as a Dutchman I just have to introduce u all to this typical Dutch sport called Fierljeppen, translates as (West-Frisian compound of fier—"far" and ljeppen—"leaping" so "Far leaping"). It’s similar to pole vault (Athletics), but the objective is distance rather than height. Fierljeppen is especially popular in Friesland (a province in the Netherlands).

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So how did it all start?

About one-third of the Netherland lies below sea level so that's why we have many waterways and small water drainage channels, For thousands of years, people (especially Farmers) used poles to get across these waterways and channels, to access different plots of land. On 24 August 1767, the first known competition was held in Baard(a small village in the region Friesland) but it was not properly structured. Almost 200 years later on August 10, 1957, the first official fierljep contest was held in Winsum and organized by the Fryske Ljeppers Kommisje (FLK). Nowadays there are multiple championships and contests in six leagues with numerous clubs. 

Dutch championship (commentators speaking Fries Dialect ;-) )

How does it work?

The pole is between 8 and 13 meters (26 and 43 ft) in length and is made of Carbon (back in the days they used wood and later aluminium for the poles). First, the competitor gets a running start to the pole, then they have to grab it and climb to the top of the pole (this is the difficult part) because the competitors need to keep their balance and make sure they move forward to finish on the other side of the waterway or channel.

Some Dutch records:

Seniors: 22.21 meters (72 ft 10 in)

Ladies: 17.58 meters (57 ft 8 in)

Juniors: 20.41 meters (67 ft 0 in)

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