No one knows exactly how Paalzitten (or Pole Sitting) came to be, but somehow the sport caught on. It’s still practiced in the Netherlands.
Paalzitten poles are usually placed in water, a few feet from each other, so that if the competitors either doze off or get numb enough to fall off, they don’t get injured.
Modern poles are usually equipped with a sit and backrest so the competitors don’t get too uncomfortable, and the rules allow for toilet breaks every few hours.
In the early 1970’s, participants were not allowed to leave their poles at all! If they had to go, they hung a canvas and used a bucket!!
Paalzitten is still around today, but since it’s not the most exciting sport to watch, it is considered more of a tourist attraction than a spectator sport.