Unusual Sports You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

Many people are into mainstream sports such as basketball, football, tennis, baseball, and rugby. But did you know that aside from these popular sports, there are many unusual sports being played all over the world that you might not have heard about or discovered yet?

Here are some of the unusual sports from different places around the world. Some of them may be hard to believe but they are certainly being played by real people.

1. Cheese Rolling

Cheese rolling

At Cooper’s Hill in Gloucestershire, United Kingdom, people take part in the annual Cheese-Rolling event. In this sport, a large cheese wheel is rolled down a steep hill. The competitors will then race after it. The first person who will be able to reach the bottom of the hill wins the cheese. It may sound like a really fun game, however, it has resulted in several injuries because of the steepness of the hill.

2. Underwater Hockey

Underwater hockey

Hockey is a very popular sport and it has varieties such as field hockey and ice hockey. But did you know that there’s also underwater hockey? Yes, and it is also known as Octopush.

This sport is being played worldwide. It involves two teams with an objective of pushing a puck with a stick across the floor of a swimming pool going to the opposing team’s goalmouth. Octopush has its own World Championship which was first held in 1980.

3. Toe Wrestling

The unusual sport of toe wrestling dates back to 1976 when the Brits were looking to gain a world sports title. The sport involves two competitors who would be going toe-to-toe. They will interlock their toes and try to pin down their opponent’s foot.

4. Sepak Takraw

Sepak Takraw is popular in Asia and it even started to make inroads in North America in the late 1980’s. Just like a game of soccer, players pass around a ball using anything but their arms. It is played in a court that has the same size as a badminton court. It involves two teams with three players each. The goal is to keep the ball in play and it is scored similar to volleyball.

5. Egg Throwing

Egg throwing

This sport originated in Swaton, England. It has an organization named World Egg Throwing Federation who says that egg throwing is a sport enjoyed by a lot of people. There’s also an annual World Egg Throwing Championship being held in Swaton. It involves a variation of games.

6. Extreme Ironing

Extreme ironing

This is an extreme and dangerous sport, and a performance art as well. People who join this sport are called ironists. They go to a remote location and iron clothes. They take their ironing boards and unplugged irons to extreme places such as on cliffs, on top of vehicles, and even underwater, then they photograph themselves while ironing clothes.

It is the newest danger sport that combines the excitements of an extreme outdoor activity with the achievement of a well-pressed shirt, based on the sport’s website.

7. Chess Boxing

Chess boxing

This is a hybrid sport that combines chess and boxing in alternating rounds. It was invented in 1992 by a French artist and filmmaker named Enki Bilal in his comic book Froid Equateur. The first real event of chess-boxing was held in 2003 and was organized by Dutch artist Lepe Rubingh.

It alternates between games of boxing and chess after each round, waiting for either a checkmate or knockout to decide who will win. It has eleven rounds which starts with a four-minute chess round followed by two minutes of boxing.

8. Wife Carrying

Wife carrying

The wife carrying competition is held annually in Finland in early July. It is a sport where male players race in a 253.5 meters course while carrying a female teammate. The course has different surfaces such as dry land and water obstacles. The winner gets a mobile phone and their wife’s weight in beer.

9. Oil Wrestling

Oil wrestling

This is a Turkish national sport and it is held around the world in June every year. The oldest oil wrestling competition was held in Kirkpinar, Edirne Turkey. It used to be a part of a festival in 1357 celebrating an Ottoman victory. It involves men covered in oil to wrestle with other men to the ground. It also takes place in northern Greece and in the recent years, it also became popular in other countries such as Netherlands and Japan.

10. Bed Racing

This is one of the most unusual sports played in the North Yorkshire Town of Knaresborough.  The first ever bed racing event was in 1965 where Army, Navy, and American Marines were the only ones allowed to join.

They raced in teams of five, plus one on the bed. Each of the teams must have their own bed which is decorated in the theme of the year. It will run on four wheels but must also float on water.

This is a 3km race that ends at Conyngham Hall. In the middle of the run, the teams will face a one-in-five gradient climb to Castle Top. After that, they will go back down the hill and toward the final challenge which is crossing a river.

11. Zorbing


This is a sport of rolling downhill inside an orb. The orb is usually made of transparent plastic. It is performed on a gentle slope but will also work on a level surface for more rider control. For some, this is an extreme sport, but others find it just a fun recreational sport since there is no competition about it.

12. Bossaball


This unusual sport was invented in 2004 in Spain by Filip Eyckmans. The game is like volleyball but it also includes some elements from gymnastics, football, and capoeira. Bossaball is played on an inflatable court that is specially designed for the sport. It has a circular trampoline on each side of a net. It involves two teams with 3 to 5 players each.

These are some of the unusual sports we’ve discovered. They are indeed strange but they sound entertaining as well. Have you heard or played any of them?