Boomerang throwing is a sport, practiced world-wide. To make a formal sport out of it, here’s a quick Layout of its scoring pattern and summary of the main events that are held at boomerang tournaments.
The field is a set of concentric circles marked as shown. The darker lines are the particularly important ones — from the centre, these are:
The “center circle” has a radius of two metres. This is where you throw from in most events.
The accuracy circles are with the ten metre radius. Landing in the centre circle is worth ten points; the next circle out is worth 8 points, and so through to 6, 4, and 2 points. If you land on a line, you get the average of the two surrounding circles — so stopping on the edge of the centre circle is worth 9 points. A throw must reach out to the twenty metre radius circle in most events for a throw to be legal.
The main modern boomerang tournament events are:
It is the throw from the centre circle, to or past the twenty metre circle, with accuracy points depending on where the boomerang returns and lands. You are not allowed to touch or stop the boomerang when it returns, allowing it to fly directly over, and in case it crosses the centre circle but keeps going, you lose points. A perfect round is 50 points, five throws, each scoring ten points.
In Aussie Round, you get points for accuracy, distance and catching. A perfect throw would travel past the fifty metre circle (6 distance points) and be caught (4 catching points) in the centre circle (10 accuracy points). A perfect round would require you to do that throw 5 times, for a total of 100 points.
Accuracy points are the same as for the accuracy event, except that the location of your body may determine what points are awarded, you can take that catch while jumping towards the centre circle and improve your accuracy points as the points will be given based on where you land or, you might stretch outwards to make the catch, keeping one foot as near to the centre as possible. You are not allowed to fiddle or knock around the boomerang at the end of its flight to get a better score, so you get the lesser score of where the boomerang ends up, and where you first touched it.
Four points are awarded for a catch within the twenty metre circle; two points for a catch between the twenty and fifty metre circles, and none if you end up outside the fifty metre circle. As per the accuracy rules, if you catch it over either the twenty or fifty metre line, you get the average of the two areas (ie. 3 or 1 points).
Distance points are awarded only if you collected accuracy or catching points — you can’t just throw away your boomerang and expect points! You get 2 distance points if your throw reaches 30 metres, 4 points if your throw reaches forty metres, and 6 points if your throw reaches the fifty metre circle.
This event comprises throwing from the centre circle, making as many throws with catches as you can within five minutes. This means you should use a fast boomerang of just over twenty metres range that reliably returns to the centre circle, because once you start running, you’ll get tired and distracted, and probably make poorer throws, making you more tired, leading to loss of points.
Though Similar to Endurance, the goal is make five catches as quick as possible. Usually a time limit of one minute is applied, so your score might either show up in seconds (14.60 seconds) or in catches (3 catches within the minute), more or less like those missiles.
Maximum Time Aloft (MTA)
In MTA, the aim is to keep a boomerang in the air as long as possible, and make the catch. Reasonable times in a tournament might start at 25 to 30 seconds, but can reach a minute or more!
There are several variants on MTA, but most commonly MTA-100 is used at tournaments. In this case, the throw and catch must be made within the 100 metre diameter field. Other variants are MTA-unlimited (where you can make the catch anywhere) or MTA-50 (where the throw must be made from the center circle).
In this event, points are awarded for a series of unusual catches. You start with a series of attempts at:
- Left hand catch (2 points)
- Right hand catch (2 points)
- Behind the back catch (3 points)
- Under the leg catch (3 points)
- Eagle catch (4 points)
- Hackey sack catch (6 points)
- Tunnel catch (6 points)
- One hand behind the back catch (7 points)
- One hand under the leg catch (7 points)
- Foot catch (10 points)
In the second part of this event, Doubling, you throw two boomerangs at the same time, and attempt to make the following pairs of catches:
- Behind the back catch & Under the leg catch
- Left hand catch & Hackey sack catch
- Right hand catch & Tunnel catch
- One hand behind the back catch & One hand under the leg catch
- Eagle catch & Foot catch
You can take the two catches in any order, and if you drop the first boomerang, can try it a second time with the second boomerang. Doing the same catch twice, however, gets you no more points than doing it once.