Offbeat

Dwarf Tossing & More: 27 of the Strangest Sports You’ll Ever See

Sports: of man’s favorite pastimes. Whether you enjoy to play or just watch, and whether it’s NASCAR, football, baseball, basketball, hockey, or some sort of track and field sport, there’s just something about sports most men (and a lot of women) can’t stay away from.

As you know, there are numerous sports and more and more are invented as time goes on. Here are 27 of the strangest sports that you’ll ever see.

1. Lawn Mower Racing

Move over NASCAR! There’s a new type of vehicle on the move. People racing lawn mowers? Yep. It’s a real sport. There are even several associations to support the sport. Check out the United States Lawn Mower Racing Association (USLMRA).

2. Outhouse Racing

People will truly race anything, won’t they? Each year in Michigan, the annual outhouse races are held. The races take place in the snow, of course. Each racing team consists of three people; two pushers and a rider. There are specifics as to the shape and design of the outhouse in order to qualify.

Of course, one of the qualifications is that the outhouse must have a toilet seat and a toilet paper hanger, or it wouldn’t be a real outhouse. Check out this site to see pictures and official rules.

3. Street Luge

Street luge is a sport in which a person lies down on a skateboard and races down a paved hill at high speeds. Racer can go from 40 to 70 mile per hour on their skateboards in this sport. Check out the video to see how it’s done.

4. Man vs. Horse Marathon

This Welsh sporting event is just what it sounds like. The Man vs. Horse Marathon is an annual event in which people on horseback race against humans on foot in a running race that’s a little over 22 miles long. Though the title has the word “man” in it, women also compete.

Because it’s such a long distance, the humans actually have a chance at winning, and some years it’s a human who wins and some years it’s a horse. It seems as if the horses still have the advantage since a human has only won twice in the last nine years.

5. Buzkashi

Buzkashi is a traditional Central Asian sport in which there all players from both teams are on horseback. The object of the game is to grab the headless carcass of a goat or calf and toss it into a scoring area while still on horseback. The rules are simple: short of tripping a horse, there are no rules. Players can use just about any means necessary to keep their opponents from scoring, including using whips on the players or horses. The game is extremely dangerous and requires skilled riders to carry it out.

There are two main forms of the game: Tudabarai and Qarajai. Tudabarai is the easier form of the game where a player has to take the carcass and ride off with it until he is clear of other players. In Qarajai, the player must carry the carcass around a marker, then toss it into a scoring circle at the other end of the field.

6. Elephant Polo

You might guess that the rules of elephant polo are very similar to that of the rules of regular polo played with horses. The biggest difference, of course is that elephant polo is slower paced. Each team consists of three or four elephants and each elephant has two people on board; one is a player and the other is a professional handler. The object is to get the most goals by the end of the game.

The games are only 20 minutes in length with a 15 minute break half way through. Since 1982, there has been an actual polo association called the World Elephant Polo Association (WEPA) and was founded in Nepal, though elephant polo is played in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Hong Kong, Australia, Britain, Germany, and New Zealand and other countries mainly in southeast Asia.

7. Trugo

Trugo is little like croquet in that a mallet is used and it’s played on a green. The object is to score as many goals as possible by hitting rubber rings (called wheels) through goal posts. The play goes as follows: The first player lines up on the rubber mat and hits the wheel by facing away from the green so that the player is between the green and the wheel. He or she then hits the wheel with the mallet between his or her legs. The player repeats this until all of his or her 12 wheels have been hit.

The next player hits his or her wheels in the same manner attempting to get them into the goal. Then the player gets to hit his or her opponent’s wheels. Then the first player gets another turn and hits all 24 wheels in the same manner. The winner is determined by how many goals are obtained at the end of the timed play.

8. Extreme Croquet

Have you ever seen people play croquet in their backyard? It’s a nice, relaxing quiet game in which everyone can enjoy and play without losing their appearance of dignity. Relaxing? Sure; until someone turned it into a sport. Now let me introduce you to extreme croquet.

Extreme croquet is very closely related to the lawn game of croquet, but the biggest difference between the two is that extreme croquet isn’t played in someone’s back yard. Instead it’s played in rough terrain. The rules are similar, but the wickets are two stories in extreme croquet as opposed to the single wicket in the backyard version of the game.

9. Extreme Ironing

Extreme ironing is an up and coming sport that started in the United Kingdom in 1997. Ironing? It sounds pretty boring right? Wrong! I don’t think you’d see Suzie Homemaker ironing this way. It’s the “extreme” in extreme ironing that makes it exciting, challenging, and dangerous. The objective is to iron in different and dangerous places such as while mountain climbing, water skiing, canoeing, or skydiving. There’s even a world championship for the sport. This is what happen when people have too much time on their hands. Check out the official extreme ironing website.

