A sport is an organized and competitive activity which requires commitment, strategy, and even long-term training. It follows a set of rules and laws which are implemented by committees and officials. Most sports are generally easy and fun. A lot of people play them to feel relaxed and energized. Some sports like board and card games may require mental skills. While others like football, basketball, and swimming, may require strength, endurance, and technique. A few sports, however, require so much more than mental and physical skills. These sports can even be so strange that you’d end up wondering how they came to be in the first place. In case you’re wondering what these sports are, here are 10 of the most bizarre sports in the world.
Buzkashi, which is also known as ‘the goat game’ is a popular sport in Central Asia. It is usually played in Pakistan, Afghanista, Uzbekistan, and India. Often compared to polo, Buzkashi is played on horseback by two teams. However, instead of driving a ball into the opposing team’s goal using a mallet, buzkashi players grab a headless goat from one end of a field to the other. Yes, that’s right. A dead goat. And if no goat is available, a dead calf is often used. Buzkashi may sound like a fairly easy sport. But the truth is, it is considered one of the roughest sports in the world. Players are allowed to use a whip and heavy boots and go rough on other horses and riders. They may also use any type of force to trip horses and prevent the other team from scoring.
2. Sepak Takraw
Probably the ‘least bizarre’ sport on our list is Sepak Takraw or ‘Kick Volleyball.’ Sepak Takraw is a popular sport in Asia. It is usually played in countries like Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, India, and the Philippines. This sport, which is a variation of the more popular volleyball, uses a special type of ‘ball’ which is made from rattan. Sepak Takraw is played by two teams which can be made up of two to three players. Like volleyball, the objective of the game is to score points by grounding the ball on the other team’s court. However, the players are only allowed to use their feet, knees, chest, and head. The players can have various ways of receiving and serving the ball. They can use body swerves and acrobatic twists to stun their opponents and increase the ball’s velocity.
3. Cheese Rolling
Now Cheese Rolling is just a strange sport. Played annually at Cooper’s Hill in England, this two-hundred year old tradition (officially called Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake) is one of the most bizarre sports in the world. The idea of the sport is simple: competitors race down Cooper’s Hill after a round slab of cheese. The first person who crosses the finish line at the bottom gets to take home the – wait for it – cheese! What makes this game really exciting is the fact that Cooper’s Hill it not your typical hill. It is so uneven and steep that once you take one step down, there is definitely no going back. Every year, a huge number of injuries are reported during the event. These injuries range from concussions, sprained ankles, and broken ribs, nose, hipbones, and virtually any body part that can be broken.
4. Man Versus Horse Marathon
The Man Versus Horse Marathon is a sporting event which takes place every June in the town of Llanwrtyd Wells in Wales. The game is pretty simple. A runner has to run for 22 miles and reach the finish line before everybody else does. And by everyone, that includes people ON horses. Yes, you heard that right. Runners actually get to compete side by side with real horses. In case you’ve forgotten, horses are one of the fastest animals on land. So, I’m basically saying that this is no easy feat. To be able to beat a horse, you not only have to be really fast, you also have to have top-notch endurance. Strangely, in 2004, a man of steel who goes by the name of Huw Lobb, was able to finish the race in 2 hours and five minutes. The win made him the first man to beat a horse. How did he do it? Let’s just say that’s one of life’s many mysteries.
5. Bike Bog Snorkeling
Any sport that involves flippers, snorkels, and peat bog is bound to be boggling. Well, thanks to two locals who had too much Welsh ale one day, this new sporting event was born. The Bike Bog Snorkeling Championships takes place every July 10. The goal of Bike Bog Snorkeling is simple: Wearing flippers, goggles, and snorkel, and using a special type of bike, players cycle along the bottom of a water-filled peat bog. The bog is usually 6 feet deep and 60 yards long. The player who gets to the end of the peat bog at the shortest time possible wins. If you think it’s easy, remember that the funny-smelling peat bog is filled with weeds, mud, and various water creatures like leeches. Plus, there’s a huge chance that you’ll down a couple of gulps of the bog’s who-knows-how-old water.
6. Wife Carrying
If you thought Bog Snorkeling was strange, wait til you hear about Wife Carrying. Wife Carrying is a sport which is played every October in Finland and the United States. Believe it or not, it is said that this sport was patterned after a group of robbers’ numerous feats in ‘wife stealing.’ Yes, that’s right. Among the many things that they loved to steal, they also snatched the wives of a few unsuspecting men. It is said that these brazen thieves would steal other men’s wives and carry them on their back. The game is quite simple. Male participants race while ‘carrying’ a female partner (preferrably their wives.) The team that reaches the finish line first wins. Three types of carry are allowed in the competition. There’s the piggyback, the fireman’s carry, and the strangely interesting Estonian-style carry (in which the wife hangs upside down on her husband’s back.) Now if hanging upside down facing your partner’s behind isn’t hard enough, wait till you hear about the obstacle track. Teams have to wade through a waist-deep pool, jump over fences, and race across a sand-filled track.
7. Chess Boxing
Chess Boxing is a fairly new sport. As you may have already guessed, it is a hybrid sport which involves two very different types of sports – chess and boxing. This means that all players have to be skilled in both boxing and chess. Chess Boxing starts with a four-minute chess match. During this round, the players are required to wear headphones so that they do not hear the comments of spectators and sports commentators. After the chess round, the two players proceed to the ring for a three-minute boxing match. These two rounds are repeated alternately until someone is declared the winner. Competitors usually win by checkmate or by knockout. If the game ends with no checkmates or knockouts, the judges of the game are allowed to make a decision.
Bossaball is very similar to volleyball. It is also played on a court divided by a net. And it can be played by two teams with multiple players. The huge difference, however, is that instead of the usual hard floor used for this type of sport, the players of Bossaball do it on a trampoline court. Yes, a trampoline court! The trampoline court allows players to bounce high enough to kick or spike the ball. This sport, like Sepak Takraw, is very fun to watch because players can employ different techniques which involve elements usually seen in football, gymnastics, and capoeira.
9. Blind Soccer
Blind soccer is basically just soccer played by visually impaired players. During the game, players are required to wear eye shields. This is to make sure that players who can see a little but are considered legally blind could not see a thing. In Blind Soccer, players use a special type of ball which does not bounce and which is heavier than the usual soccer bal. It also produces a sound so that the players can locate it easily. During the game, players may call their teammates by name or by shouting ‘Yeah!’ and ‘Voy!’ Due to the nature of the game, players must have excellent discernment skills so that they are able to recognize the voice of their teammates.
10. Ferret Legging
Ferret Legging is another amazingly weird sport which originated in England. Ferret Legging involves putting two live ferrets down a male contestant’s pants. Male competitors are required to tie their pants at the ankles and securely fasten their belts so that the ferrets could not escape. Competitors are also not allowed to wear underwear to make sure that the ferrets can inflict pain even on the contestant’s most privates parts. After the ferrets are dropped down the pants, the competitors face the judges for as long as they can. The ferrets would naturally try to escape. And in this process, will try to bite their way out. The competitor who releases the animals last wins.