Pumpkin hurling with a purpose

There’s something calming about smashing pumpkins.

Our man in Hendricks, Minn. — Steve Hemmingsen — has forwarded this dispatch by way of YouTube on the big doings in the town by the lake, where in the fall a townsperson’s fancy turns to using pumpkins on catapults to try to knock off a scarecrow in the middle of the street.

You can learn a lot by smashing pumpkins, however.

In upstate New York last weekend, teams from 16 high schools competed for $2,800 to fund technology education. Teams had to adjust by using 8 pound pumpkins because it’s been a bad year to be a pumpkin, apparently (See video).

The high school teams were mentored by Team Urban Siege, a Buffalo contingent using the North American Sliding Axle Whipper to win the national championship in adult pumpkin hurling last year. They used metal catapults to win the title at last year’s competition, hurling pumpkins almost a half mile.

The members are former classmates at the Rochester Institute of Technology and got started in the hurling business with watermelons, the sport’s gateway vegetable.

They will defend their title in nine days at Punkin Chunkin in Delaware, where the current world record — 4,483 feet — was set in 2008.

  • Cara Ashenbrener

    My old neighborhood used to host a pumpkin drop every November. We’d all bring our used up jack o’ lanterns to the neighbors three story house and the kids would lean out the upper window to let ‘em drop. Never went anywhere but straight down-that was satisfying enough.

  • Tyler

    Technically, aren’t these things fruits? (Watermelon, pumpkin)…