Not many Marylanders participate in the official state sport. Precious few have even heard of it. For the record, it is jousting, that ancient medieval activity whose modern-days followers are few and far between. There is a vague historical tie between jousters and Maryland's founding fathers. And during in the mid-19th century, upper-class Marylanders engaged in a tamer, romanticized version that is still practiced each year at regional "medieval festivals."
But is jousting a worthy state sport? Or is it even a sport? We think not. But finding a suitable replacement is a daunting task. ,, Lacrosse enthusiasts -- and there are plenty here -- are vehemently pushing their sport as the official Maryland pastime. Duckpin bowlers are now petitioning legislators on behalf of their favorite leisure-time activity.
The bowlers at least have some solid arguments. It is a genuine Maryland sport. Duckpin bowling was invented on Howard Street by two famous Baltimore Orioles at the turn of the century. A quarter-million people engage in duckpin bowling each year -- virtually all of them within the state's boundaries.
Perhaps we should hold a plebiscite at the next state election. That would only be sporting.