16 Weirdest & Strange Sports You’ve Never Seen BeforeStories
Even if you are not really a fan of sports, you probably know that literally dozens of them are practiced by thousands of people. For example, some of these activities are individual while others are team sports. There are also men’s and women’s sports as well as ball games and combat sporting activities. But, what’s even more interesting is that we have strange sports that are difficult to fit into any known category.
It turns out that a small number of people share a passion for specific activities, and they are ready to compete with others to showcase their skills and talent. The weirdest sports we have gathered for you often include unusual equipment (think of cheese, for example). Some are more fun to watch than participate in (face slapping). In any case, you will be amused or even shocked at some of these fun and unusual activities that we’ve come across. Let’s start!
1. Cheese Rolling
Many people think of the Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling annual event when someone mentions crazy sports. This makes sense because this is one of the weirdest competitions that people can see. It’s believed that the first event took place around six centuries ago. As for the rules, participants race down the steep hill (200 yards long) once the round of Double Gloucester cheese is sent rolling down. We must mention that this sport can be hazardous, and participants have reported serious injuries over the years. Another thing that we would like to point out is that Chris Anderson is the most successful chaser with stunning 22 wins.
2. Extreme Ironing
Forget about ironing in your bedroom or living room. Let’s visit the top of the mountain or go deep underwater to finish this task. Extreme ironing takes strange sports on another level. This extreme sport is all about taking ironing boards to isolated, remote locations and iron clothing there. Basically, the “athletes” are looking for the weirdest places to perform this activity like cliffs, dense forests, the seabed, motorways, and whatnot. The first time someone did this was Tony Hiam in 1980 in the UK. So, he can be considered to be the father of modern extreme ironing.
3. Air Sex
Some may argue that this is not an actual sport, but truth be told, can any of these activities we have on our list be present at the next Olympics? Still, people are involved in air sex, participating in national and international competitions every year. This performance activity (and of the weirdest sports in the world) was invented in (surprise, surprise) – Japan! Even though it has a name like this, people are usually fully clothed and simulate sexual activity with an imaginary partner. Once you watch a few clips, you will probably enjoy the visual performance and compare it to figure skating or rhythmic gymnastics.
Next on the list of weirdest sports is Bossaball. Unlike some of our picks, this one will remind you of real sports. The odd part is that it’s played on an inflatable court with a trampoline. This is a team sport that’s usually played on beaches. Remember that Filip Eyckamns from Belgium developed this activity in 2005. It’s an exciting mix of gymnastics, football, volleyball, and music that’s fun to watch (and play).
5. Hobby Horsing
Some of the odd sports on our list will instantly bring a smile to your face. Without any doubt, hobby horsing is one of them. Children have used hobby horses (toy horses) for many centuries. Still, a few decades ago, a group of enthusiasts in Finland have turned this hobby into a sport. It includes gymnastic elements performed by the participants who are actually trying to imitate the horse’s movement simultaneously. The final result is a surreal performance. It’s good to know that girls between 10 and 18 are the most common participants in these competitions.
If you think you’ve seen this sport strange sport somewhere else, you are probably right. The original Quidditch was mentioned in the Harry Potter books and displayed later in the movies. In the real-life competition, we have two teams with 7 members on the field each. This activity involves a ball, but each player’s broomstick between their legs makes it bizarre and funny-looking. In addition to the broomstick, the equipment includes hoops, bludgers, golden snitch, and quaffles. Sadly, competitors don’t fly like the ones in Harry Potter.
7. Shin Kicking
Once you watch a shin kicking competition, you will know why we’ve listed it as one of the weirdest sports. Some compare it to English martial art because it was invented in England. In fact, this was one of the most exciting parts of the Cotswold Olimpick Games (the games started in the 17th century). As the name suggests, your goal is to strike the rival’s shin while holding each other with your hands. You can expect a lot of pain and dirty moves here. Of course, there are some lines that you can’t cross, and a referee is monitoring the process.
