The World’s weirdest Sports – combative raccoon hunting to played-out gambling
Fancy taking up an unusual sport? The world of sports has no shortage of weird and wonderful pastimes to try out, from pigeon racing to triathlon training, or even combative raccoon hunting. Whether you’re looking to pick up a new hobby or simply find out about some of the most obscure sports around, check out our list of the world’s weirdest sports below.
Top 10 Weird Sports in the World
Sports are one of man’s best ways of entertaining himself, but each country and culture has their own ideas about what is fun. Some countries have games which make other people scratch their heads in confusion, wondering why anyone would ever want to play them. It doesn’t matter if they are common or not; they all require skill (or just a little bit of insanity). In no particular order, here are 10 Weird Sports in The World
1. Australian Football
Heading Down Under, we kick off our list of crazy sports with Australian Football, otherwise known as AFL. A bit like a mix between rugby and soccer, AFL is actually one of Australia’s most popular sports. Sure, a lot of people know about American football but not many are aware that they actually have a pretty similar sport Down Under. The major difference is that in Australian Football players aren’t allowed to move with the ball and there isn’t any kicking or throwing involved either. Instead players get points for handballing into goals which are placed on each end of a massive field!
2. Sumo Wrestling
In Japan, where it’s practiced as a national sport, sumo wrestling dates back some 1,500 years. The current ranking system was established in 1684 by an edict from Japan’s first shogun that designated special divisions for wrestlers of different skill levels—there are six divisions today. Competitors wrestle in a clay ring called a dohyo that is approximately 12 meters (40 feet) across. Wrestling has always been about more than physical prowess; size and weight are important factors because larger opponents can use their size to force smaller ones out of the ring or onto their backs for winning scores. It’s traditionally considered dishonorable for fighters to win with moves other than pushing or tripping—although grappling throws aren’t unheard of.
A sporting activity that originated in Spain, Rodeo entails a variety of events such as bronco busting, calf roping and bull riding. The sport gained popularity in North America following its introduction at the 1904 St. Louis World Fair. Today, rodeos continue to be held across America and Canada in venues like arenas and outdoor arenas with audiences numbering anywhere from a few hundred spectators to thousands depending on location. For example, The Calgary Stampede is one of North America’s largest rodeos drawing over 1 million spectators each year.
4. Cane Skipping
Originating in Scotland, cans skipping involves leaping over a stack of six or eight (or more) wooden staves. Competitors each use their own set of canes, which are numbered according to height. The winner is determined by who can clear all their canes in one jump, rather than best time. It sounds tough, but it looks like so much fun!
American students at Bates College in Maine formed a Chair Ball Club in 1877, largely as a way of working off leftover energy from their collegiate studies. Two teams of 15 players each line up on opposite sides of a field, either in two or three ranks. They then attempt to carry a wooden chair by one leg across that field and into their opponent’s end zone (or castle). Chairs are passed back and forth by teammates, who try not to lose it while running. The ball carrier must sit in his chair once he has possession—otherwise he could be disqualified. To block your opponent you can pick up your own chair and place it around him as a makeshift prison cell until he gives up possession or is otherwise tackled by another player on your team.
6. Frog Jumping
The name says it all. This competitive sport, which is becoming increasingly popular in some parts of Asia, involves frogs jumping as high as possible. The World Championship Frog Jumping Tournament has been held in Debrecen, Hungary since 2003. In 2013, a female Chinese tree frog took top honors and claimed a $3,000 prize for her efforts!
This lawn game, aka bags and sometimes called corn toss, was invented by farmers in Ohio in 1935. While it might not seem like much of a sport when compared with other games on our list. Cornhole does involve tossing heavy bags filled with corn, so you can’t really call it all fun and games. But that’s also part of its appeal: The game is not terribly complicated (there are only three basic rules), which means anyone can pick up a set of boards and start playing. It is rarely played competitive because there aren’t necessarily any rules about who plays or how seriously people should take it.
8. American Roulette
This is an especially odd form of roulette because it was designed specifically for a game show in 1966. Each wheel had 37 numbered slots and three other slots that were labeled zero, double zero, and American. In addition, one slot near zero included a sticker with a picture of a raccoon on it. If you landed on any number between zero and 35 you won $25 times your stake (in addition to your bet), but if you landed on 36 through 39 or either double-zero slot you lost everything.
9. Cretan Bullfighting
This blood sport has been a staple of Cretan life for centuries. It involves releasing a bull into an arena where it is attacked by as many people as possible. The last person standing wins money and glory. But unfortunately for spectators, also incurs terrible injuries from trying to beat down a charging animal with nothing more than their fists and willpower. This activity has been championed by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Clinton was captured on camera telling supporters she loves Crete. In 2015, eight people were killed while taking part in Cretan Bullfighting.
10. Hunter Racing (Raccoon Hunting)
It sounds utterly bizarre, but in Japan it’s a very popular sport. Competitive raccoon hunters take their dogs through small coops. Hunters guide them with gloves while they catch as many of these masked bandits as possible within a certain time limit. The dogs are not allowed to kill their quarry. But if they do, it just means more points for their human partner. Points are awarded according to how well and how quickly they catch each animal. The resulting score is tallied up at different checkpoints along a 400 m track and whoever has amassed the most points by the end of that line wins.