Slapping: A Sport or an Aggressive Response?

image by Openclipart

image by Openclipart

Leah Tharian and Fatima Qureshi

“Whoosh, bam, bang”, these are the sounds of a hand coming into contact with a human skull. 

Across the table two men glare as they get readyit was do or die time. Tension exudes in the air. You might wonder if this is the premise of a bar fight. But it’s not. This is part of an official sportthe Power Slap League. The crowd watches with bated breath awaiting the first slap. 

A flip of a coin, decides the fate of who starts the competition. In this sport the thick headed survive. In the game, flinching is not allowed as it reduces the force of the slap. Moreover, each player is barred from stepping back or blocking blows.

A growing fan base has accumulated from all over the world, especially Europe. The brutality of the sport garners many viewers attention. The attraction to this sport is mainly attributed to schadenfreude: comedic pleasure derived from watching the misfortunes of others. This display of pain becomes a show not a sport for viewers. 

One might expect a good amount of money for this type of physical and mental anguish, however, surprisingly, most fights end with the winner taking home around five hundred US dollars, a measly sum for sacrificing major arteries. Furthermore, many neurologists and neurosurgeons warn against the dangers of the sport, as it leads to brain twists inside the skull and the splitting of neck arteries. Yet the chance to be the Power Slap League Champion might outweigh the risk of paralysis.  

It starts with a slap and ends with a bang. The last one standing takes it all: the praise from the audience and a cash prize. The sport goes back to the roots of humanity depicting violence, entertainment, and incentive, albeit in a crude manner.