8. Toe Wrestling
Have you ever thought about the power of your toes? Well, the four drinkers in Ye Olde Royal Oak Inn in Wetton, Staffordshire already did that in 1974. This is how they have come up with the toe wrestling competition, one of the most obscure sports you’ve (never) heard about. The guys behind it and those practicing this activity have tried to list it as an Olympic sport, but with no success. Think of arm wrestling, but with toes when it comes to the rules. Just like in the case of arm wrestling, your feet must be free of shoes and socks. In most cases, the game is played in two or three rounds (two out of three wins).
It was about time to include a sporting activity that involves animals among the weirdest sports in the world. Koninghoppning originates from Sweden, and it literally means rabbit hopping. We are not sure who thought rabbits could replace horses in jumping shows, but they had a great idea. Rabbits are fun to watch while overcoming obstacles by jumping high in the air. They are trained hard by their owners, who also participate in this activity. These shows are especially popular in Europe, although they are also getting noticed in the United States.
10. Calcio Storico
Many people hate soccer (especially in the US) because they believe that footballers often fake injuries and perform funny dives. Well, that’s something that you won’t see in historical football or Calcio Storico as the Italian call it. This primitive form of soccer/football has been played since the 15th century. It includes elements of soccer and rugby, and it’s known for its violent character. For instance, punching, head-butting, choking, and elbowing your opponents are allowed. However, it’s not allowed to attack players from the other team with your fellow teammates. So, it’s a fair one-on-one fight when needed. We can freely say that this is one of the most brutal and crazy sports you can watch.
If you like dodgeball, you will love this game variant. Gaga is one of the most obscure sports played in a specially designed gaga pit. It’s based on dodgeball, which means players must be prepared for dodging, running, jumping, and striking. The basic objective is to use the ball to hit other players and eliminate them from the pit. You must aim at or below their knees to achieve that objective. Of course, the last player standing is the winner. This sport is especially popular in summer camps.
12. Competitive Sleeping
What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you read that there’s a weird sport like this? “I can be a champion!” right? Not so fast. Competitive sleeping is one of the newest, most peculiar sports on our list invented in Spain. They have national siesta championships there now. Keep in mind that this activity is not about who will sleep longer but who will sleep tighter. To win a competition like this, you have to fall asleep as fast as possible despite the audience around you. Additionally, the referees will measure your snoring and deep sleep.
13. Face Slapping
Imagine a situation where a big guy on the opposite side of the table is swinging his hand in your direction. No, not heavyweight boxing. That’s how face slapping, one of the most bizarre sports in the world, looks like. So, two competitors always use open-handed slaps instead of fists to slap the opponent’s face. You can’t hit them in their eye; the slap must be clean. The match continues as long as one of the “athletes” doesn’t give up or simply loses consciousness. As we said before, this is a brutal sport that emerged in Russia. The only “western thing” they’ve integrated is the entry music of each competitor as you would hear it in UFC matches.
14. Mud Pit Belly Flopping
Have you ever heard about the Redneck Games? They were held in East Dublin, Georgia, every year. The first tournament was launched in 1996, and after 12 competitions in a row, they ceased in 2012. One of the most attractive events was the mud-pit belly flopping. There’s a mud pit where every competitor has to jump into the pit and leave the best impression on the crowd. In the end, the participant with the highest score wins the game. Even though this odd sport is no longer available through the Redneck Games, people still conduct these activities from time to time.
15. Underwater Hockey
We have all heard about ice hockey, and many of us are familiar with field hockey. But did you know that there’s underwater hockey too? Some call it the Octopush, but this is one of the weirdest sports that certainly deserve to be here regardless of how you call it. The first game was played in 1954 in the UK, and today, there are championships around the world with dozens of athletes involved. The equipment needed for this sport includes swimwear, snorkel, fins, stick, puck, caps, glove, and goal. Let’s not forget to mention that you can play it only in swimming pools.
16. Urban Golf
Now here’s a sporting activity that can help you unleash your creativity. This time, you are not limited to choosing specific equipment or competing on a limited ground. Urban golf is a strange sport that looks like regular golf, but players or even teams hit the balls in improvised holes in urban areas. They can also shoot at predetermined targets to showcase their skills and collect points. So, there are no strict rules, and players discuss them before the match starts. In some cases, a leather ball is used instead of a regular golf ball.