We’ve all heard of chess, and we’ve all heard of boxing, but have you heard of…chess boxing? How about ferret legging? Or Camel Wrestling? It’s a strange world, and the ways in which we entertain ourselves reflect that. As Yogi Berra once said, “You can observe a lot just by watching.” So go ahead, observe some of these 25 Most Obscure Sports In The World.
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Bo-taoshi is Japanese for “pole-pulldown,” and it’s intense. Each team has 150 people that are divided into 75 attackers and 75 defenders. The goal? Knock down the other team’s 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 worldwide phenomenon that has taken place underwater, on mountainsides, and while parachuting.
Patrick T Fallon
According to some sources, this popular summer camp game originated in Israel. It’s played like dodgeball except it takes place in a wooden octagon and you have to hit players beneath the knees to get them out.
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 chase 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.
This modified form of polo was started in Switzerland in 1985, but since then, it has spread internationally. In the United States, it is played exclusively in Aspen, Colorado. (Yes, it’s still a rich people sport.)
Kaninhop (Bunny Jumping)
We owe it to the Swedes for coming up with a sport such as this. It’s simple really – trained bunnies hopping over obstacles. It’s 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, it’s hockey, except the puck is on the bottom of a pool. So, as you may have guessed, 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, it’s real), this sport was started 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.
It’s probably one of the most painful single-player sports out there, but hey, you can win a lot of money for those couple seconds of misery. Even if you don’t, pride is big in this industry. May the best (biggest?) man win.
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.”
Born in the mind of a cartoonist near the turn of the 21st century, this sport has taken off. Consisting of 11 alternating rounds of chess and boxing, you can win with either a knockout, a checkmate, or a judge’s decision.
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.
Pesapallo (Finnish Baseball)
As the national sport of Finland, it has also gained popularity throughout Northern Europe. Essentially a variation of baseball, the primary difference is the vertical pitching. This makes the ball a lot easier to hit and changes the dynamics of the game somewhat.
Do you think ferrets are cute? How about ferrets in your pants? How about two ferrets in your pants? The goal of this sport is to actually hold them down there for as long as possible. As brutal as it may seem, the world record was in fact over 5 hours, sans underwear.
Once again, we can thank our friends in the United Kingdom for toe wrestling champions like Paul “Tomatominator” Beech. It’s like a thumb war except with your toes. It’s considered common courtesy for each player to remove the other player’s shoes and socks prior to the match.
As anybody who has hiked a mountain trail knows, it can be hard with two feet let alone one wheel. Not only this, but unicycles are not equipped with a gear system like mountain bikes, so they require a little bit of extra skill to maneuver. If you’re up to the challenge, however, the sport is rapidly growing in the MidWest.
This is probably one of the more dangerous sports on our list with several deaths and numerous injuries on record over the past 5 years. It’s actually a variant of towed tubing wherein the tube becomes airborne. The danger arises from tubes not specifically designed to be airborne, meaning they are hard to control and the landings can be a little rough.
A mix of soccer, gymnastics, and volleyball, this insanely fun game was invented in Spain and has since made its mark around the world. Played on a huge inflatable trampoline, you can hit the ball with any part of your body as long as it clears the net by the 6th touch.
If you’ve gotten this far in the list, you’ve probably realized that humans love to wrestle. We do it with our thumbs, we do it with our toes, heck we even do it with our camels. Although camels are not really known for their wrestling prowess, try putting a female nearby. Its all about motivation.
According to the Wife Carrying Competition Rules Committee, the wife to be carried “may be your own, the neighbor’s, or you may have found her further afield; she must, however, be over 17 years of age.” So, you don’t even need a wife to compete. Some other poor soul’s wife will do just hfine.
It’s kind of like tag mixed with dodgeball mixed with a toy helicopter, and it’s sweeping the nation by storm. Well, its actually been confined to college campuses mostly, but still, it’s a valiant attempt on behalf of muggle-kind to step beyond their limitations and do something more with their broomsticks than just sweep the floor.
All you need for this game is 4 shins and a high tolerance for pain. Popularized by immigrants coming to the United States from the UK (where else?), it has found a niche in pop-culture and become a staple of legendary manliness.
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