Sport: some people love and some people can’t stand it.
In one way, it’s easy to see how those us not interested in sport have developed such a distaste for it, given how it is almost impossible to escape its presence these days. If you’re not interested in 20-odd lads kicking a ball around the pitch, it’s unfathomable how it can warrant the huge amount of attention it is.
When we talk about sport, it’s normally about the few same games; football, hurling, rugby, tennis, golf etc. Again, cynics will just argue that these are all just different variations of hitting a ball about. Where’s the fun in that?
We argue though that there is no one person that hates all sports. If you’re not a fan, chances are you simply haven’t found the sport that appeals to you.
The fact is that there’s hundreds of sports out there to either watch or try out for yourselves. We’ve collected a list of ten of most weird and wonderful of them out there.
We can’t guarantee you’ll become a fan straight away, but they’re worth looking at all the same:
Rock Paper Scissors
Take this as the first warning that the word ‘sport’ here is being used very liberally.
You might just know it as that thing you do to decide who gets to sit in the front seat, but people have put in blood (probably not), sweat (maybe?) and tears (we hope not) into Rock Paper Scissors as a sport.
There have been several different national tournaments held for this ‘sport’, including one in the United States which offered a top prize of $50,000.
It was even broadcasted on sports network ESPN. The same network that would regularly show some of the biggest sporting encounters in the country showed Rock Paper Scissors to a national audience.
The first, and not the last, example on this list that shows you can the athletic ability of a dead fish and still reach the top of the sporting mountain.
It’s half pole-vault, half long-jump, half flying over a big lake…?
Fierljeppen (or known more boringly as vaulting when translated) involves competitors using a large pole to propel themselves over a body of water, usually a river or canal, before landing on a sand-bed.
The sport originated in the Netherlands where competitions are still held regularly, but is mostly practiced to entertain visiting tourists.
We can only try and imagine how such a sport would even originate. “We need to get across this river and all we have is this 10-metre long pole. What will we do?“
Either way, it still looks like serious craic.
When you sit down and think about it, the whole concept of dodgeball is strange in itself.
Seriously, who thought it was a good idea to bring ten or twelve people together to deliberately throw large balls at each other. And then, even let children do the same in PE classes around the world?
For some people, this thrill clearly wasn’t enough, and thus ultimate dodgeball was born.
Take regular dodgeball, add in a couple of trampolines and watch as people fly through to the sky avoiding death by balls.
Apparently it’s more fun to be hit by a ball when you’re seven foot in the air.
Ostrich Chariot Racing
Again, this is another sport that makes you ask what its original creators were thinking to make such a thing even exist?
Chariot racing has been around since Roman times, but we don’t think Julius Caesar and the lads ever envisioned ostriches pulling around lads in giant barrels cut in half.
These races are known to be found at the annual Ostrich Festival in Chandler, Arizona. There’s definitely something captivating about it, but we don’t expect it to be appearing on Sky Sports anytime soon.
Many people will argue that sport is actually as much as 90% mental, and only 10% physical. Except this, which is just 100% mental in every sense of the word.
Brainball involves no kicking, jumping or even running. Instead, it is all about correctly utilising the most powerful muscle in your body.
The ‘sport’ is contested by two players, whose goal is to move a little ball in the centre of the table controlled entirely by brain waves. The more relaxed player will move the ball towards their opponents goal.
It’s definitely not a spectator sport, and very few sports could ever be considered ‘relaxing’ but if your idea of the ideal sport includes sitting down in a comfy chair and chilling out, this could just be for you.
The human race is really doomed to kill itself, isn’t it?
There’s not really a lot to explain here that isn’t already made very obvious. Shin kicking is a…sport… in which the goal is to kick your opponent in the shin repeatedly in order to knock him in the ground.
The sport is believed to have originated in the early 17th Century in England, and is still contested in today in the modern version of the Costwold Olimpick Games.
You could argue with someone that this might just be the manliest sport of all, but chances are you wouldn’t have a leg to stand on.
Ham and cheese, fish and chips, a relaxing nap and a 9am lecture, some combinations in this world are simply perfect. Then there’s chess boxing.
A Dutch artist named Lepe Runbigh had the brilliant of idea of making boxers compete in rounds of chess in between rounds of pummeling each other in the head.
Of course, the best thing to be doing after taking repeated blows to the head is to work out your mental muscle with some intense strategy.
There’s obviously a huge crossover appeal between the two sports, so we’re sure it’s only a matter of time before this phenomenon breaks into the mainstream.
You could always count on the good ol’ Japanese to put their unique stamp on a list like this.
Bo-taoshi (translated to Pole-toppling) is, to describe it in its simplest terms, capture the flag on cocaine. Played most commonly on sports days in Japan. One team of 75 defenders defend a large pole while the team of 75 attackers run full force towards them in order to capture it.
We’ve attached a video to help you get a sense of it, but apart from what has just been described, it’s near impossible to really know what’s going on.
Is there any strategy? Rules? Time limit? We don’t have a clue but we’re hoping to bring the sport over and try it out for ourselves.
What better way to show your partner you love her than carrying around an obstacle course as quickly as possible and in front of a raucous crowd?
That must have been the reason for the creation of the Wife Carrying World Championships, which were set up in Finland in 1992.
It seems to have captured the imagination of enough people, as it is practiced in countries around the world. The Finnish still lead the way though, with Taisto Miettinen and Kristiina Haapanen holding the world record 68 seconds.
And with official rules such as “All contestants much enjoy themselves”, it seems to be good wholesome fun. Good, wholesome, slightly odd fun.
Pure, living proof that no matter how much we think we’ve advanced as a society over the last few centuries, there’s still something to be said for giant men in armor bashing the shite out of each other with swords.
Held by Russian mixed martial arts organisation M-1 Global, the world was shocked to see them put on the closest thing to pure, medieval combat we’re likely to see in the 21st century.
Some people already think typical MMA is already barbaric enough without the addition of swords and shields, so this is really something to behold.
We doubt we’re going to find another sport as strange and bizarre as this.