Battle of the Crickets, October 14

14 Oct 2013

It's the season for cricket fights in Beijing. Similar to cockfighting but without the blood, the sport involves putting two crickets in a ring the size of a shoebox to determine which is the more aggressive. Before the fight starts, a cricket's handler prods the insect with a piece of hay or a small stick to irritate it. A judge then removes a divider between the two crickets to allow them to fight. The judge follows a set of strict guidelines, most dating back to the 13th century, to determine match points. The highlight of the season is the two-day National Cricket Fighting Championships. Participants are winners in regional fights held in 25 major cities. Beijing, of course, is a vital part of the game. These photos - from Reuters - highlight all aspects of the sports, from sales of insects to actual fights.