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It's a Real Sport
Like baseball, competitive eating has two major leagues, the International Federation of Competitive Eaters, also known as Major League Eating, and the Association of Independent Competitive Eaters. AICE contests feature "picnic-style" rules, which require food to be eaten as it's normally presented with no mashing, dunking in water or other mutilation. IFOCE, which hosts the Coney Island hot dog contest, allows competitors to dunk their food before swallowing.
Richard Shea, president and co-founder of the IFOCE along with his brother George, said that the federation does not accept eating athletes under 18 years of age for safety reasons. Also, don't try this at home. Competitive eaters are trained, skilled athletes, and there are medical staff stationed at every event in case of emergency.