The World Cup is right around the corner and the city, county and country are gripped in the build up of football fever.

However there’s a certain buzz around another sporting tournament which is set to hit the south coast in the coming weeks; The Royld Cup.

Now in its 11th year, The Royld Cup is dubbed Britain’s premier festival of alternative sport. It has had many nicknames in the past – The Roylympics, The Roymonwealth Games and the Biennial International Festival of Roy – which is its most common incarnation.

The history of the games’ name is steeped in mystery, until now.

Douglas Walker is one of the organisers of The Royld Cup and he spoke to me about where and how the sport was born.

“The name Roy! comes from the GameCube computer game Super Smash Brothers Melee.

“When you select your character, a voice says the name of that character, Mario, Pikachu, Kirby etc. He says them all in a pretty level tone of voice, except for Roy, who I think is from a Japanese game that never came out over here.

“He shouts Roy with an infectious enthusiasm. My friends and I were using it as an exclamation frequently, and when we first invented the game that is now known as Roy, it seemed the obvious thing to shout while playing.”

It was founded by Sussex University students in 2008 to promote alternative sports and the three key principles of Roy; innovation, sportsmanship and constant peril.

Douglas Walker is one of the organisers of The Royld Cup and he spoke to me about what the event is all about. “The Royld Cup seeks to provide something for everyone. The sports are easy to learn and range in how athletically demanding they are.”

It also prides itself on being entirely all inclusive. He said: “All sports are mixed gender, and while some are quite sedate, participants should be warned that some are full contact. Players are encouraged to take part, but also to know their own limits.”

Preston Park has been chosen as the venue to host this year’s tournament. Douglas believes there is far more to the city than the fact it’s where the sport originated.

He said: “As the birthplace of Roy! Brighton has always seemed like the right place to host the festival.

“The city is famous for embracing alternative lifestyles and that extends right through to sporting competition.

“There are many cities in this country where a sporting event like this would simply be dismissed, but Brighton has embraced Roy!”

The Royld Cup is, as mentioned before, a multi-sport event.

Games in the tournament include shoe pigeon shooting (with shoes instead of clay), Adam’s game (a cross between frisbee and American football, highly competitive, tactical and physical) and multi sport (just lots of sports at once).

Then comes the namesake game. Now, Douglas tried to explain Roy! to me but I couldn’t make head or tail or it. So, I will leave it to anyone reading this to make their own determination based on Douglas’s words. Take it away Doug:

“Roy is a game for four players, one on a bike (the Roy) and three on foot (the Royers). Each Royer has a Royball (a juggling ball to a layman’s eye) which they may not run with but must throw at the Roy to try and Roy them. A throw is only a Roy if it hits the Roy and the Royer shouted ROY!! at the top of their voice. And once you’ve Royed the Roy, you become the Roy.”

Did that make sense to you? If so, well done.

As well as all these mind-boggling games, the team make it their mission to invent a new sport at each tournament.

If it catches on, then the sport is brought back for the next year.

If not, it is consigned to the history books as a one hit wonder.

The spectacle is also growing among fans and spectators.

Having started off as a handful of friends, Roy! has blossomed into a sport that has been played across three continents and by dozens of athletes from across the globe.

Douglas said: “Although exact data is hard to find, there is speculation that Roy! could be the fastest growing sport in the world.

“Although poor weather conditions have affected turnout in some years, the festival has been steadily growing in size and reputation since its inception.”

If there was anywhere in the UK that bizarre and wacky tournaments should become the flavour of the summer, then it makes unequivocal sense that place should be Brighton.

With the sun out and shining, well hopefully anyway, there seems to be no better idea than to take to the park and watch competitors take part in some of the strangest events that have ever graced our shores.

The Royld Cup hits Brighton on June 23 and, with it being a free event, Douglas encourages picnic bringing and frivolity all round.

Although he does offer one last piece of advice.

“Don’t come expecting rounders. We do not play rounders.”