If you’re bored of badminton or fatigued with football there are a wealth of other sports out there to consider. We’ve found what we think are the eight most wonderful and weirdest sports. So which one will you take up?!
More of an event than a single sport, participants are invited to don fancy dress and then get very muddy playing sports including football, volleyball, handball and sled racing. Every game takes place in very muddy fields forcing those taking part to cope with spectacular falls and super slides as they aim to tackle, hit and speed their way to a win.
This hybrid sport blends the most unlikely of games to create a contest that mixes brains and brawn like no other. It’s actually an example of life imitating art as the game was ‘invented’ in 1992 in the French comic book Froid Équateur. Chessboxers sit in a traditional boxing ring at a table to play a round of chess, followed by a round of boxing both of which are subject to stringent rules and regulations.
Wife carrying originated in Finland and is popular across much of Europe. The name is a little misleading as the competing couples do not need to be married. The male carries the female over an obstacle course hoping to complete it in the fastest time without dropping his ‘wife’.
The method of carrying can be changed according to the rules of each race and the obstacle being faced. Piggy backs, fireman’s lifts or the old Estonian style where the woman hangs upside down with her leg over the man’s shoulders may all be permitted.
Prizes are awarded according to the wife’s weight – the winner can win the wife’s weight in beer!
The video below will show you just how much fun (and hard work!) wife carrying is. NB: The video does contain some instances of strong language.
Toe wrestling, like so many great sports, originated in the UK. However, it’s a fairly modern addition having been created in 1974 in the Ye Olde Royal Oak Inn in Wetton Staffordshire.
The inventors wanted a sport the UK might create a champion in, and so Toe Wrestling was born. To play, two opponents each lock one foot and the winner is the one who pins their opponent’s free foot down.
The sport dwindled for a few years but is gaining popularity again. The Olympic committee has refused to acknowledge it yet, but international contenders attend the annual World Toe Wrestling Championship in Derbyshire each June.
SlamBall blends the essence of basketball with the bounce of trampolining to create a high energy and high scoring game. The court features eight trampolines, four at each end of the court near the nets which players can use to help them score.
At any one time, teams can have four players on court from a pool of 8 to 9 players with limitless substitutions.
To get a taste of just how cool SlamBall looks, have a watch of this video.
World pea shooting championships
Safer and probably more skillful than archery, pea shooting involves firing a pea at a target by blowing it through a 12inch pipe from a distance of 12ft. Peas are provided by the organisers and laser sights are permitted to aid accuracy.
Again a British invention, this sport was created in 1971 by school headmaster John Tyson to raise funds to build a village hall in Witcham, Cambridgeshire. The Annual World Championships are still held there and attract local and international competitors. The National Pea Shooting Association in the USA has an annual competition too.
Underwater ice hockey
Not to be confused with underwater hockey, this sport is probably the most extreme on our list. It’s the brainchild of Christian Redl, an Austrian freediver and under ice diving record holder.
Underwater ice hockey is played upside-down underneath the ice of frozen pools and ponds. To play you need to wear a diving mask, fins and a wetsuit and manoeuver a floating puck along the ice. There’s no breathing apparatus, so players resurface to breathe every 30 seconds or so.
The world championships have been held since 2007.
For a quick introduction to the most extreme of our weirdest sports, Underwater Ice Hockey, check out this video:
Underwater kissing championships
The last in our list of weirdest sports is the only entrant on our chart from Asia, and it is most popular in China where the championships are held each summer. Couples go under water together and kiss for as long as they can before resurfacing for air. It coincides with International Kissing Day, which is recognised by the United Nations.