Alex Angert is a records manager for Guinness World Records, specializing in achievements having to do with mass participation -- that is, a lot of people doing something record-breaking together. Once a month, he's here to share his report.
The calendar has turned to March and that means one thing here in America: Madness. March Madness that is.
With the NCAA Tournament on the horizon, we have basketball, bracket busters, and bubble teams on the brain. But the question on everyone’s minds shouldn’t be who will win this year or be the next Cinderella story, but rather why does the madness have to be limited to only March?
Here at Guinness World Records, we recognize tournament records of all sorts, from underwater hockey and tug of war to Rock, Paper, Scissors and strip poker, and we think it's time some of these lesser known tournaments get the recognition they deserve.
So if there is a sport, game, or activity out there that you think would make a great tournament record, send in an application and let us know!
In the meantime, get your brackets ready because it is time for a March Madness-themed Mass Participation Monday. Of the dozens of awesome tournaments and competitions we monitor, here are four that stand out.
LARGEST FOOTBALL (SOCCER) TOURNAMENTS
Male: 181,909 participants
Female: 33,534 participants
Record holder: Fundacion Telmex (also pictured above)
Location: All throughout Mexico
Good luck predicting a perfect bracket for these. With 10,799 teams in the men’s tournament and 1,863 teams in the women’s, there is bound to be a few upsets along the way to the final. Fundacion Telmex, which hosts a tournament called Copa Telmex each year, has set this record eight different times. The current men’s record was set at the 2011 tournament, while the women’s record was set at the 2013 competition. The largest football (soccer) tournament was originally monitored as one overall tournament, but separate records for the male and female divisions were created in 2011 due to the continued growth of the event.
LARGEST BEARD AND MUSTACHE CHAMPIONSHIP
Record holder: Newport Winter Carnival
Location: Newport, New Hampshire, USA
We love a good face full of hair at Guinness World Records, so naturally one of our favorite records would be a competition completely dedicated to the most devoted hirsute competitors. This specific tournament focused on who had the best upper lip furry caterpillar and participants were placed in one of five categories: Best Menudo, Tom Selleck, Handlebar, Nietzsche/Walrus and Freestyle mustache. The top competitors in each category were then judged again and it was determined Steve Lucas (USA) was the winner of the Grand Mustache Contest for having the “Grand Stache.”
LARGEST PICKLEBALL TOURNAMENT
Record holder: Tennis Competitors of Dallas
Location: Frisco, Texas, USA
Guinness World Records monitors records for the largest tennis tournament, badminton tournament and table tennis/ping pong tournament, but imagine a sport that combined all three racket sports. Enter pickleball. The tournament, which followed a round robin format, was won by Sandy Cassday and Karen Spika. Top pickleball players Bev Yongren, Alex Hamner and Jennifer Loncore attended the record-breaking event. Sadly, there are no pickles used in pickleball, for those of you wondering.
LARGEST WII SPORTS BOWLING TOURNAMENT
Record holder: TexanPlus
Location: Houston, Texas, USA
Video game mass participation records are some of our most popular and this is one of our favorites. Partly because there is no need to lace up neon lime green bowling shoes and partly because, well, who doesn’t love to play Wii bowling? Proof that video games aren’t just for kids comes from this record right here, as the 436 participants were all senior citizen, who participated at a health fair that also offered free vaccinations. If TexanPlus wants to break the largest video games tournament overall next time, though, they’ll need to recruit a few more people to come out and bowl. The overall record saw 2,541,519 people come out to play FIFA at the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2013 in Madrid, Spain.
Have you participated in any of the records above or any other recent mass participation record? You could be in line for your very own Guinness World Records certificate! Find out how right here.