According to the statistics of the International Olympic Committee, there are more than 200 sports all around the World. However, the Committee only talks about officially registered disciplines. In total, there are many more varieties of sports competitions, including ethnic and local ones.
Some of the sports are very ancient, hundreds or even thousands of years old. Other sports are modern – they appeared only a few years ago. Some rare sports have a multimillions audience of fans and supporters, their own clubs and federations. However, most unofficial sports have nothing of the kind, and people get into them for fun or due to tradition.
Technically, millions of people have heard about such a sport as quidditch, since this game was described in detail in the novels of a famous British writer. However, few Harry Potter fans know that quidditch actually exists in real life.
Of course, the real version of quidditch is different from the one described in the book. The reason is simple and clear – in the Rowling’s novels, quidditch players used magic and flew on broomsticks. In an adapted version of this competition, players run around the field holding a broom in their hands. The rest of the rules are similar – there are two teams, there are balls, there are goals and there are players with different “specializations”.
You may think that Shin-kicking is entertainment for teenagers, but in fact this sport appeared in medieval England. Its rules are simple – two opponents who hold each other by the shoulders try to knock the opponent to the ground. To do this, it is allowed to use kicks to the shin and to grab the opponent by the collar.
The popularity of Shin-kicking is due to the game’s accessibility and entertainment. Officially, Shin-kicking is not recognized as a sport, but competitions in this “martial art” gather a large army of fans in England to this day.
Eukonkanto is a traditional Finnish sport that has recently become popular in several other European countries, as well as in the USA. In addition, athletes even hold world championships in Eukonkanto to find out who is the best of the best.
In simple terms, Eukonkanto is a race of men who carry their wives on their shoulders while running. There are strict age and weight restrictions. For example, women who compete as “cargo” cannot be lighter than 50 kilograms.
4. Foot wrestling
We should be grateful to the UK for many unusual and shocking sports to exist. Foot wrestling is another example of a sports discipline that originated in the Kingdom.
Of course, this sport has nothing to do with official competitions and was invented as a funny entertainment for children and adults. Otherwise, it resembles ordinary arm wrestling, the main goal of which is to defeat an opponent using a limb. In this case, using the toes.
Nevertheless it is popular in the UK, there are no world tournaments in this sport, and bookmakers do not accept bets on fights (read more about bookmakers on this website).
5. Chess and boxing
Chess is one of the oldest logic games that is popular today all over the world and was even included in the shortlist of nominees for adding to the category of the Olympic Games. Boxing is also a well-known sport that cannot be called strange or unusual.
However, if you cross these two sports, you get something extreme and really funny. The rules of the chess-boxing competition are simple – two opponents alternately play chess and arrange boxing rounds. The winner is the one who either manages to checkmate in a logical game or knocks out an opponent in the ring.
6. Man vs horse
This is a local sport that appeared not far from England – in Wales. The goal of the competition, in which a man and a horse participate, is to run a distance of 35 kilometers.
If a person runs first, he becomes the winner. Interestingly, this competition was originally a dispute between two local residents. Since then, many volunteers have been trying to prove that they can run a marathon faster than an ordinary horse.
This is probably one of the most traumatic and spectacular sports on this list at the same time. Roller-derby is a team game. Participants, which are divided into two teams, move on roller skates. The goal of the competition is to be the first to the finish line. To achieve the goal, you can use “dirty tricks”, push and block opponents. Interestingly, women’s roller derby competitions are the most popular.
8. Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling Run
This entertainment cannot be called a sport, but it attracts hundreds of athletes to the annual event, which takes place in the city of Gloucester. The rules of the competition are elementary – the participants climb a large hill, from which they roll a head of cheese. The winner of the race is the person who gets to the cheese that rolled down the fastest.
Despite the fact that at first glance the rules seem simple, and the task seems easy as well, in fact, many participants get seriously injured. It turns out that only the lucky ones manage to run quickly from a high hill and not fall.
9. Camel fights
Camel fighting is not the most humane sport that is still popular in Asia and the countries of the East. This sport is very ancient, although today it is difficult to imagine animal fights in civilized countries.
By the way, camels do not have a natural warlike character, so the organizations of the fight play on the instincts of the animal to make it angry.
There are two countries in the world that gave us many strange sports disciplines and traditions. This is the United Kingdom already mentioned above. The second country is Japan. A bo-taoshi is another example of ancient but popular local sport. Competition is held in one of the Japanese cities.
It is a sports game with up to 150 people – 75 people on one team and 75 people on the other team. The goal of the game is to knock down a special pillar, which is protected by one of the teams.