Cotswold Olimpick Games Events

Robert Dover's Cotswold Olimpick Games is a unique continuation of early rural sporting events, combining informal, amateur sporting events for competitors, the majority of whom register on the night of the Games, with general entertainment and activities for visitors. Below we present an overview of the 'Sporting Events' at the Games. In true amateur spirit, all of our events are free to enter. 

King of The Hill

One of the traditional events at the Games, this antecedant of modern events like the pentathlon involves individual competitors competing at 4 separate events (in the lower arena). These events are: Static Jump (jumping as far as possible from a standstill), Spurning the Barre (an old English version of the Scottish tossing the caber), Hammer Throw and Putting the Shot. The combined total for all four events decides the winner. Entries for this event open at 6.30pm on the night of the Games. Entry is open to all adults over 16.


Championship of the Hill

A true crowd pleaser! The traditional team challenges of ancient rural Games, updated for the 21st century! Teams of 6 participents (many from local pubs or other groups) compete against each other in a series of ever-more-frantic, and ever-wetter games! These games vary from year to year, but generally include relays involving wheebarrows, dustbins, hay bales, slippery running surfaces and lots of water!  Very limited team entries are available for this event, but you must notify us beforehand. We reserve the right to refuse entry if this event reaches its maximum of 6 teams.


Running Races

After a few years' absence, the running races will be back this year.  The course will be entirely cross country and entirely on Dover's Hill.  There will be a 1 lap (c. 1 mile) and a 3 lap (c. 3 miles) race.  


Tug O' War

One of the traditional rural sports, (and former Olympic sport), and still taken very seriously. Teams of 8 people pit their strength against opposing teams, in a series of 'pulls' culminating in a final in front of Dover's Castle on the Lower Arena. A limited number of team entries may be available. Please let us know your intention to enterbefore the Games.


Shin Kicking

The media's favourite (for some strange reason!). One of the sports which took place in 1612, and we're still doing it to this day (although we've made it a bit safer since those days - Steel toe caps are banned, and we allow the use of straw to pad shins). If you fancy being a media 'star', you'd better read our separate page on shin kicking first! Entry is free, and registration takes place on the night, from 6.30pm.  


The Rules of Shin Kicking


Competitors will be assigned bouts at random, with winners of all rounds gaining entry to a final bout. Usually, there will be a maximum of 12 contestants.

  1. Equipment - Competitors must wear long trousers or tracksuits and may cushion their shins by using straw (provided). They will be provided with white coats, representing the traditional shepherd’s smock. (Participants may purchase their smock afterwards for £25) Footwear may be trainers, shoes, or soft-toed (i.e. un-reinforced) boots. Any form of metal-reinforced toe on footwear is expressly forbidden. This will now be checked both before and after your bouts! Failure to comply will result in instant exclusion, and barring from future events!

  2. Stance. A competitor begins by holding his or her opponent by the shoulders (or lapels) with arms straight.

  3. The contest will be started, finished (if necessary) and judged, by an arbiter, known as a Stickler. The Stickler decides the fairness of a contest.

  4. A contest is decided on the best of three throws - i.e. two successful throws results in a win.​​ Note that this may be reduced to one throw in the event of poor weather, or the maximum number of competitors reached.​​

Register To Take Part
If you and your mates are interested in competing at this year's games, let us have all your details and we'll note it down.  You will still need to register on the hill on the night.  Details will follow in 2019 on how you can do this.

There are limited spaces as there is limited time before the sun goes down so we can't get everyone in!  For more details on each event, please carry on reading below and then fill out the form >>
See you on the hill!

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