10. Zorbing

Invented in the 1990s by Dwayne van der Sluis and Andrew Akers in New Zealand, zorbing is a sport where you get inside a huge plastic inflatable ball and roll down a hill. This quickly became an official extreme sport in 1998. Zorbing can be done on a grassy or snowy hill.

A zorb actually consists of two balls. The outer ball is 9 feet 8 inches in diameter and the inner ball is 6 feet 6 inches in diameter and can hold from one to three people. The purpose for two balls is that the layer of air in between serves as a shock absorber as you make your way down a hill. The balls have several pieces of rope holding them connected so they roll together.

Don’t worry, you won’t tumble around in the ball and get all bruised up. You’re harnessed in. However, in some cases, zorbers put some water in the zorb so that as you’re tumbling downhill, you get wet.

11. Cheese Rolling

Cheese rolling is a sport in England that takes place annually on Cooper’s Hill in Gloucestershire. This isn’t just any ordinary hill. Cooper’s Hill is so steep that it’s at a 70 degree angel in places. The entire sport involve a wheel of cheese that’s rolled down Cooper’s Hill. The rules are simple: run after the cheese and try to be the one that has the cheese at the bottom of the hill. The 250 yard course on Cooper’s Hill is so treacherous that they limit each cheese rolling race to 20 people and also have emergency crews standing by.

12. Curling

Curling was originally an outdoor sport that originated in Scotland in the 16th century, but is now an indoor sport. In fact, did you know that since 1998, curling is an Olympic sport? The basic idea of curling is that two teams of four people each throw polished granite stones down an alley of ice, then their teammates can help the stones along by sweeping them down the alley with brooms. Scoring is done by the way that the stones are strategically placed and for this reason is often called “chess on ice”.

13. Unicycle Hockey

What’s more challenging than skating on ice with a long stick in your hand while trying to score a goal and other people are trying to stop you? How about if we take away the ice skates and use unicycles instead? Unicycle hockey is like ice hockey or roller hockey but with unicycles instead of skates. Unlike ice hockey, there’s no physical contact with other players.

Though there are unicycle hockey teams in the United States, Australia, Canada, and other countries, there are two countries that currently have national leagues: Germany and Great Britain.

14. Korfball

Korfball may look similar to basketball in that there is a basket (called a korf) at each end of the court and it’s also a team sport. However, this is where the similarities of korfball and basketball end. Each korfball team is made up of four men and four women. This is actually a large aspect of korfball that makes it identifiable from other games. There is also significance to have a coed team with an equal number of each gender on the court.

The object of korball it to get the ball into the korf, but there’s a catch. The player throwing the ball must not have a same sexed opponent in between him (or her) and the korf. Other important rules in the game include the play of the ball and the rules of defending (or marking). The ball is not to be bounced and any player that has possession of the ball may not run, but rather has to pass the ball to a teammate. No player may “mark” a player of the opposite sex.

15. Ultimate Frisbee

Invented in 1968 in New Jersey by a high school student, ultimate frisbee is a team sport in which the goal is to catch the frisbee in the end zone. In the official rules of the game set by the Ultimate Players Association (North America) or the World Flying Disc Federation (all other locations of the world) states that there are 7 players on the field from each team. Though in casual games, any amount of players can play.

The movement of the disc goes as follows: a member of the offensive team throws the frisbee to a teammate. That teammate, if running, must stop as soon as possible once they have possession of the frisbee. They then have 10 seconds to throw it to another teammate. This continues until they score in the end zone or until there is a change in possession.

A change of possession can occur in the following ways: the player with the frisbee doesn’t throw it within 10 seconds, the receiver isn’t able to catch the disc and it hits the ground, the frisbee goes out of bounds, or if a defensive player intercept the frisbee.

Each score is worth one point and there is a determined goal of how many points a team must score to win. When one team reaches the half-way mark in scoring, the play stops and there is an intermission.

16. Disc Golf

Disc golf or frisbee golf has been around since the 1960s, but has gained a lot of popularity since then. The rules are similar to golf in that it’s played on a course, the strokes are counted, and the lowest score wins. However, instead of a ball, the players use discs. Instead of a green with sand traps, the course is usually not groomed and may be out in the woods, or at least has wooded terrain. Instead of trying to get a ball in a hole, in disc golf, you try to get your disc into a metal basket.

Anyone can play for fun, but the game has gotten popular and there is even an association affiliated with the sport now called the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA).

