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Weird sports you won’t believe exist

For most of us, sport is for getting us fit, keeping us toned, filling up on those feel-good team vibes, and blowing off steam. For others, it’s about a whole lot more. It’s about pursuing a passion. Celebrating individuality. Honing a true talent and, in this case, a love for the outlandish. And in doing so proving that, where’s there’s true spirit and determination, there lies a life without limits.

Forget basketball people. Because today we’re toe wrestling and chasing cheese, as we take you to the center of the action, and into the weird and wonderful world of obscure sports.  We don’t recommend you try these at home!

Two words. Chess boxing.

Why choose brain or brawn when you can have both? Sounds strange, but it’s actually quite brilliant. Simply imagine a cross between boxing and chess, where over an 11-round battle royale, competitors alternate between playing traditional chess and boxing. It’s the sport that takes playing with your head and your heart to its logical extremes.

Underwater hockey? It’s called Octopush.

Yes, this is another curious adaptation of a ‘classic’ sport. It involves pretty much exactly what the name suggests – two teams trying to push a puck using a stick across the floor of a swimming pool into the opposing team’s goal. Impossible? Apparently not. Started back in 1980, this inexplicable sport has stood the test of time. As for drawing the crowds, this is one sport that struggles with spectator numbers. Unless of course they’ve got their mask, fins, and snorkel, at the ready. We wouldn’t hold our breath.

 

Let’s move on to extreme ironing 

Yes, you did read that correctly. It goes something like this: a competitor (or self-styled ‘ironist’) goes to a remote, possibly dangerous location to iron their clothes. This most sacred of domestic chores has been performed underwater, hanging from cliffs, while skiing or snowboarding and even on top of vehicles.  It’s certainly one way to get psyched up about doing the housework.

 

Competitive Shin Kicking 

This takes obscure sport to a whole new level. Apparently, the English have been kicking shins competitively since the 17th century! This combat sport involves two opponents (attempting) to kick each other, shin first, until one either hits the ground or surrenders in pain. Ouch.

Cheese Rolling

Take one large cheese, a cheese-obsessed mob, and one rather steep English hill. And there you have it. A centuries-old cheese rolling tradition that attracts fanatics from across the globe to watch and take part. The point? To catch the cheese, of course. Hopefully without requiring a trip in the ambulance that unsurprisingly lies in wait at the finish line. And the prize? You guessed it, the big cheese itself. Keeping you knee deep in mac and cheese right through to next year’s race.

 

Ever heard of Kabaddi? Allow us to enlighten you

So you know tag, right? And wrestling? Consider this extremely popular sport a mind-bending cocktail of the two. Contenders ‘raid’ and ‘defend’ two halves of the court, tagging an opposing player for points. It’s been playing in South Asia since the 1930s and it now means big business with celebrity owners, revamped rules, a Pro league and over 200 million viewers meaning it’s actually more mainstream than we realize, after all. Now that’s knowledge to save for the next pub quiz!