Bishop's Castle stone skimming 'rule change' row

A row has broken out ahead of a stone skimming championship over a rule change which means competitors can no longer bring their own stones.

Over-60s stone skimming champion Ron Long said he was upset with the decision for the Shropshire event.

Mr Long, of Welshpool, Powys, said the stones provided for the Bishop's Castle Skimming Championship event were too "rough" and unsuitable for throwing.

But organiser Heather Ashton said the decision will not be reversed.

Mr Long won the title of "old tosser" last year for skimming a stone 57m in the World Stone Skimming Championship held on Easdale Island, near Oban in Argyll, Scotland.

Ms Ashton said the committee had decided to bring the rule in to make it like other competitions around the UK.

She added they also did not want to encourage people to remove large numbers of stones from beaches.

"We want to create a natural situation. Most people don't go to the lake armed with their own stones," she said.

"We wanted to give everybody an equal chance."

The stones have all been donated by a Welsh stone and slate company.

'Matter of selection'

Mr Long said he was what would be considered a "serious stone skimmer".

He said: "The problem with stone skimming is that it is very much a matter of selection by the skimmer as to which stone is most appropriate to his style.

"They are very much a personal thing, very much like Andy Murray's racket is very personal to him."

The competition in Bishop's Castle, which will take place on Sunday is now in its fourth year.

The event raises money for prostate cancer charities and promotes awareness of the disease.

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