The Wide World of Strange Sports
22 well-trained warriors gather on a grassy field. In the center, a dried animal carcass is stitched and inflated into a sphere. With the sharp blast of a whistle, the men charge as an audience of millions cheer! The World Cup is currently the most popular sporting event on the planet (except here in the US because once we've been proven to not be the best, we don't care anymore). However, for those unfamiliar with rules, soccer can seem disorganized and confusing. So let's take a look at some other sports from around the globe that may seem odd to us, but perfectly normal elsewhere!
This Japanese sport involves more players than anything you’ve ever seen on American television; 300 men on the field all at the same time! Doing what? Well… basically… fighting! In a Brutish variation of capture-the-flag, each team attempts to bend the opposition’s LARGE METAL POLE while protecting one of their own. It’s only slightly less dangerous than Sparta’s historic competition at Thermopylae.
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This annual event in Gloucester, England features a group of shameless dairy-loving competitors chasing a wheel of cheese down a grassy hill. Participants run, rumble, stumble, crumble, bumble, tumble, fall and trample their way past a finish line. The reward? (You guessed it). Cheese!
Remember when you were seven and you discovered that the cardboard tube inside of a paper towel roll could be used as a weapon? Maybe if you were really creative, you made a helmet out of a Kleenex box or some shin guards from loose packaging. The Cardboard Tube Fighting League is a real-life band of extraordinary oddballs who never let these fantasies die. Instead, they let them grow to grandiose proportions. Along with international tournament dates, the organization’s official website (www.tubeduel.com) also includes a mission statement:
“The CTFL was created out of a desperate need to better train and arm citizens with cardboard tubes. While many speculate that our forefathers, when drafting the constitution, originally intended the second amendment to refer to firearms, there is now a small group of non-academics who believe that they were more likely referring to elite militias of cardboard tube wielding ninjas.”
In a traditional horse-riding competition, participants attempt to drag THE CARCASS OF A HEADLESS GOAT into their end zone. This crazy violent sport makes Mike Tyson and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson seem like Nobel Peace Prize fighters in comparison.
It’s clear that some lazy parents Tom-Sawyered their kids into believing that wood-cutting is a sport. Thanks to these industrious individuals there are tournaments for ax-wielding as well as log rolling, speed climbing and more.
If arm-wrestling is too macho and thumb-wrestling is too childish, toe-wrestling may be for you! You could even compete in Toronto’s Annual International Toe-Wrestling Tournament for prizes of up to $7000! But be warned: The risk is high! Toe-wrestlers suffer from more reported cases of athlete's foot than any of competitors.
Rugby is one of the most intense and injurious sports played at Universities today. At some colleges, however, students have decided to up the ante by submerging the game and playing nix oxygen. All the rules are the same… except you’re underwater! This may be evidence that fish evolved from humans, after all.
This comically infamous Olympic sport combines skiing and shooting. To be fair, the world’s best Biathalon competitors are also the world’s only Biathalon competitors.
This is human AND dog together in a choreographed dance. It’s one of the only sports to use an animal that is not a horse. (Other than hunting, which more misuses the animal than uses it)
This game was penned by Harry Potter author, J. K. Rowling as obvious fantasy. Curious college students who believe everything they read didn’t let the dream end there, however. Co-eds put their creative energy to interesting use by starting on-the-ground Quidditch leagues across the country. Now, Americans who are spending tens of thousands of dollars on an “education” spend their free time with brooms in-between knees acting out British children’s tales.
What weird games do you play?