If you’ve never heard or ‘Underwater Hockey’, ‘Chess Boxing’ or ‘Bossaball’ then this article is for you. Join us as we take a look into ten of the worlds weirdest competitive sports.
1. Underwater Hockey aka Octopush
Underwater Hockey (also known as Octopush) is similar to Ice Hockey in that two teams battle against each other to get a puck into the opposing teams goal. The main difference is that it is played underwater (and the sticks are shorter).
Octopush players use diving masks and snorkels and spend their time darting back and forth between the puck, which is weighted and is placed on the floor of the pool, and the waters surface.
As you may have guessed, Underwater Hockey isn’t particularly spectator friendly. If you do want to catch a live game then you will need to don some snorkel gear and prepare to get wet, although some matches are also recorded using underwater cameras.
2. Chess Boxing
Chess Boxing, as the name suggests, is a combination of Chess and Boxing (I promise you we aren’t making this up).
In Chess Boxing the play alternates between four-minute chess rounds and two-minute boxing rounds, with a one minute break in between. The game lasts for 11 rounds unless checkmate or a knockout is achieved. If neither player manages this within the 11 rounds then the scores from the boxing rounds are used to crown a winner.
Chess Boxing is surprisingly popular and there is even a World Chess Boxing Organistaion.
3. Dwarf Throwing
Dwarf Throwing (aka Dwarf Tossing) is a controversial sport where contenders compete against each other in an attempt to throw [willing] dwarfs the furthest. Don’t worry, the dwarfs wear padded clothing and usually land somewhere soft – such as a mattress. Not surprisingly this sport is most commonly found in bars, and has been banned in a number of countries.
4. Cheese Rolling
The Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake is an event hold annually every spring at Cooper’s Hill, Nr Gloucester in the UK. To put it simply, a wheel of cheese is rolled down a steep hill and competitors chase after it in an almost impossible attempt to catch it. In the very likely event that the cheese is not caught, the first entrant to make it to the bottom of the hill is crowned the winner – and gets to keep the cheese.
Traditionally the only participants were residents of a small nearby village called Brockworth, but they were soon joined by madmen from all over the globe. The event was supposed to be cancelled in 2010 over safety concerns, but people showed up and did it anyway and there is now a “Save The Cheese Roll” campaign.
Bossaball is a Spanish game that could be straight out of a Dr Seuss book. It is similar to volleyball, but played on an inflatable court that also has a trampoline either side of the net. Points are scored for landing the ball on the opposing teams side – one point if it contacts the general inflatable cushion and three points if contact is made with the trampoline. The winner is the first team to score 25 points.
6. Extreme Ironing
Extreme Ironing has been done on the top of a mountain, underwater, whilst skiing and even during a paracheute jump. Some people view it as more of a performance than a sport, but the competitive nature can be clearly seen as Extreme Ironers attempt to out do each other.
Check out the Extreme Ironing Japan website for photos (in Japanese).
7. Wife Carrying
Wife Carrying is a sport in which male competitors race against each other around an obstacle course, whilst carrying their wives (or other female team mate). Wives can be carried in a number of ways including the piggyback, fireman’s lift, and Estonian style where the wife hangs upside down, with her legs wrapped around the mans shoulders.
The sport originally appeared in Sonkajärvi, Finland where the prize for the winner was relative to his wife’s weight in beer. Since then the sport has travelled to the US, with major events being held anually in the mid-west.
8. Ottery Tar Barrels
The Ottery Tar Barrels is actually more of a tradition than a sport, but worth a mention. Burly men carry barrels of tar which are set on fire and then run through the streets of Ottery St Mary. Usually taking place around Guy Fawkes Night, this tradition started as fire festival intended to ward off evil spirits and only people who were born and live in the town are allowed to take part.
9. Cardboard Tube Dueling
Cardboard Tube Dueling, promoted by the Cardboard Tube Fighting League, is an international ‘sport’ where contenders battle against each other using cardboard tubes. The fights can be one-on-one or in teams and the aim is to break your opponents cardboard tube, without breaking your own.
Based out of Seattle, the Cardboard Tube Fight League has spread globally and organises multi-stage tournaments. For more information check out http://www.tubeduel.com/
10. The Redneck Games
Think of the Redneck Games as the Olympics for Rednecks. Held annually in the town of East Dublin, Georgia in the USA the games are made up of a number of events, including: Mud Pit Belly Flop, The Cigarette Flip, Seed Spitting, Toilet Seat Throwing and Bobbing For Pigs Trotters.