Five of the most bizarre sports in the world
Humans have been using sport to push each other to the limit since prehistoric times. Some sports, like foot races, golf and boxing are simple enough to understand. Others, like cricket or American football can seem terribly convoluted at first glance but are worth the investment of time and effort to understand them.
But then there are some sports that defy all logic and understanding. Next time you are betting online and marvelling at some obscure eSport or perhaps a football tournament in some forgotten corner of the globe, remember, there are much weirder things out there!
Picture beach volleyball but played while bouncing on a trampoline. Now add some martial arts and loud Brazilian beach music and you have Bossaball. The game was invented by Filip Eyckmans, a Belgian tennis player who lived in Spain and was obsessed with Brazilian culture. When he was given a chance to showcase the sport at the Rio Olympics, it proved incredibly popular. It is now played in 20 countries across four continents and Eyckmans has cemented his improbable place in the pages of sporting history.
Speaking of history, here’s a sport that’s been around for hundreds of years, since the 1400s at least. Like Bossaball, it sounds like something that might be invented in a moment of pure genius over a glass or two of liquid inspiration. In this case, the inspiration would almost certainly be cider, as the noble sport of cheese rolling takes place on Cooper’s Hill, Gloucester, each year. Competitors roll their rounds of Double Gloucester cheese down the hill and it’s a race to the bottom. The cheeses weigh around 8 pounds and can reach speeds of 70 mph, so spectators need to keep their wits about them.
If you attend Cooper’s Hill, you’d be well advised to leave the dog safely at home for all sorts of reasons. But his attendance is mandatory for this next sport. Dog surfing is exactly what it sounds like, and originated – where else – in California way back in the 1920s. There are different variations – some dogs simply ride with their humans while others become so adept on a surfboard that they take to the waves on their own.
Another water sport for showing off your beach bod? Unfortunately not, this hardcore aquatic pursuit is played out in the muddy marshland of Llanwrtyd Wells in Wales. Competitors are equipped with a snorkel, flippers and a sense of adventure and must use these to negotiate a 120 yard trench from one end to the other. It’s as messy as it sounds.
Finally, a sport that sounds bizarre and looks bizarre but is possibly the one piece of genuine genius on our list. Golf has been struggling for years to attract young players, what with its stuffy reputation and high costs. Footgolf was one club’s solution. Normal golf rules apply, but no clubs are needed, just a ball slightly smaller than a standard football and correspondingly sized holes. The focus is on fun and the effect is that golf clubs have at last found a way to engage with younger generations. Fore!