Sometimes people just don’t know when to stop. Below is a list of the top 10 bizarre sports (I use the word loosely) I could find. I’m not trying to sway your opinion of these sports, but they are flat out ridiculous and are hardly an athletic feat. However, to my amazement, they all have a decent following. Again: ridiculous.
No. 10 Shin Kicking
A common sport in Britain, shin kicking is as crazy as it sounds. Two men wearing knee socks stuffed with straw go out in a field and kick their opponent’s shins until they fall to the ground. The Shin Kicking Association of Britain even has a motto: “If it ain’t broke, yer not kickin’ hard enough!” I couldn’t make that up.
No. 9 Chessboxing
Since chess is as exciting as watching paint dry, fans of the game added boxing to try and make it a knock out sport to appeal to the masses. Held in a boxing ring, a chessboxing fight consists of two opponents playing alternating rounds of chess and boxing. A knockout, checkmate or a few other things determine the winner, but the goal is to be the smartest toughest athlete left in the ring.
No. 8 Sauna World Championships
Held annually in Finland since 1999, the Sauna World Championships is raising the bar (and the temperature) on all other sporting events. Competitors from around the globe gather to bake themselves for at least 10 minutes in a sauna with a temperature set around 260 degrees Fahrenheit. There are rules about the way you sit and body placement but the point is the competitors are literally sitting in an oven. Even though there is a medical staff on hand in case of emergencies, this doesn’t sound very smart. In fact, a Finnish man died last year from scalding to death. This sport is too hot for me.
No. 7 Redneck Games
The Redneck Games began in Dublin, Ga., in 1996 as a way to raise money for charity after jokes were made about rednecks in Atlanta hosting the ‘96 Olympic Games. With sports including the hubcap hurl, the bobbin’ for pig’s feet fest, redneck horseshoes – in which toilet seats are the objects thrown, watermelon seed spitting contest and a mud pit belly flop contest, the Redneck Games have had more than 95,000 individuals in attendance over the last decade and claim to be “more fun than indoor plumbing.” What could be better than that?!
No. 6 Toe Wrestling
This takes gripping sports to a whole new level. Beginning outside a pub in Derbyshire, United Kingdom in 1976, the World Toe Wrestling Competition involves two people locking big toes in attempt to force their challenger’s foot off the ground. Organizers of the sport applied for inclusion in the Olympics but to their dismay were declined. This “sport” grosses me out and, to my surprise, has a large female competitor base.
No. 5 Portable Toilet Racing
In Lithuania, people have found a new winter sport – pushing outdoor portable toilets (you know, the big, disgusting blue boxes with toilets inside we see at almost every outdoor event) across a frozen lake. What’s even better is that there is actually someone, a “competitor”, inside the portable toilet while four people serve as the designated pushers. The goal is to make it around a track on the lake while the competitor inside the portable potty remains on the throne – the first to reach the finish line is crowned the champion.
No. 4 World Beard and Moustache Championships
My assistant, Dylan Stinson, is going to love this. There are actually beard and moustache clubs around the world that come together for the world championships held in a different country each year. Competitions are held within three categories: full beard, partial beard and moustache. Within each of those classifications are six subcategories used for judging the best facial hair in the world. The winners, who work for years for facial hair perfection, are awarded medals and bragging rights of the best beards in the world.
No. 3 Camel Wrestling
Startling statistic No. 1: In Turkey, there are more than 1,200 camel wrestlers bred specifically for competitions. Do you get that? These are competitive camels bred specifically for wrestling other camels. Who thinks of these things? During the day of the tournament, camels and their owners are dressed in specific garb and are welcomed to the wrestling field with a marching band. In this match, there are three ways to determine which camel wins: if the camel makes its rival escape from the field, if the camel draws his rival with different tricks and games that his rival cannot stand and cries or if the camel makes his rival fall with tricks and sits on it. The winner gets a Turkish rug and you can’t beat that.
No. 2 Ladder Racing
This one is actually pretty cool. Firemen from around the U.S. compete in extreme ladder racing, where competitors line up, grab a 12-foot ladder, run to a tall wall, throw the ladder against it and climb up as fast as possible. The winner is the one who gets up fastest. It’s fascinating.
No. 1 Extreme Ironing
With its origin in the United Kingdom in 1997, extreme ironing was created when a man known as Steam wanted to go rock climbing but had a lot of ironing to do. Steam decided to combine both tasks and extreme ironing was birthed. Participants from around the world iron their clothes while water skiing, hang gliding, skate boarding, bicycling, underwater diving and more.