Dig This: Hole-Digging Enthusiasts Go for the Gold in Japanese Competition (VIDEO)

02/04/2014 at 12:00 PM EST

While the Olympic Games don't start until Friday, competition heated up over the weekend in Japan for the 14th Annual All-National Hole Digging Championship.

Nearly 300 teams, with up to six people each, headed to Japan's Chiba Prefecture for their chance to dig themselves into a hole.

Competitors were given 30 minutes to dig as deep a hole as possible. The team that dug the biggest hole in the time span won, although extra points were awarded for "the most creative hole" and for the most original costume worn by the diggers.

Their prize? Around $1,000 U.S. dollars and a coveted Golden Shovel – which is worth almost as much.

"Once you're an adult, I don't think there is anywhere else in the world where you can competitively dig a hole," Taku Suzuki, who organized the event, told Reuters. "So we thought that people would enjoy this event."

This year's winner was the team from Toyota City. They were the favorites going into the competition, having clinched last year’s Golden Shovel. They held on to their title by digging a hole over 11 feet (3.41 meters) deep, a feat so impressive it almost makes you think hole-digging should have a place in the Olympics, no?

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