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October 12, 2013

The United Sports of America: What should your state's official sport be?

(Continued)

Delaware

Official state sport(s): none

Our choice: pumpkin chunking

Also considered: cycling

Hi, we're in Delaware. Not so much to see here. Wilmington hosts an annual grand prix cycling race, but I don't get the sense that the First State loves bicycles. The southern part of the state is, however, the home base for the annual Punkin Chunkin World Championship, a competition to catapult a pumpkin as far as it will go. (The current record distance at the world championships is 4,483.51 feet.) This is Delaware culture at its finest. It also may be Delaware culture in its entirety.

District of Columbia

Official state sport(s): none

Our choice: kickball

Also considered: soccer, softball

In 1998, a group of friends started the World Adult Kickball Association in Washington. Seven years later, a new league called DCKickball rolled out its own set of bouncy balls. Then, in what might be the most D.C. thing that's ever happened, WAKA sued DCKickball for copyright infringement, alleging that the newcomer had stolen its rules. The case was dismissed in 2008, and both leagues continue to abet the drunken recreation of young professionals. Take a walk in wonk-land on a summer evening, and chances are you'll see a guy with his work ID on a lanyard flapping his limbs in the direction of a large red ball.

Florida

Official state sport(s): none

Our choice: jai alai

Also considered: tennis, sport fishing, swimming, golf

Jai alai isn't the most popular sport in Florida, but it is the most Florida of sports: exotic, peculiar, and terrifying to outsiders. The fastest sport in the world may be barely clinging to life, but near-death experiences are the essence of the Sunshine State. Besides, consider this thought experiment: You call a friend and tell him you're at a jai alai fronton — what does he say? There's just one right answer: "What the hell are you doing in Florida?"

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