Sports have always been an integral part of human life. For centuries together, people have invented many new sports to keep themselves entertained. But often mankind has invented certain sports that are not just strange and unusual, but at times also very hilarious.
Let’s explore these weird sports from around the world that may not have topped the Olympics chart, but most certainly have been on international platforms for other interesting and bizarre distinctions.
|Underwater Hockey | England|
There’s field hockey, ice hockey, and now underwater hockey! This rudimentary form of hockey is a sub-aquatic sport that began in 1954 to help members of a British diving club stay active in the winter. Popularly known as ‘Octopush’, this sport bears much resemblance with its above-water relatives, although there are some striking differences. For instance, underwater hockey is played with six members in a team inside a pool. The puck used in this game weighs three pounds (1.4 kg) to make it glide smoothly along the bottom of the pool. The players wear snorkel masks and carry foot-long sticks to launch their assaults on the opposing team! The sport is a bit challenging, especially because players need to swim constantly back to the surface for air!
|Chess Boxing | Germany|
What is chess boxing? Well, as the name quite simply suggests, it’s the ultimate test of both brains and brawns where the winner can be determined by either knockout or checkmate! In this perplexing pastime sport, the opponents play 11 alternating rounds of chess and boxing. The view is of the competitors in their boxing attire and headphones, contemplating their next chess moves on a folding table in the middle of the boxing ring is quite an interesting sight to behold.
|Toe Wrestling | England|
You must have heard about arm wrestling, but did you know that there’s also a toe version of this game? Perfectly summing up the name, toe-wrestling involves competitors going toe-for-toe! This unusual sport was invented by four friends in Ye Olde Royal Oak Inn in Staffordshire, in 1974 who were bemoaning the fact the United Kingdom struggled to produce any world champions. Their logic was that if a new sport was invented that no one knew about, the country could board a champion at last. The rules are pretty simple: with shoes and socks off, the competitors need to link their big toes on a specially designed ‘toedium’ and attempt to pin down the opponent’s toe to the ground.
|Zorbing | New Zealand|
If you think these are the weirdest sports, then you have definitely not heard of Zorbing. Imagine being inside a giant hamster exercise ball and rolling down a hill! That’s how Zorbing is played in New Zealand. Also known as globe-riding or sphereing, a ‘zorb’ is constructed with two plastic inflatable balls, one inside the other, with an air layer in between them. The ball can hold up to two-three people at a time. Although the sport is played on a gentle slope, due to its lightweight and buoyant nature, it can also be played on water surfaces. In fact, ‘water walking’ using these giant orbs is a popular attraction at several water-themed parks across the UK.
|Bossaball | Spain|
Imagine a game that is an ultimate mix of volley skills, soccer tricks, and extreme gymnastic, while cool music is blaring in the background! That’s how ‘bossaball’ is played. A fun team sport of three to five players, it is played on an inflatable court featuring an oversized trampoline on each side of the net. The trampoline allows the player to bounce high in the air and deliver acrobatic shots. The rules of the game allow players to use any part of their body to hit the ball over the net into their opponent’s side and score a direct point.
|Dhopkhel | India|
Let’s travel back to our country, specifically towards the Seven Sisters of the North Easter. If you know how football is played, then Dholpkhel might surprise you. Played during the traditional Spring Festival of Assam (Bihu), it involves two 11 member teams and a 125 m × 80 m field. Instead of hitting the ball into the net, the players take turns to throw the Dhop (the ball) at the opponent to knock them out of the game. The game is a test of speed, stamina, and acrobatic skills and was once played to amuse the Ahom royalty.
|Kaninhoppning | Sweden|
You get the most adorable sports ever created when you shrink the equestrian jumping course, get rid of the horses and replace them with floppy-eared bunnies. Originating in the late 1970s, this bunny-hopping game involves trainers who guide their rabbits to safely hop and jump through a series of obstacles, similar to those seen in equestrian sports. The rabbit who successfully completes the course within the shortest time and with the fewest errors is the winner!
There you have it! These weird sports definitely make the mainstream sports passé. Do you know any such weird sport? Tell us in the comments below. Sports can be weird at times, but the use of technology in sports could make people who lived in the past feel the same way about it!
Books are Tanaya Goswami’s first love and cheesecakes come a close second. Talking about movies, music, calligraphy, politics, and Elon Musk will get you listed under the friends’ section of her diary. Ever since moving on from her job as an English lecturer, she spends her time at BYJU’S crafting stories filled with emotion and sprinkled with sarcasm. Outside of work, she’s either learning something new (French, most recently!) or is curled up with a book and a cup of coffee. She firmly believes that discovering what you don’t know is the key to knowledge and is constantly working towards improving herself. Drop in a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you liked her stories, have something nice to say, or if you have compelling ideas to share!
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