Wacky Sports Around the World

Cheapflights, the online travel adviser, has just come up with this fabulous list of no-frills, high-adrenaline sports which was distributed on the Reuters network  …..

1. Camel Racing Popular through the Middle East as well as Mongolia and Australia, the sport takes place every year from late October to early April. In the dusty desert, camels race along a sand track up to 16 kilometres long. When I stopped over in Dubai, I missed the spectacle by one day … be sure to be there on a Friday.

2. Tuna Tossing

The Tuna Tossing World Championship occurs annually at the Tunarama Festival in Port Lincoln, Australia. Men and women 16 years and older fight it out to toss their tuna the farthest.             Hmm, wonder how long it will before public opinion force them to can it! 

3. Greasy Pole Climbing

This messy and challenging sport is a crowd favourite in a number of places including Indonesia, Brazil, the UK, the Caribbean and at logging shows in Canada.  The biggest stage for the sport if the competition held during St. Peter’s Fiesta in Gloucester, Mass. Forty to 50 men aged between 18 to 60 test the slipperiness and attempt to be the first to reach the end of the pole and grab the red flag at the end. What grown men won’t do for a bit of pole dancing!

4. Cheese Rolling (watch the video below)

In a bone-crushing race people run, stumble and slide down a steep hill to catch massive rolls of cheese. This Julie Bowman video show’s it’s not for the feint of heart. The most famous event is Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake, held in Gloucestershire, UK, where competitors vie with eight-pound Double Gloucester cheese rounds.

5. Corn Hole

A one-handed sport, Corn Hole can be (and most often is) played without ever putting down your beer. However, tournament competitors in the toss-the-beanbag-into-the-hole sport, which is thought to be based on a game created by Native Americans, must be sanctioned by the American Corn Hole Association. There, they vie in two-person or two-team matches. Coming to TSN soon ….

6. Buzkashi

Literally translated, it means “goat grabbing.” Imagine polo but with one slight modification. The game uses the carcass of a goat or calf instead of a ball. The Afghan Olympic Federation has implemented official rules for Buzkashi, the national sport of Afghanistan.  Look out Brazil, 2016.

7. Bun Climbing

Thousands of locals and tourists gather on the tiny fishing island of Cheung Chau in China to celebrate the festival and watch the bun climbing in amazement. The Bun Mountains are 60-foot-tall steel structures covered with delicious, decorative steamed buns and bamboo scaffolding. Men compete in a race to climb up the towers and grab as many buns as possible. The person with the most buns wins. Sponsored by Tim Hortons and Krispy Creme?

8. Quidditch

Yes, we’re talking Harry Potter athletics here.  Imagine, people running astride broom sticks, working to get a ball through a hoop without getting smashed by an opponent aiming another ball at their heads, dodge ball style. This game now plays out at most than 300 college and high school campuses across the US and 12 other countries.  Muggles, muggles, muggles!

9. Outhouse Racing

Found through much of the US, this is a sport of hometown fun and foolishness. The Australians practice it too, though there it is known as dunny racing. Eery second year in September, the town of Winton in the outback of Queensland hosts the Sorbent Australian Dunny Derby.  Twenty “dunny jockeys” sit astride dunnies on wheels pulled by a team of four to race to the finish line of a 250-metre track.

10. Pumpkin Chunking

Champions of this autumn sport can send gourds more than 4,000 feet in the air. In fact, the World Record pumpkin flight is more than a mile (5,545.43 feet to be exact). The biggest competition is held annually by the World Championship Pumpkin Chunkin’ Association in Sussex County, Delaware the first full weekend in November.  And we’re all looking forward to it. 


About Chris McBeath

Travel writer Chris McBeath has worked aboard cruise ships, opened hotels, managed convention centers, marketed spas and spa resorts, and written guide books and travel articles on nearly every aspect of travel.
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