We recently found out that Ice Dragon Boat Racing was a real thing and it got us looking into other sports we had never heard of.
Have you come across any of the below?
Ice Dragon Boat Racing is considered a real sport. Dragons are one of the most revered symbols of the Chinese people and are seen as the God of Rain in ancient Chinese culture. Ice Dragon Boat is an innovative and extended version of the traditional Dragon Boat race. It uses the same technique and competitiveness of traditional dragon boat and breaks the seasonal limitation of normal dragon boat sport. Ice Dragon Boat is a brand new sport with competitiveness, teamwork spirit, entertainment. The International Ice Dragon Boat Federation (yes that’s a real thing) has established equipment standards so that ice dragon boat sport could run smoothly. The bottom of the ice dragon boat is connected to a sledge with two sets of skate blades. The boat is equipped with steering and brake devices. They don’t want to damage the ice ground nor hurt the participants. At the same time, it ensures the touching of the ice ground, rowing and moving the ice stick, which is identical with the actions of river dragon boat race.
2. Cheese Rolling
Competitors take part in the annual Cheese-Rolling event at Cooper’s Hill in Gloucestershire here in England. So how does it work? A large cheese wheel is rolled down a steep hill, and competitors race after it. The first person to reach the bottom of the hill wins the cheese. It may not sound dangerous, but the steepness of the slope has resulted in several injuries.
3. Wife carrying
Might not be considered a real sport, but it looks like fun! According to the Wife Carrying Competition Rules Committee the wife to be carried “may be your own, the neighbour’s, or you may have found her further afield; she must, however, be over 17 years of age”. Originating in Sonkajarvi, Finland, wife carrying is a sport in which male competitors race to carry their wives through an obstacle course.
At the annual North American Wife Carrying Championship, winners receive the traditional prize of the wife’s weight in beer, five times her weight in cash and an entry into the World Championship in Finland.
4. Sepak Takraw
Native to Southeast Asia, sepak takraw is similar to what we know as volleyball. The catch? Players can pass around the ball using anything but their arms, and the game is played with a ball of dried palm leaves.
5. Underwater Hockey
Underwater Hockey, also known as Octopush is played worldwide and involves two teams trying to push a puck using a stick across the floor of a swimming pool into the opposing team’s goal. This sport has its own World Championship, which first took place in 1980.
6. Shin kicking
Shin kicking originated in England in the early 17th century. The combat sport involves two contestants attempting to kick each other on the shin until one hits the ground. It has found a niche in pop culture and become a staple of legendary manliness. The Shin-Kicking World Championship is part of the Cotswold Olimpick Games, an annual event held on Dover’s Hill, England.
Shinty is a team game played with sticks and a ball. Shinty is mainly played in the Scottish Highlands. It is often compared with field hockey, and the two games have several significant differences. In shinty, a player is allowed to play the ball in the air and is allowed to use both sides of the stick, called a caman. The stick may also be used to block and to tackle, although a player may not come down on an opponent’s stick, a practise called hacking. Players may also tackle using the body as long as it is shoulder-to-shoulder.
8. Toe wrestling
Perfectly summed up by its name, toe wrestling involves competitors going toe-to-toe. The unusual sport dates back to 1976 when the Brits were looking to gain a world sports title. Rules are simple: with socks and shoes off, two competitors interlock their toes and try to “pin” down their opponent’s foot.
9. Medieval football
The Royal Shrovetide Football Match is a “Medieval football” game played annually on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday in the town of Ashbourne in Derbyshire, England. Shrovetide ball games have been played in England since at least the 12th century from the reign of Henry II (1154–89). The Ashbourne game is also known as “hugball”. One of the most popular origin theories suggests the horrible notion that the ‘ball’ was originally a severed head tossed into the waiting crowd following an execution.
10. Elephant Polo
Elephant Polo is a variant of polo played while riding elephants. It is usually practised in Nepal, India and Thailand. The equipment consists of a standard polo ball, and six to ten-foot cane (similar to bamboo) sticks with a polo mallet head on the end. The pitch is three-quarters of the length of a standard polo pitch, due to the lower speed of the elephants. Two people ride each elephant; the elephants are steered by mahouts, while the player tells the mahout which way to go and hits the ball. The World Elephant Polo Association regulates the sport. The sport has received a lot of criticism from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).
Know of any other weird sports you believe should make the list? We want to know – tweet us here @studioskylab