17. Bossaball

Bossaball is a fairly new team sport invented in the 21st century in Belgium and is a combination of soccer, volleyball, gymnastics, and capoeira (because of the music and rhythm). The bossaball court is an inflatable court separated by a net in the center with a circular trampoline on either side of the net.

This sport is played with two teams consisting of three, four, or five players. The offensive team has an attacker that begins to bounce on the trampoline while the other players are on the inflatable portion of the court around it. The offensive players hit the ball back and forth to each other (a maximum of eight times) as the attacker bounces as high as he or she can on the trampoline.

Then, the attacker is passed the ball and then hits or kicks it into the opposing team’s court in hopes that they won’t recover the pass. If the defense doesn’t recover the pass, then the offense scores. If they do recover, then they hit the ball around while positioning themselves in the offensive configuration and the attacker tries to score in the same manner on the opponents.

A team scores 1 point for hitting on the inflatable court and 3 points for hitting the trampoline. The first team to score 25 points wins the game and there are three games to a match. There are existing leagues for bossaball in Brazil, The Netherlands, Romania, Turkey, Norway, Singapore, Belgium, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Germany , Chile, Poland, and Portugal.

18. Sepak Takraw

The modern form of sepak takraw is a cross between hacky sack and volley ball. The court is divided in half by a net like in volleyball. In the modern game, a ball is used in place of a sack, but the ball is a lot smaller than a volleyball and a lot bigger than a hacky sack. It’s a little over 5 inches in diameter and used to be made from woven bamboo, but now it’s made of synthetic materials.

In this sport, there are two teams of three people. Two players are in the front row close to the net and one is in the back row. The play is like volleyball except that you can’t use your hands. You only use your feet. Other than that the rules are just like volleyball as is the scoring system. If your team served and during the volley, the other team fails to return the ball, your team scores a point. If the other team served and during the volley, they fail to return the ball, then your team wins the serve.

The game goes up to 21 points and a team must have a two point difference to win, with a ceiling of 25 points. There are three games in a match, so it’s the best two out of three. Check out how high these guy can jump, how they can kick sideways in mid air, and still land on their feet!

19. Bog Snorkeling

Bog snorkeling is simply what it sounds like. It’s a sporting event in which people use a snorkel and flippers and swim in a narrow trench filled with bog, a wetland that accumulates a deposit of dead plant material. An official bog snorkeling course is 120 yards in length. In actual competitions, the person who finishes in the fastest time wins. Bog snorkelers must not use any swimming strokes whatsoever and should only rely on the kicking power with the flippers.

There should only be one question that comes to mind about this sport: What sicko came up with this?

20. Underwater Hockey

Invented in 1954, underwater is hockey is exactly what it sound like, but this form of hockey is non-contact. There are two teams of 10 people, but only three from each team are in play at one time. Substitution is continuous in this sport since you can imagine the stress it could put on your body and lungs. All players wear snorkels and flippers while playing the game. Besides being non contact unlike ice hockey, another difference in underwater hockey is that the stick is only one foot long as opposed to four feet long.

21. Underwater Rugby

If you thought underwater hockey was tough, you haven’t seen underwater rugby. This is a sport in which two teams of six players each play. The object is to get a ball filled with saltwater into a goal to score. The ball must never leave the water. Each team has six players in the water and six substitutes that can switch with a player at any time. A player in this game shows extreme endurance, speed, mobility and strength.

22. Underwater Football

The rules to underwater football are similar to that of underwater rugby. In each game there is a negatively buoyant ball and the goal is to get the ball to the goal area. There are up to 13 players allowed on an underwater football team, but only five are in play at a time. Substitutions are only allowed during a natural break in the game such as a time out, a referee stoppage of the game, half time, or in the case of an injury.

Players may come up for air at any time during the game unless he has the ball and the ball itself must never leave the water. A player may stop a ball carrier by tackling or stripping the ball. The ball carrier is not bound to keep the ball throughout possession and he can pass it to any teammate at any time.

Check out the video at this underwater football site to see more.

23. Capoeira

Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian sport that was developed during the time of African slavery in Brazil. It’s actually a form of fighting and self defense, but is done through music and rhythm and dance. A group of people gather in a circle and take turns getting in the center to spar.

During the time of slavery, this was a way that they could practice fighting to rebel against the slavery without being detected as they made it look like a game or dance. In modern times, there is usually no contact, but rather near misses as the sport is more about technique and style than it is about beating your opponent.

24. Chess Boxing

Chess boxing is the ying and yang of sports. When you think of boxers, you think of bad-asses that you would never want to mess with or meet up with in a dark alley. When you think of a chess player, “bad-ass” is not the image you get. You think of a nerdy geek with tape on his glasses and sporting pants that are three inches too high.

