Weird sports – they’re everywhere, and played by everyone. The things people do in the name of sports would curl your toes. No, really: one of those sports is toe wrestling. That didn’t quite make it into the Olympics, but it was not for lack of trying.
When you think about it, there really is no such thing as a weird sport. All sports are just a way for humans to turn everyday activities into friendly competition, and explore the limits of our physicality. Tossing an orange ball into a red hoop suspended 10 feet off the ground having only a slightly larger diameter than the ball is no less weird than the time-honored sport of wife carrying; which is quite popular in Sonkajarvi, Finland, Monona, Wisconsin and Michigan. Check your local listings for the North American Wife Carrying Championship.
So what weird sports are out there? Some you may have heard of, others you definitely haven’t. Let’s take a look.
“Weird Sports” You Can Love
Let’s face it, some sports have proven to be more popular than others. Certain sports are simply going to be popular due to the nature of the materials at hand, and the natural propensity of humans. Given ample trees for wood, wide open spaces, a ball and spare time, something like baseball will surely arise.
We do not wad up paper, lean back in our office chair, and attempt to toss it into the garbage can across the room because we want to play basketball. We do it because, when given something like a ball and hoop, we will naturally attempt to toss one into the other.
That said, we naturally want to play some version of a popular sport without the contracts or accusation of steroid use. We just want to play at our level and have a lot of fun.
In that spirit, softball was born. Let’s face it, you can’t throw an accurate 95 mph fastball. You most certainly can’t hit one. And you are nowhere near fast enough to steal a base in the big leagues. Because of careful modifications, all the fun of baseball is now enjoyed by the common man and all women (and on a much more competitive level by women).
In the same way, human desire to kick a ball into a goal while running around on a large field led to the natural evolution of soccer. (Football, if you insist.) But only freaks of nature have that much stamina, foot to ball control and accuracy to play the game. How does one slow the game down to the level where mere mortals can participate?
Simple! Make the players wear large, plastic bubbles, with only their legs free to move. That should do it. They call it bubble soccer, and people take it very seriously. Bubbleball describes the interesting product used to play bubble soccer and the genre of games it can be used in, including bubble soccer.
Badminton is a kinder, gentler version of tennis. Dodgeball is a kinder, gentler version of, well, no civilized activity. But that is one of the major functions of sport. It takes the skills learned from war and combat, and transforms them into symbols of peace and friendship. It doesn’t take much imagination to know what the javelin throw once represented.
It’s Not Weird, Just Different
Just remember, the next World Bog Snorkeling Championships held in Wales is not weird – it’s just different. From an evolutionary perspective, you never know when you are going to need someone to swim in a filthy bog using only their legs. If an unlikely rescue is needed, you are going to need to know who the fastest bog swimmer is in that community. So get yourself signed up for the next tourney and get a local league going in a bog near you!