The basketball season draws to a close, along with the NFL, soccer seasons and only those interested in golf, cricket or tennis have something to watch on the TV. It is time then, that we look further afield if you’ll excuse the pun, to some of the World’s wackiest and most outlandish sports for our viewing pleasure and they do not get weirder than these.
Two words you seldom see together and it doesn’t take much imagination to work out what this particular sport entails. Brains and brownies are required here as two competitors battle it out over 12 rounds alternative between a round of chess, followed by a round of pugilism. The winner is determined by one of three ways, check mate on the chess board, lights out in the ring, or a final judges decision if you have the staying power to make it to the end. A truly bizarre sport.
Finland like to make their sports for couples and had the novel idea of a wife-carrying competition. The gruelling race involves husbands carrying their spouses in any way they choose through an obstacle filled track that involves hurdles and water. The prize for the winner of this incredible competition is of course, beer, and the amount of beer the winner receives is equal to the weight of his wife, the heavier the wife, the more arduous the challenge but the bigger the reward at the end.
This crazy Asian sport is similar to polo whereby two teams battle it out on horses for control of a ball with large sticks with the aim of scoring a goal. The difference with Buzkashi, they use the circus of a dead animal and instead of sticks, bare hands. The word Buzkashi translate from Persian as goat-dragging, as you will agree, Buzkashi has a nicer ring to it. This is the national sport in Afghanistan however it was banned under the Taliban regime, it does still take place in several Asian countries to this day.
This sport is a variation on volleyball that is played largely in Southeast Asia that is something of a cross between martial arts and volleyball. The principal differences are that the game is played with a ball made from woven palm leaves and the teams are only able to use their heads, legs and chest to hit the ball, hands aren’t allowed. The game is fast and frenetic and involves a great deal of quick thinking, flexibility and tactical nous,.
Gurning is a sport that is predominantly seen in rural parts of the UK where contestants take it in turns to pull the ugliest face possible across a series of knockout rounds. The contestant that can pull the best series of ugly faces wins the tournament. You wouldn’t think that being able to scrunch your face up into unnatural and terrifying expressions could ever be a good thing, that is until you enter a gurning competition where that very skill could make you the champ.
Believe it or not, extreme ironing is a sport, in a nutshell the challenge is to complete a pile of ironing in unnatural and extreme conditions. The challenges can range from underwater ironing to ironing on top of a skyscraper or on the back of a moving truck. When you consider the difficulty of ironing at high speed, high altitude or deep water you realise that bizarrely this sport takes not only a lot of skill but a lot of practice too, a strange sport but a thoroughly fascinating one at the same time.