A memorable scene from the movie Dodgeball lampoons ESPN’s ever expanding breadth of networks by creating a channel known as “ESPN 8: The Ocho.” The Ocho specialised in televising events that are “almost a sport.”Although “The Ocho” doesn’t exist — yet — there are plenty of games that could fit under its programming rubric.
We found some of the most interesting and obscure sports and competitions in the world.
The slideshow contains awe inspiring spectacles from Japan, Malaysia, India, Wales, and of course, Portland, Oregon.
Every single activity mentioned in this slideshow requires more than a minimal amount of athletic activity. Some of these events are barbaric in nature while others provide excuses for competitors to wear silly costumes.
Synopsis: Snorkel-, goggle-, and fin-wearing teams of six sink themselves to the bottom of a large pool and try to push a three pound lead puck into goals on opposite ends. While the sticks used are dramatically shorter than the standard NHL equipment, it is like playing hockey in a melted rink, except there aren't any goalies. That would be crazy.
Synopsis: A sport that combines one of the most violent pastimes with one of the most cerebral pastimes. Chess boxing is organised with alternating rounds of chess and boxing. Theoretically, the chess gets much harder as the battle continues. Combatants say slowing your heart down after the boxing is the most difficult part.
Synopsis: A simple but violent game. One team has to knock down the other team's pole within the allotted time of two or three minutes. A player can defend his own pole through most means necessary, save for weapons.
Synopsis: Basically, it's like a version of volleyball where you can only use your feet. The ball is made of woven fibres and contains 12 open holes and 20 intersections. The sport is very popular in Southeast Asia and requires a lot of skill.
Synopsis: If wrestling took place on the set of Godzilla, Kaiju Big Battel would be the end product. Competitors dress up as either a hero or a villain, then they proceed to pummel each other and the fake buildings that have been constructed in the ring.
Synopsis: Not unlike a typical racing event, except the cars being driven are Ford Model-Ts and each driver grabs a pig before taking off. After each lap, the driver must put the pig they had back and pick up a new one.
Synopsis: Replace the horses in regular polo with unicycles; you get is unicycle polo.
Synopsis: While it's not the fiercest of competitions, Elk Grove, California holds an annual pumpkin boat race known as the Giant Pumpkin Regatta. Other towns host similar annual races as well. The hollowed-out giant pumpkins are very difficult to manoeuvre and require a lot of work to get into the water.
Synopsis: Finally, a sport that lives up to the hype of the Segway. Possibly the least precarious of any polo spin-off, Segway Polo follows the same rules as normal polo.
Here's Steve Wozniak explaining how the game works:
Synopsis: Take golf but replace the water hazards with moving cars. Road bowling is a game of Irish origin that requires its contestants to throw a round steel ball known as a 'bullet' or a 'bowl' a certain distance with the least amount of throws possible. It has seen a recent spike in international popularity.
Synopsis: A Finnish sport that went global (and viral), wife carrying is a competition where a male participant runs through a 830-foot obstacle course while carrying a female teammate on his back. Each course must have two dry obstacles and one water-based obstacle -- typically a one-meter-deep pool. The team with the quickest time wins. The world record for completing a course is 55.5 seconds.
Synopsis: A little bit like the previously mentioned Sepak Takraw, but with a focus on creativity. Also, the court is replaced with a giant trampoline.
Synopsis: The goal of bog snorkelling is to travel through 120 yards of peat bog (at least) without using any sort of conventional swimming method in the quickest time possible. All competitors are required to wear snorkels and flippers.
Synopsis: Two teams take turns sending one single player known as a 'raider' across enemy lines with the goal of tagging or taking down a player of the opposite team. What makes the game interesting is that the raider has to run and catch up to a player and attempt to take the player down all within a single breath while chanting 'Kabaddi' over and over again. If the raider runs out of breath, he is sent off and his teams turn is over.
Synopsis: Two competitors lock shoulders and kick each other in the shins until somebody falls down or gives up. The only protection the participants are allowed to have is stuffing their pant legs or socks with straw.
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