5 Unusual Sports to Watch

Daniel Ganninger
September 4, 2014
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Steve Jurvetson/flickr

There comes a time when you just get tired of watching the same old sports, and you need something different–very different.  Here are five sports you can check out to protect yourself from sport overload.

1.  Sepak Takraw 

A sport that is popular in Asia, Sepak Takraw is a cross between badminton, volleyball, and soccer that uses kicks to send a ball made of dried palm leaves over a net.  I’m sure there are a lot of pulled hamstrings in this one; what better reason to watch.

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2. Chess Boxing 

The name says it all.  Try to beat your opponents face in, then sit down for a friendly chess match.  Repeat this process until; 1) you or your opponent get knocked out, or 2) win the chess match.  If neither of those can be accomplished then the refs will decide your fate (not sure if they take into account the player’s chess skills in the decision).

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3.  Cricket

The game of Cricket is not that bizarre to millions of people around the world, but for Americans, it’s like trying to understand Form 8824 from the IRS.  Terms such as bails, wickets, all-rounder, wicketkeeper, crease, and sixer can confuse even the most devoted sportsmen.  Instead of me trying to explain the rules, use this handy guide, and you to can spend your spring, summer, and possibly the fall trying to understand this incredibly difficult game.

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4.  Buzkashi 

This is a traditional game played in Central Asia.  It can be described as a form of polo, since the teams of ten ride horses, but that is where the similarities end.  Unlike polo, where the players hit a ball with a mallet, these players drag a very dead goat or cow toward the opposition’s goal line.  I doubt this will be a “sport” you’ll see on ESPN anytime soon.

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Jeremy Weate

5.  Wife Carrying

What could be more fun than carrying your wife around on your back?  Why doing it to win a prize of course.  While wife carrying even has a North American Championship, its origins are Finnish, where it is known as Eukonkanto.  If you get good at carrying your wife at the World Championships you can win her weight in beer.  That could be quite a score if your wife was of the, uh, larger variety.  If this has piqued your interest and you would like to carry your wife, then here is all the information you’ll need to hike her up and go for the gold.

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Photo by khybermail
Now I’m not sure where you would catch these on the sports channels–maybe ESPN 24.  It may take some effort but expand your horizons and pick a new sport to follow (at least between games).  The question is, are you going to watch?