In chess boxing however, the two are combined. There are 11 rounds in a chess boxing; five for boxing and six for chess. The rounds alternate between chess and boxing where the chess rounds are four minutes long and the boxing rounds are two minutes long. The form of chess played in these matches is speed chess. A winner can be determined without a doubt by either a knockout or a checkmate. This is the only sport that comes to mind that demands that you think while you’re getting your brains beat out.

25. Shin Kicking

Remember when you were little and some little snotty brat would come up to you and kick you in the shin for no reason? Did you ever think that they may be conditioning themselves for a sport? Probably not, but shin kicking is a real sport. It was invented in the Cotwolds of England in the 1600s and currently an annual event in what is called the “Cotswold Olympicks”.

The object of the sport is to kick your opponent so that he falls down in pain. If you manage to do so, you earn a point. There are three rounds and the rounds are timed like in boxing. The person with the highest amount of points in each round wins that round and the overall winner of the match is the one that wins tow out of the three rounds. Sound painful? Undoubtedly it is, but they do get to pad their shins with hay.

26. Kabaddi

Forms of Kabaddi date way back to prehistoric times with slightly different rules and names, but wasn’t regulated and popularized until 1979 in Japan. Unlike most sports, there is no prop such as a ball or puck. Instead the prop is an actual player on a team called a raider.

Each team consists of 7 players and each team is all on opposite sides of the field. Each team takes turns by sending a raider over into the opposing team’s half of the field. The raider must hold his breath, go over to the opposite half of the field, tag a player by wrestling or confining him, then returning to his half of the field before he’s out of breath. The defending team links their arms together and the raider attempts to unlink a player to confine him. If he does this, the player is out and a point is scored.

27. Dwarf Tossing

Dwarf Toss 2007 “Midget Tossing”

Also called dwarf throwing, this sport is mainly played in bars. It’s not widely spread only because it’s been banned in many places because it’s said to be politically incorrect and inhumane. I would agree except that the dwarfs used aren’t being forced to do it. They are choosing to partake in the event.

There are two types of dwarf throwing. The first type is when the dwarf is in a Velcro suit and is thrown into a Velcro wall. The other one is where there are mats laid out and the “athlete tries to throw the dwarf farther than anyone else.

In short, I would say that any dwarf that does this is an excellent sportsman, is in top shape, and has great self esteem. Therefore, I say that these dwarfs should stand tall. Let the sport grow to full capacity!

How many of these 27 sports were you already aware of? Have you tried any? Maybe now that you know they exist, you’ll get off your ass and try something new!

Leave a Comment

  1. KieranMullen says:

    I came to see dwarf toss video. That is all.

  2. Jim says:

    Kabaddi originiated in India and is the national game of Bangaldesh. Too bad, the west thinks an eastern national game is a strange sport. Try explaining baseball to them. They'll laugh back in amusement.

  3. BobsBlitz says:

    We hear that dwarf bowling is coming soon. At least that is what Barack Obama alluded to…

  4. Andrew says:

    Kabaddi is actually called "Red Rover" and we played it all the time in elementary school…but without the breath holding.

    • bobby says:

      well obviously its not called Red Rover as they didn ' t play Red Rover in prehistoric times they played Kabaddi idiot

  5. Spencer says:

    Curling looks easy but it is suprisingly difficult to control those heavy stones precisely. Also, weighing 20kg, the stones have enough velocity to hurt you, should you get hit.

  6. cntlscrut says:

    heh, i just got a new haircut and i'm going to toss some midgets, chief. jager bombs, hienekins and midgets. hell yeah.

  7. Jack Jolis says:

    How could you have left out the immortal and noble sport of "43-Man Squamish", invented in 1965 by MAD Magazine's "Sports Department"? http://www.collectmad.com/madcoversite/index-quiz

  8. Shawn says:

    Forgot about under ice hockey. Fun and you could die. http://talesfromanopenbook.wordpress.com/2009/03/

  9. Brian says:

    They left out Muggle Quidditch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1oiBywYvvQ

  10. Czad says:

    Tejo Didn't make the list? It is like horseshoes with blasting caps. (It is less exciting than it sounds.)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tejo_(sport)

  11. The 2007 Dwarf comp. just looks like a bunch of dbag guidos tossing a dwarf around. Wait.

  12. The 2007 Dwarf comp. just looks like a bunch of dbag guidos tossing a dwarf around. Wait.

  13. A friend encoraged me to read this post, brill post, interesting read… keep up the nice work!

  14. Tutti Frutti says:

    Lots of inspiration on this website. Thx. If any of u guys know a really weird sport, TELL ME! Love Ya