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Viking Games and Competitions

The Vikings would compete in a vast number of outdoor competitions which involved strength and skill. The importance of weapons training led to competitions in sword fighting, spear throwing and archery. Ball-games were played for pleasure, and were also enjoyed by spectators.

Horse fighting was another form of popular entertainment for an audience.  We know from the Icelandic Sagas that two stallions would be goaded into fighting each other by the sight and smell of a tethered mare. According to the Icelandic Sagas, these horse fights would often lead to conflict between the various owners.  One can assume that gambling would be a large part of these horse fights.

Often there was no clear-cut distinction between recreation and work. The hunting of animals was done for food and sport. The nobility would of course have more time for hunting for sport. Falconry was a pursuit which was most certainly purely done by the aristocracy.