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Top 10 Bizarre Sports

by JFrater & MatthewB
fact checked by Alex Hanton

Believe it or not, we haven’t previously entitled a list “top 10 bizarre sports”! However, we do have two previous lists that look at bizarre sporting and leisure events. This list looks at another bunch of things people do to pass the time; in common, they all share one thing: extreme weirdness. This list is largely composed of items mentioned by the readers of the previous two lists.


Canine Freestyle

Technically it isn’t a sport, but you really need to see this – it is weird. Musical canine freestyle—also known as musical freestyle, freestyle dance, and canine freestyle—is a modern dog sport that is a mixture of obedience, tricks, and dance that allows for creative interaction between dogs and their owners. There are two types, musical freestyle and freestyle heeling (also known as heelwork to music), the main difference being that freestyle heeling focuses on a dog’s ability to stay in variations of the heel position while the handler moves to music, whereas musical freestyle demands that the dog perform a variety of tricks and other obedience talents, and places a greater focus on the trainer’s dance abilities and creativity.


Swamp Soccer

Swamp Soccer is a form of association football that is played in bogs or swamps. The sport is said to come from Bishop Auckland, in the north east of England, where it initially was used as an exercise activity for athletes and soldiers, since playing on soft bog is physically demanding. However the first organized championship was the 1998 Finnish championship and was the brainchild of Jyrki Väänänen, nicknamed “The Swamp Baron”, when the creator of swamp football moved there. There are currently an estimated 260 swamp football teams around the world. At the swamp football world championship games of 2005, some 5,000 players participated.


Tractor Pulling
Tractor Pulling Weseke 2008

Truck and tractor pulling, also known as power pulling, is a competition using tractors and large trucks to pull a heavy sled (sledge) along a ‘track’ and is very popular in rural areas. Usually the sled offers progressively greater resistance as it is pulled. It can be a great spectacle, although the pulling vehicle produces a great deal of noise and smoke, and tends to kick up dirt. Also, the tractors pulling don’t actually travel very far (a typical “full pull” is 300 feet (100 metres)). There are many different classes, from “factory” tractors, to custom built vehicles (modified) with multiple engines.


Bun Climbing

Each spring, tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents and visitors swarm the minuscule fishing island of Cheung Chau to witness man vs. bun. Just outside the Pak Tai temple, 60-ft.-tall (18 m) bamboo and metal structures are covered in steamed, sweet and blessed buns. At midnight on the final night of the weeklong festival, in an event known as the Bun Scramble, athletes try their best to scurry up the bun towers and gather more buns than their opponents. [Source]


Mountain Unicycle
Mountain Unicycling: “Balance of Power”

When I think of unicycle I think of clowns at the circus, not rugged men taking it to some of the most dangerous terrains on earth. People take a unicycle and ride it on rocky terrain. Unicycles are one of the hardest things to ride, right next to the pogo stick. This is just a sport of pure insanity but it has gotten national coverage on major news channels like FOX. As you can see from the video above, this is not a particularly graceful sport.


Chess Boxing
World Chess Boxing Championships – 1 of 2

Two words you never thought you would see together. Chess Boxing is a sport for nerds. It involves a two minute boxing round with a four minute chess competition. There is even a governing body, it’s called the “World Chess Boxing Association” and their motto is “Fighting is done in the ring, but war is waged on the board.”


Punkin Chunkin
Punkin Chunkin 2007 #2 “Chunkin Up”

Punkin chunkin is the action of hurling a pumpkin, in a competition, by mechanical means over distances greater than those of other competitors. Pumpkin chucking competitions, formal and informal, exist throughout the United States in the autumn, when pumpkins are harvested. In order of increasing effectiveness, the devices include compound slingshots, catapults, trebuchets, and pneumatic air cannons. A pneumatic air cannon named Young Glory III holds the current world record by firing a pumpkin a record 4483.51 feet (1,351 meters) during the annual 2008 competition in Delaware. As you can tell from the video above, this is not a particularly interesting spectator sport!


Outhouse Racing
Outhouse Classic Outhouse Race in Trenary, Michigan

Mackinaw City actually hosts a series of outhouse races every year. The event is billed as “The Best Case of the Runs You’ll Ever Have” by Greg “Big G” Yoder, who first commissioned the event. The rules require each racing outhouse to contain a toilet seat and a toilet paper dispenser. There can be only two pushers, two pullers and one rider per outhouse, which is mounted on skis.


Air Sex

Air sex is a performance activity invented in Japan; clothed men simulate sexual activity with an invisible partner, often in an exaggerated manner, set to music, and in a competition before an audience. This is somewhat akin to playing air guitar, explaining the name. The creator, J-Taro Sugisaku, says that it was invented in Tokyo in 2006 by a group of bored men without girlfriends. The reigning “world champion” in air sex goes by the name of Cobra.


Mind Ball

Mindball is a two person game controlled by players’ brain waves in which players compete to control a ball’s movement across a table by becoming more relaxed and focused. Mindball is produced by the Swedish Company Interactive Productline. The concept, introduced in 2005, originates from the prototype Brainball which was developed by the Smart Studio at The Interactive Institute, also in Sweden. If you found that video interesting, here is another one I found of grass growing.

fact checked by Alex Hanton