcia, there are some variations of this sport. There should always be a flattened piece of land, rectangular in shape, called “carril”.
Like Cartagena bowling, this game requires pins, which are pieces of wood from 68 to 75 centimetres high. In this case, six or nine pins can be used. Hardwood balls are also needed, such as olive wood, which should measure 10 to 12 centimetres and weigh between 750 grams and 1,050 grams. Each player can throw the ball of his choice to knock down the pins.