We here at Mike or the Don appreciate all forms of sport. So for this post we thought we’d canvass some of the lesser known, more obscure and unique forms of competitive activity from around the globe. We searched high and low and are proud to bring you MoTD’s 5 Most Bizarre Sports!
This sport could easily go into an ‘amazing sports’ category rather than a ‘bizarre sports’ category. Without getting into all the technicalities, it’s basically volleyball (which we at MoTD have previously expressed our admiration here) but without the use of hands or arms. Players must kick, knee, head or chest the ball a maximum of three times in succession in what can best be described as a fusion between volleyball and soccer. Notable changes to these sports are the ball (a small weaved ball) and each team comprising only three players. The flexibility and agility, not to mention the precision of these athletes is pretty amazing. Front-flipping, back-flipping and impossible maneuvering is commonplace.
The sport is quite popular in Asia and it’s hardly new, dating back at least 200 years. It originated when people were encouraged to exercise the body and loosen and flex their limbs from large periods of sitting, standing or working. As you will see, I think that aim was well achieved – this sport definitely tests your dexterity!
Well, the sport is entirely explained in the title. And no, you don’t do both chess and boxing at the same time. Basically there are 11 alternating rounds of boxing and chess. A four-minute chess round starts, then three minutes of boxing, then rounds of chess and boxing alternating until the end. A competitor wins by knockout, checkmate, by the judges decision, or if their opponents allotted time of chess is exceeded (speed chess is played, with each player only allowed twelve minutes each for the whole game).
This utterly bizarre and juxtaposing hybrid sport started in 1992 as, would you believe it, as a joke in a cartoon! Hardly surprising as any chess or boxing competitor at the time would hardly be suited to the other sport – one promotes the use of brain cells, the other promotes their obliteration.
With the recent news of this sport in Australia, it may have already come to your attention but Kabaddi is definitely is worthy of a mention. A kind of a cross between tiggy and wrestling, this sport (in its international form) consists of two teams of seven members who each occupy half a field, 10m x 13m for men and 8m x 11m for women. Teams take turns sending a ‘raider’ into the other team’s half where the aim is to tag or wrestle opposing members before returning to your own half. The defending team must form a chain by linking hands but can break to wrestle a raider to prevent him from returning to his half.
The best part – the raider must hold their breath, chanting “kabbadi, kabbadi, kabbadi” during the whole raid. Kabaddi dates back to pre-historic times and was created for unknown reasons, however one theory is it may have been invented to ward off crop attacks by individuals. It is currently played in many different versions all over the world but is mainly popular in Southern Asia, particularly in India and Bangladesh. Maybe because there is no ball, or it involves having to hold your breath, but this sport just seems quite peculiar.
Now we get into the utterly tragically bizarre. Competitors in this so-called “sport” must complete two consecutive lengths of a 55m water filled trench cut through a bog in the shortest possible time. Flippers and snorkels must be worn and conventional swimming strokes are disallowed with competitors reliant on only flipper power alone.
So, in short, to play this sport you must wade through 110m of disgusting, muddy, smelly, presumably disease-infested liquid once resembling water, to win. No thanks. I should mention proceeds from the World Bog Snorkeling Championship held annually go to a local charity each year, probably to the local insane asylum from which competitors are discovered.
As if polo wasn’t hard enough, someone decided to replace the ball with a headless goat. Yes, a headless goat. As because of this, I believe Buzkashi may have to take the cake for the most bizarre sport out there. Apparently the national sport in Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan, the origins date back to the days of Ghengis Khan in the 13th century.
Like polo, players on two teams ride horses and try to move the object – the headless goat – into their goal. The carcass must be soaked in cold water for 24 hours before the “game” to remain intact for the duration. However, unlike polo there are no mallets (thankfully); instead the decapitated goat must be carried and passed to teammates before scoring a goal. For some reason, I don’t think PETA will be sponsoring the next world championships.
So that’s our take on the utterly bizarre in sport. Notable mentions must go to nettle eating, wife carrying, gurning, cheese chasing, man versus horse, underwater rugby, extreme ironing, unicycle hockey and air sex.
What are your thoughts? Is there a sport we’ve overlooked that beats all these for weirdness? What do you think is the most peculiar?