Top 10 weirdest sports in the world, ranked

There are hundreds of sports played daily, with some of the weirdest sports in the world proving to be quite popular.

Everyone is familiar with sports such as soccer, basketball, American football, baseball, tennis, and hockey. However, many niche and lesser-known sports are played across the world, many of which can seem quite weird.

From extreme sports to fun-filled activities, sports around the world come in all shapes in sizes. Today, we are ranking the top ten weirdest sports in the world.

10. Kabaddi – an extreme version of tag

Kabaddi is like an extreme game of tag.
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

While it originated in India, Kabaddi is the national game of both Nepal and Bangladesh. During a game of Kabaddi, a ‘raider’ must run across the centre line and tag an opposing player before making it back to their half.

The trick, however, is that they have to do all of this while holding their breath when in the opponent’s half.

After reaching their half again, the raider has to chant “kabaddi, kabaddi” with an exhaled breath to show that they have indeed not taken a breath in their opponents half.

9. Sepak Takraw – a hugely popular Asian sport

Sepak Takraw is one of the weirdest sports in the world.
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

While the name of this sport translates to kickball, the game is played more akin to the style of volleyball.

Players play in a court divided with a net where they must try to keep the ball aloft; otherwise, the opposing team will gain a point.

Unlike volleyball, you cannot use your hands but rather must use your knees, feet, or chin.

8. Zorbing – a hilarious sport and one of the weirdest sports in the world

Zorbing has grown in popularity worldwide.
Credit: Flickr / Tim Welbourn

Zorbing is a newly developed sport that has become quite popular worldwide but whose roots date back to New Zealand.

The sport of zorbing involves participants tumbling down hillsides and slopes in a large inflatable orb of transparent plastic, often with quite hilarious results.

7. Chess Boxing – a strange hybrid sport

Chess boxing is one of the weirdest sports in the world.
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Boxing and chess aren’t two sports usually mentioned in the same category, but remarkably, they have merged to form the hybrid sport that is chess boxing.

Chess boxing involves two players who fight a total of 11 rounds against each other, six of these rounds are chess, and five are boxing. The winner can come from either winning in chess or boxing or a combination of both.

6. Extreme ironing – both an extreme sport and a performance art

Extreme ironing is certainly an unusual activity.
Credit: Flickr / gareth

Extreme ironing is both an extreme sport and performance art that originated in the UK. The sport involves people taking ironing boards to remote and extreme locations from where they must start ironing items of clothing.

This can involve anything from ironing in a canoe, on a mountainside, or even whilst parachuting!

5. Hornussen – an indigenous Swiss sport

Hornussen is one of the weirdest sports in the world.
Credit: Flickr / M_Strasser

The best way to describe this indigenous Swiss sport is to say it’s like a combination of baseball and golf.

It involves attacking players launching a puck into the air with a whip to get it as far as possible into their opponent’s area whilst at the same time defending players are required to stop the puck with long sticks.

The team with the fewest penalizations is the winner.

4. Bossaball – a sport that incorporates elements of many others

Bossaball is a sport that combines elements from others.
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Bossaball is a Belgian sport that was first played in Spain. It contains elements of soccer, gymnastics, capoeira, and volleyball and is played on beaches.

The sport involves having two trampolines on either side of a net on an inflatable court where a ball is served from one side and returned over the net with less than five touches until it lands in a scoring zone.

3. Cheese rolling – a surprisingly fun and dangerous sport

Cheese rolling is certainly one of the weirdest sports in the world.
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Cheese rolling takes place in Gloucester, England and involves a nine-pound wheel of Double Gloucester cheese being rolled down a steep and uneven hill.

Players then chase after it, and the winner takes home the cheese!

2. Capoeira – a sport that has inspired many fight scenes in films and TV

Capoeira has inspired many movie fight scenes.
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that blends dance, acrobatics, and music into what makes for a thrilling match between players.

This unusual sport has inspired many fight scenes in mainstream film and TV.

1. Bo-Taoshi – a sport that was originally an army training exercise

Bo-Taoshi tops our list of weirdest sports in the world.
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

In first place on our list of weirdest sports in the world is Bo-Taoshi. This sport was originally invented as a training exercise for the Japanese military.

Bo-Taoshi is similar to capture the flag but a lot more extreme as it involves 75 players attacking against 75 people defending.

The attacking team must bring a wooden pole down to a 30-degree angle, whilst the defending team must stop them through the use of barriers and interference tactics.  

So, that concludes our list of weirdest sports in the world. How many of them have you played?

Conor Wickham
Conor Wickham
Conor Wickham is a writer from County Wexford with a keen interest in discovering everything Ireland has to offer. From sleeping in tree houses in the Ox Mountains to staying in shepherd huts in Donegal, Conor has experienced it. With a degree in Marketing & Advertising with Online Media, Conor has used his love of writing to guide his career path and has worked as a Website Content Writer/SEO Specialist in the past. When not exploring Ireland and finding out its secrets, Conor can usually be found hiking or working on his long awaited (long awaited by him at least!) supernatural thriller novel series.

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