While we all enjoy watching mainstream sports like basketball, soccer, and football, sometimes you just need a change. The wide world of sports has a lot of options to choose from. Check out these 6 crazy sports you’ve probably never heard of.
Sepak Takraw, meaning “kick woven ball”, was invented over 500 years ago and is the national sport of the Philippines. With a similar look to volleyball this sport uses anything but. The ball, called a rattan, is hit over a net using feet, legs and chest. It is much smaller than a regular volleyball. There are only four players on the court at a time per team.But otherwise, the rules are pretty similar to volleyball. You can only play the ball 3 times in succession and you cannot cross over the net. Your team receives a point when the ball touches down on their opponents side of the net or if they hit the ball out of bounds.
The funny name is a little misleading, cheese rolling doesn’t entail only rolling cheese. The competition actually involves rolling your body down a hill. The annual Cheese Rolling and Wake event is held in England. Over the years more and more people have started to participate, the winners come from all over the world to compete. After rolling a large round of Double Gloucester cheese, participants race down the 200-yard hill with the goal of catching the cheese. The cheese has a 1-second head start and can reach 70 miles per hour. The competition is intense. With the high speeds the cheese and people can reach, injuries have occurred. In 2013, the 9 pound wheel was replaced with a foam replica.
Fierljeppen is a dutch invention that translates to far leaping, a quite literal definition of the sport. The premise of Fierljeppen is similar to pole vaulting, but instead of height the competitors are aiming for distance. The jump is a little more complex; instead of running with the pole competitors run up to it and grab on at the same time they jump. The athletes have to climb the pole while propelling forward.
The really cool part of this sport is more the location. Competitors attempt to clear a bar and a body of water, typically a river, and land on the other bank using a 26 to 43 foot pole to propel their leap. The record for longest leap is 70 feet and 7 inches.
The Highland Games, a popular event hosted in Scotland, feature several field sports including the Caber Toss. The Caber Toss entails throwing a large wooden pole cut from a local tree; the pole is made smaller on one end than the other. The “Throwers” or “Tossers” pick up the smaller end of the caber. Once they balance it, the competitors can run a short distance before tossing. The wood must complete one full revolution before landing with the smaller end facing away from the thrower. You might be thinking that the winner is determined by how far they throw, however you’d be wrong. The object is to throw the caber to land facing exactly away from the thrower.
The ideal beam should only be able to be picked up and thrown by a few throwers. If the caber cannot be picked up by anyone, it’s too heavy. If the caber can be picked up by everyone, it’s too light. The games remedy this by either cutting off a chunk of wood or replacing the whole beam.
This Japanese game Bo-Taoshi is a chaotic game translated to topple the pole. Each team is made up of 150 players, 75 offensive and 75 defensive. The goal of the game is to topple your opponents pole. Though it may look like there’s no strategy to the large crowds, Bo-Taoshi takes elements from football, rugby, and martial arts and combines them into a strategy to knock over their opponents pole and keep their own pole up.
Defensive players can take up several positions, including pole support, barrier, interference, scrum disabler, and ninja. Pole support works to keep the pole upright in its vertical position. The Barrier prevents opponents from getting to the pole. Interference stops people from starting an attack on the pole, while the scrum disablers prevent attackers from running up the pole. The ninja is a single individual that climbs to the top of the pole leaning in the opposite direction that the opponent is trying to topple it.
On the offensive end, a player is part of the springboard/scrum, pole attackers or general support attackers. The springboard/scrum lead the attack to create a path to the pole. Pole attackers try to take down the ninja and topple the pole. The general attackers work to support the others in their endeavors.
Hockey has several very popular forms, such as ice, field and floor. But have you heard of them playing underwater? The wacky sport is also known as Octopush, a low contact version of hockey that happens in a pool. The two teams push the puck across the floor using a stick trying to score in one anothers goal similarly to ice or floor hockey. Players wear a mask, snorkel, cap, gloves and fins while playing.
The Underwater Hockey World Championship was first held in Canada in 1980. It was started in 1954 in the United Kingdom. It has continued to grow in popularity every year since. The sport even has its own governing body!