Bo-taoshi is Japanese for “pole-pulldown”, and as far as intensity is concerned this sport is hard to beat. Each team has 150 people that are divided into 75 attackers and 75 defenders. The goal? Knock down the other teams pole. By the way, the number for 911 in Japan is 119.
According to the Extreme Ironing Bureau this is “the latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well-pressed shirt.” Originating in England it is now a world wide phenomenon that has taken place underwater, on mountainsides, and while parachuting.
Every year from the top of Cooper’s Hill near Gloucester, England a round of Double Gloucester Cheese is rolled and a herd of competitors go rolling after it. Although they are theoretically supposed to catch it, the cheese can reach speeds of up to 70 mph, so generally speaking, whoever crosses the finish line first wins the cheese.
Kaninhop (Bunny Jumping)
We owe it to the Swedes for coming up with a sport such as this. Its simple really – trained bunnies hopping over obstacles. Its not really a new concept as Equestrian Show Jumping has been around for years, but come on, they’re bunnies.
Underwater Hockey (Octopush)
Just as the name implies, its hockey except the puck is on the bottom of a pool. So, as you may have guessed this is certainly a sport where lung capacity plays a significant role. Also, you don’t use a stick but rather a “pusher” which almost resembles a small blade.
Dominated by women, this sport has witnessed a resurgence in the past 10 years. It is played by two teams, each of which are skating around a single track. One member of each team is called a “jammer” and it is their job to lap the players on the other team in order to score points. And yes, injuries are common.
Man vs. Horse
Every June in the Welsh town of Llanwrtyd Wells competitors line up to prove they can beat a horse to a finish line that is 22 miles away. Why? Rumor has it that in 1980 the owner of a local pub, Gordon Green, overheard two patrons arguing over whether a man could beat a horse in a marathon. Well, there was only one way to find out.
Not only are you swimming 120 meters through a bog, you are not allowed to use conventional swimming strokes, relying only on the power of your flippers. And just like most of the contenders on this list, this obscure sport was started in the United Kingdom…over a bet.
Cardboard Tube Dueling
According an official statement by the Cardboard Tube Fighting League (yes, its real) this sport was started based on three principles: people need more ways to play and take themselves less seriously, events can be fun without alcohol, and cardboard sword fighting is fun. The logic is impeccable.
Compared to the other sports on this list it is admittedly tranquil. But don’t tell any serious mustache grower that they aren’t a legitimate sportsman. If we ever get around to it we’ll explain why in our list “25 ways to end someone’s life with your beard”.
The goal of this sport is simple – grab the carcass of a headless goat at full gallop, get it clear of the other players, and pitch it across the goal line. Played all over South Central Asia, it is the national sport of Afghanistan. Respect.