If you think curling is weird, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Though none of these sports is featured in the Olympics like Canada’s favourite broom-sport, most of them do stage international competitions that are taken very seriously by their competitors.
So prepare to see the way broomsticks, pets, trampolines, irons, and cheese are used underwater, in the air, and on mountains in the wide and wacky world of sports.
Plus, with the NFL going away, you’ll need something to entertain you this fall.
The official explanation of Extreme Ironing via the Extreme Ironing Bureau is that it's 'the latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well pressed shirt.' Ironing boards are taken to virtually anywhere you can think of: caves, forests, waterfalls, out on kayaks, and into New York City, and the competitors...iron. The sport originated in Britain, and has actually gotten a surprising amount of media coverage
Wife Carrying, born in Finland, is pretty self explanatory -- a man must carry his wife through an obstacle course as fast as he can. There are some restrictions: the course must be 253.5 meters long with one dry and two water obstacles, the wife must weight at least 49 kilograms, and if dropped, the man faces a 15 second penalty. The world championships are held in July, and the winner gets his wife's weight in beer.
Underwater hockey, aka octopush, is a rudimentary form of hockey played on the floor of a pool. Players attempt to guide the lead puck toward their offensive end of the rink using what look like Nok Hockey sticks. Of course, each player is unable to posses the puck for very long, as they must constantly swim back to the surface to draw air in through their snorkels. Unlike NHL hockey, octopush is a non-contact sport.
Bossaball, originally from Belgium, is something like volleyball, except the ball can be kept in the air with any part of the body and can be hit up to eight times by one team before it must go over the net. The sport is played between teams of three to five players on an inflatable, with one giant trampoline, on which stands an attacker. The attacker is propelled into the air and has the ability to deliver vicious shots. One point is awarded if the ball hits the ground anywhere besides the trampoline, in which case three points are given to the opposing team
To 'zorb' is to strap oneself into an over-sized hamster exercise ball and roll down a hill. The zorb is actually constructed with two plastic inflatable balls, one inside the other, in order to cushion impact. Zorbs typically hold between one and three people. Some people put water inside the ball so as they roll down the hill they are splashed relentlessly.
According to AmericanParkour.com, 'Parkour is the physical discipline of training to overcome any obstacle within one's path by adapting one's movements to the environment.' That makes it sound really official, but to me it looks like parkour is a bunch of running, jumping, climbing, and balancing that people aren't meant to be able to do. Basically, Parkour looks a lot like what you'll see in Spiderman movies.
Bog snorkelling involves swimming through a 55-meter peat bog with a snorkel and flippers in the fastest time possible. 'Swimmers' aren't allowed to use conventional swimming techniques, but must propel themselves along using their flippers alone. The Bog Snorkelling championships are held in Wales.
This annual event takes place in Michigan as three teammates, two pushers and a rider, attempt to guide their mini-restroom across the finish line. The outhouse is set up on skis and must have a toilet paper dispenser and a toilet seat. Competitors are very creative in decorating and naming their bathroom-sleds
The mud-pit belly flop is actually one of a series of interesting activities known as the Summer Redneck Games. The games are held in East Dublin, Georgia and other events include a hubcap-discus throw and bobbing for pigs' feet
According to its website, this all-female sport (sorry guys) features 'women who are proud of our strength and not afraid to let loose. We fight with pillows because it lets us be creative, do something different and go a little crazy.' Of course, the Pillow Fight League also holds matches at erotic festivals
The sport debuted in Portland, Oregon by a group called the Unicycle Bastards. The rule book asks players to engage in 'frequent and colourful swearing,' the consumption of 'one alcoholic beverage prior to every match' and 'urination in approved restroom facilities.' Unicycling looks tough enough on its own, but add clubs and balls, and a complete loss of balance seems likely to ensue.
The game, adapted from the mythical broom-flying sport of Harry Potter, began as an intramural sport at Middlebury College. It quickly spread throughout the nation's universities, and now more than 400 colleges have the sport. Players mimic the fictional flying version of the game by holding broomsticks between their legs and attempt to hurl balls through round hoops at opposite ends of the field, much the same as in the book.
Kabaddi originated in South Asia and is a combination or wrestling, tag, and holding one's breath. Two teams of seven players stand on opposite sides of a field and take turns sending a 'raider' into the opponent's territory. The defenders must link arms and cannot break their chain. The raider attempts to tag the defenders while they try to stop him from returning to his side before taking a breath. The raider must chant the word 'Kabaddi' the whole time. The sport combines elements of rugby and wrestling as opponents struggle to keep one another from being tagged and returning to the opposing side. If it sounds confusing, that's because it is.
Cycleball is another combo sport, featuring elements of bicycling, soccer, hockey, and basketball. Players bicycle around a small court and try to smack a ball into the goal using the wheels of their bicycles. Players must keep their feet off the floor or else the other team is awarded a penalty kick. There are two players on each team, and one usually hangs back as a kind of sweeper.
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