Wrestling comes first among traditional sports in Balıkesir. This is followed by camel wrestling and horse races.
Kurtdereli Mehmet Pehlivan, who represented the heirloom wrestling with great success both at home and abroad and who said that he felt that the Turkish nation was behind him in every wrestling, became an exemplary athlete both during the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic.
Since 1961, oil wrestling has been held in Kurtdereli Village under the name of the famous athlete Kurtdereli Mehmet Pehlivan, who has an important place in the history of world sports. Wrestling categories are: Head, head, large mid, small mid. large size, small average. Small size, deck large size, stack medium size, stack small size, dustkoparan, encouragement, tiny 1, tiny 2. Wrestlers in Kırkpınar Wrestling come here after Kırkpınar and participate in wrestling held every summer. The last day of the three-day events includes oil wrestling.
Between 1946 and 1949, in memory of Sındırgılı Şerif Pehlivan, the Chief Wrestler of Turkey, Şerif Pehlivan Oil Wrestling and cultural events were organized by the Yüreğil Municipality in 2001 and 2002 in October. In 2003 and 2004, wrestling could not be organized due to financial insufficiency.
Local Oil Wrestling Wrestling is held in the fairs held in the district of İvrindi in September.
Animal Sports Games - Games have become traditional in the region.
Traditionally, camel wrestling is held in Güre Town of Edremit District in the last week of December every year. Camel wrestling is attended from various regions of the Aegean Region and Balikesir districts.
Burhaniye Camel Wrestling, which is one of the most important camel wrestling organizations in Turkey, has a history of at least a hundred years. Camel wrestling is held three times a year in Burhaniye and its region.
The dates of camel wrestling held in the region are as follows:
- Burhaniye: 2nd week of December
- Pelitköy: first week of February
- Karaağaç: the last week of February
This organization, which is celebrated as a festival, is very popular in the region and brings dynamism to domestic tourism.
The most important of the Sports Competitions-Competitions based on Manpower and Animal Power and in which mutual groups participate are Karapürçek Horse Races.
Karapürçek Horse Races are held in Karapürçek Town of Susurluk District in the last week of May or the first week of June every year. The running track, which is 1200 meters long, is in the property within the boundaries of the town. Apart from the area where the race will take place on the field, there is a covered tribune and the Referee Board’s cabin.
Every year, the contestants who will participate in the race are informed one month before the races and registration forms are prepared and the horses that will participate in the race start to arrive at the town one week before. Horses with 300 to 700 numbers participate in the races.
In the races, money is given as a prize and a "flag" is given to the winner of each neck. According to the number of flags the horse receives, the category of the next races is determined. There is VI category for horses and the horse that comes to VI of these categories wins the winner.
The referee committee in Karapürçek Horse Races usually consists of 5 people and is selected from among the guests engaged in this race on the day of the race. The unique Rahvan Horse Racing Rules are practiced every year as a tradition.