State Sport?

November 02, 1991

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.

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