There’s not a lot of prestige, money or glory that comes with winning a frog jumping contest.
In fact, it doesn’t even take a lot of skills to make frogs jump.
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All of the foot stomping and hand clapping might produce a winning jump, or it might not. It really depends upon whether or not your frog’s in the mood.
But it can be a lot of fun for some of those who have been competing in the Jackson County Frog Jumping Frenzy almost since its inception.
Abby Stuckwisch of Brownstown said she and her family had been competing in the frog jumping contest, conducted Sunday night of the fair each year, for as long as she can remember.
“It’s just a lot of fun,” she said.
Her older sister, Amanda, and brother, Matt, both have participated in the contest in the past. Abby, now 13, started when she was 1.
“It’s kind of a family thing,” Abby said.
Stuckwisch’s father, Ed Stuckwisch, said the family began participating in the frog jumping contest when a family friend, Paul Pottschmidt, also of Brownstown, suggested the idea the first year or two of the contest at the fairgrounds.
He said he and his wife, Sara, and other couples sometimes went frog gigging as dates before they were married and had children, he said.
The contest requires participants to provide their own frogs, so going out and catching frogs with other families was just sort of a continuation of that activity, Ed said.
More and more families now get together each year to catch the frogs for the contest, Ed said.
Jay Hubbard with WZZB said the station has been sponsoring the contest for 14 years.
“There’s no science to it,” he said. “You see all the little ones, and then you see the big ones. The little ones seem to do better than the big ones.”
The rules are pretty simple. Besides bringing their own frogs, contestants have to prod them into jumping by clapping their hands, stomping their feet or talking to or yelling at them.
They can’t, however, touch their frogs, who must jump at least three times. Some jump a lot more times in an effort to escape the show arena, where the contest is conducted. The first three jumps are totaled to come up with a combined score.
“There were some good jumps,” Hubbard said. “140 is the longest we’ve ever had.”
Victoria Gomez, 10, of Brownstown had the frog that set that record Sunday night.
She said there was nothing special about her frog, which also jumped 100 inches for her younger sister, Isabella.
“He’s a good frog,” she said.
The radio station gave out trophies for the top three finishers.