It’s a lot like a round of horseshoes. The only difference, really, is that the projectiles are toilet plungers and the targets are toilets.
Sure, it’s not your standard recreational activity, but in Alma the Plunger Plop is an annual tradition that is growing in renown.
“It is weird, but it’s fun,” said Sharon Grose, a community volunteer who helped out with the Alma Optimist’s annual tradition held at the town’s outdoor ice pad Feb. 7.
Growing in scope and popularity, the event featured 52 teams of four. A few hundred spectators were also on hand to see the event.
“[People] come back to play with their kids,” she said, noting that the event has even been featured in a segment by comedian Rick Mercer.
“There was one gentleman … he’s been serving in Afghanistan, he planned for his off time to come home and play, and his team actually won.”
Each team dished out $25 to play in the elimination tournament. Money raised through the event goes towards funding community youth events such as bus trips to the swimming pool in Waterloo, said Grose.
The outdoor rink was lined with toilets on either side and teams took turns tossing plungers, aiming for the porcelain target: ten points for the toilet bowl, two points for placing the missile within an orange ring surrounding the commode.
The plop got its start 27 years ago. A take-off from curling, it originally featured used paint cans filled with ice. But a few years of warm weather convinced organizers that a more consistent projectile might be more efficient. And so toilet bowls and plungers became the optimal implement.
“We’re talking about the village of Alma, where wacky things happen – we’ve got to get creative in the dead of winter right? People are looking to have fun.”
During the year, the equipment is stored in a local barn.
Now, the event is a yearly tradition that draws many people both young and old. This year saw players return with their grandkids as well as students from several universities – a team from Sudbury even made it out, said Grose.
The Alma Optimists are hosting another Plunger Plop for Optimist Clubs from Southern Ontario today (Saturday).