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In the realm of sports, there exists a multitude of unconventional options, some of which you may have experienced during your school days and found quite enjoyable. However, beyond the typical baseball games, there exists a diverse array of peculiar and unusual sports. This compilation provides you with an all-encompassing glimpse into the world of these eccentric and offbeat sporting activities that you might consider giving a try. Let’s dive into Top 10 Weird Sports Played Across the World.
There are sports that stand out as truly distinctive, blending elements of athleticism with unconventional pursuits that defy traditional sporting norms. These peculiar pastimes encompass a wide spectrum, including zorbing and wife-carrying, to name just a few. So, what currently holds the title for the most eccentric sport globally? Let’s delve into it and discover the answer.
Top 10 Weird Sports Played Across the World
|Name of the Sport
- Place of origin: Malaysia
- First played: The 15th century
Certainly, one of the more conventional sports on this list is Sepak Takraw, also referred to as “kick volleyball.” It enjoys widespread popularity in Southeast Asia and bears a strong resemblance to traditional volleyball. The key distinction lies in the fact that in Sepak Takraw, players are allowed to use any part of their bodies except their arms to pass the ball, and the game employs a ball crafted from dried palm leaves. In its early iterations, Sepak Takraw served as a cooperative display of physical prowess rather than a competitive sport. Nevertheless, as the 1940s approached, the game had already proliferated across Southeast Asia, and informal regulations had begun to emerge.
- Place of origin: England
- First played: 1612
Shin kicking may come as a surprise, but it’s indeed a legitimate sport, predominantly popular in the southern regions of England. The primary aim of this unique sport is to skillfully kick your adversary in the shins repeatedly, with the ultimate goal of bringing them to the ground. Interestingly, before engaging in this competition, participants are required to insert a straw into their trousers and don a lab coat for some peculiar reason. Only after these rituals can they begin the intense grappling and shin-kicking matches. To oversee the proceedings and ensure adherence to the rules, there is a referee also dressed in a lab coat, diligently monitoring the game. This is one of the Top 10 Weird Sports Played Across the World.
- Place of origin: Sri Lanka
- First played: 2016
The conventional sport of polo has undergone transformations to accommodate various modes of transportation, including horses and elephants. More recently, it has been adapted to be played from tuk-tuks, which are three-wheeled open vehicles commonly found in Thai cities. This innovative twist on the sport emerged as a replacement for an earlier version of polo that was played atop elephants but was discontinued in 2007 due to an incident involving a rampaging elephant.
In this modified version of the game, teams consist of two players who operate two tuk-tuks. One player assumes the role of the driver, while the other becomes the striker responsible for hitting the ball. The ball used in this variation closely resembles a cricket ball and is propelled by players using small sticks reminiscent of mallets. As with previous iterations of polo, the primary objective of the game remains to score goals by successfully maneuvering the ball through the goalposts. This is one of the Top 10 Weird Sports Played Across the World.
- Place of origin: Middlebury College in Vermont
- First played: 2005
The sport originated at Middlebury College as an intramural activity, drawing inspiration from the fictional broom-flying game in the Harry Potter series. It gained rapid popularity in universities across the country, with more than 400 colleges now offering the sport.
Athletes strive to launch balls through circular hoops situated at the opposing sides of the field, reminiscent of the novel’s depiction, all the while emulating the fantastical flying aspect of the sport by clutching broomsticks firmly between their thighs. This is one of the Top 10 Weird Sports Played Across the World.
- Place of origin: Staffordshire, England
- First played: 1974
The list doesn’t become any more unconventional. Similar to arm wrestling, toe wrestling entails two individuals interlocking their toes and striving to immobilize each other’s feet. In a three-round contest, the objective is to secure the opponent’s foot’s placement by alternating feet in each round. It comes as no astonishment that this athletic pursuit originated in the 1970s within a pub in Derbyshire, conceived by four friends enjoying drinks, seeking to establish a competitive pastime.
- Place of origin: Gloucester, England
- First played: 15th century (estimated)
This unique sport combines the strategic game of chess with the physical intensity of boxing. In this unconventional game, competitors take turns engaging in rapid rounds of chess and boxing. It’s an unusual combination, isn’t it? The objective is to either physically incapacitate your opponent to the point where they struggle to think clearly during chess or to outwit them with chess tactics, distracting them from boxing. Victory can be achieved through either a knockout in boxing or a checkmate in chess, depending on which happens first. This is one of the Top 10 Weird Sports Played Across the World.
- Place of origin: Finland
- First played: 1992
The sport of wife-carrying finds its roots in Finland. As the name suggests, participants are tasked with carrying their spouses through an obstacle course as swiftly as possible. The regulations stipulate that the course spans precisely 253.5 meters, the wife must have a minimum weight of 49 kilograms, and there is a 15-second penalty for any mishap resulting in the wife being dropped. The global championships for this unique event take place in July, and the victorious husband is rewarded with an amount of beer equivalent to his wife’s weight.
- Place of origin: New Zealand
- First played: 1994
Zorbing is undeniably one of the most unconventional sports one can partake in. It entails climbing into an oversized, air-filled sphere and descending down a hill. If you find the idea of zorbing as a sport to be peculiar, you’re absolutely right, but you’re equally correct if you find it intriguing and enjoyable. Within the confines of the giant orb, participants bounce about, relishing the exhilaration of rapid movement. This peculiar sport first emerged in the mid-1990s and has since garnered global acclaim. This is one of the Top 10 Weird Sports Played Across the World.
Place of origin: Cooper’s Hill, near Gloucester in, England
First played: 1826
Participants in the men’s downhill competition pursue a wheel of cheese as it rolls down the slope, in an event known as the Cheese-Rolling contest, held on June 5th, 2022, in Gloucester, England. Captured by Cameron Smith.
Cheese Rolling is a thrilling event where participants race down a hill, chasing after a wheel of Double Gloucester cheese. This exciting competition takes place on Cooper’s Hill near Gloucester, England. During the race, the 7-9-pound wheel of Double Gloucester cheese is given a one-second head start, and it can reach speeds of up to 70 miles per hour.
- Place of origin: Yorkshire Dales National Park, England
- First played: 1980
Ironing has transformed into a form of performance art and an emerging cultural phenomenon as enthusiasts seek unconventional settings and techniques for their clothing care routines. Officially known as “Extreme Ironing,” it is described as “the newest thrilling adventure sport that blends the excitement of extreme outdoor activities with the gratification of achieving a crisply pressed garment,” as stated by the Extreme Ironing Bureau. Ironing boards can be transported to various destinations, such as New York City, caves, forests, and waterfalls. The sport originated in the United Kingdom and has garnered considerable media coverage, which is quite unexpected. This is one of the Top 10 Weird Sports Played Across the World.