How weird is too weird? How freaky too freaky? At what point does charm call out for ridicule? These are the questions that arise when considering the following sports as an actual event.
Regarded as one of the oldest customs in Great Britain, with roots in a springtime heathen festival, the cheese rolling race originally involved an eight-pound wheel of Double Gloucester cheese sent careening down Cooper’s Hill in Brockworth, Gloucester, with daredevil contestants in hot pursuit.
Botaoshi is a wacky Japanese sport played by cadets at Japan’s Military Defense Academy, where opposing teams literally fight each other over a wooden pole. The game, which involves two teams of 75 members each and a wooden pole, is pretty straight forward. Members of a team gather around and on the wooden poll and try to defend it against the attacking team, which tries to take it down by any means necessary. And I do mean ANY means…Players push, punch, kick and grab their opponents as they try to fulfill their mission.
Johnball is a fun and exciting sport in which players use plastic bats to hit rubber balls at each other. Described as “dodgeball with bats,” the game is largely defined by its dedication to simplicity, inclusivity, and downright good times.
Sepak Takraw was created by the royal family of Malaysia about 500 years ago. The name itself comes from two languages. Sepak is “kick” in Malay, and Takraw is the “ball” in Thai.When it is born, It looked like Japanese “Kemari”, and some became a circle, and a pole was kicked, and the number of times was being competed in.
It looks very similar to the Japanese traditional game, “kemari” where the players form a loose circle and the number of times the ball is kicked before it touches the ground is counted. In 1965 the game was unified into the present volleyball style with the addition of a net and the adoption of international rules.
The two great American past times of unicycling and football have been blended seamlessly together in the form of the Unicycle Football League. The UFL has actually been around for almost a decade, currently in its ninth season according to the UFL website. The standard rules of football have been amended slightly, but there is still plenty of tackling and general unicycle mayhem, though league rules stipulate no Kevlar helmets.
Two competitors face each other in 11 alternating rounds, six of chess, five of boxing. A bout begins with chess, which is played on a board placed directly in the middle of the ring. Each round of chess lasts four minutes. After each chess round, the bell sounds, and workmen remove the chessboard for a two-minute round of boxing, the gloves go back on, the punching recommences. Participants win by way of knockout, checkmate, referee’s decision, or if his opponent exceeds the allotted total of 12 minutes for an entire match on the chessboard.