‘Planking’ or ‘The Lying Down Game’ is the latest extreme sport to go viral, just watch out for the ‘Jackass Effect’ that psychologists are warning you about.


If you hear someone refer to ‘Planking‘ you may easily be mistaken into thinking they are on about a piece of wood used to build a garden shed when they are actually on about the latest fad to hit the news for the wrong reasons.

Planking involves lying face down with your hands by your sides and legs straight, the stranger the place you Plank the better. The rules of Planking taken from the ‘Official Planking’ Facebook group are as follows:

1/ You must always lay face down, ensuring your face remains expressionless for the duration of the Plank.

2/ Your legs must remain straight, and together with toes pointed.

3/ Your arms must be placed by your side, held straight and fingers pointed.

4/ You must make it known that you are Planking. Saying ‘I am Planking’ usually get this across. Sternly announcing it will ensure a good result.

5/ Your safety should always be considered. Properly thought through Planking procedures should always go to plan. Never put your self at undue risk.

6/ Every Plank that is captured must be named.

An Australian man died from unsuccessfully trying to Plank on a seventh-floor balcony railing. Since his death hit the news two groups have been flooded with attention on Facebook, the ‘Official Planking’ page and the ‘Planking Australia’ page: both claiming to be the official and orignal plankers.


According to the BBC’s guide to planking it was originally started way back over a decade ago in the year 2000 (it was over a decade since the millenium? Whoa) in Somerset by Gary Clarkson and Christian Landon who called it the ‘Lying Down Game’. Their website hasn’t been updated in over two years – I guess since everyone realised ‘Planking’ was a much cooler name than the ‘Lying Down Game’.


A planker planking

Since the death it is now illegal to Plank in Australia, and of course there’s a petition supporting the ‘sport’. I don’t really see how you could be charged for planking as how do you differentiate between planking and having a quick face down kip, may be it in an odd place. There are several other groups on the wall too such as the ‘Planking Isn’t Illegal, It’s Frowned Upon Like Masturbating On An Airplane’ and ‘Planking On A Pirate Ship Because It’s Ironic’ which I thought were pretty funny.

More recently it has emerged that funny man Tom Green actually invented Planking way back in 1994. And Xzibit has also announced that he totally hates planking due to planking’s links with the slave trade.

The Herald Sun has warned of more deaths as ‘The Jackass Effect’ (for-real?) hits extreme plankers due to the increased popularity of the sport thanks to continued media coverage:

“Add testosterone, add masculinity, add the Jackass effect and then add the explosion of social networking sites which are a way to gain acceptance . . . (and) death is quite inevitable.”

But Mr Martin claimed authorities had to strike a fine balance between enforcing the law while avoiding an inevitable backlash by some who would risk their lives to defy the law out of bravado.

“It can make (planking) really cool.” he said.

But have you heard about ‘Batman’ing’? It’s the new planking, apparently.

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