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Ballooning is an adventurous air sport that involves flying a hot-air balloon. Hot-air balloons are known to be used as early as the late 16th century. Ballooning was primarily a recreational activity, but with a steady increase in the number of people taking part, a competitive sport was derived out of it.

Berlin Balloon Race - 1908 Berlin Balloon Race - 1908

Ballooning races are primarily to test the accuracy of flight rather than speed. Fliers are required to judge wind patterns, and direction of the wind at different altitudes. The objective of a race is to navigate the balloons as close as possible to a fixed target point on the ground. When the crew reaches the target, they drop a weighted marker onto the ground.

A score is awarded based on the distance between where the marked landed and the target location. The number of targets used will vary between competitions, five targets are mostly used, but some competitions have used more. The aggregate score for all targets is used to decide the winner.

Another popular form of racing is the Hare and Hounds race, in which a hare balloon takes off first, and all the hound balloons follow. The hare will land at any location and a marker from the hound balloons have to be thrown closer to the hare's landing location to decide the winner.

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