It’s important to try new things in life. You’re probably familiar with the sports we watch on TV in America, and even grew up playing them. You might have even tried out a few lesser-known sports during PE in school, games like lacrosse or handball, but there is a whole world of games you’ve probably never heard of.
Some of these sports are brand new, while others have been around for decades but have failed to catch on. We think you’ll agree they’re equal parts creative and outrageous. Try one out — you might be a natural!
- Ga-Ga Ball
The movie “Dodgeball” brought us ESPN 8 and Obscure Sports Quarterly, so it’s fitting that we begin our list with a variation on the popular playground sport.
Ga-ga ball comes from Israel, and while it has rules similar to dodgeball, it is played in an eight-sided wooden enclosure. Also, you can’t hit a player just anywhere to eliminate them — it has to be below the knees.
- International Rules Football
In America, we call what the rest of the world calls football soccer. However, there is another game that is football, but isn’t American football. It’s international rules football, a variation on Australian rules football that uses mostly Gaelic rules football equipment, and not even the Aussies quite know what’s going on out there.
- Underwater Hockey
If you’ve got a strong set of lungs and amazing spatial perception, underwater hockey could be just the game for you! The sport has been around since the 1950s, and uses a weighted puck, which players must push across the floor of a pool.
The sport is known for being extremely intense, though it doesn’t feature the fistfights common in ice hockey. Each game begins with a sprint to the puck in the center of the pool.
- Winter Whitewater Rafting
Here’s a great way to see exciting locations all over the world, as long as you don’t mind getting a little cold and wet. You’ve probably heard about whitewater and the technical rapids rafters face. Doing this sport in the winter presents some additional challenges.
With the right guide and some good equipment, it’s great fun. As with any extreme sport, it’s important that you only push it as far as you feel comfortable and work up to new challenges.
What began as a gym class game in central Illinois has started to spread through the Midwest and east coast. Similar to how it sounds, volleytennis is a version of volleyball played on half of a tennis court. Each team gets 3 hits per side, and one bounce. That bounce makes all the difference, as rallies can get pretty wild.
The net it short enough for some powerful spiking, and the rules also state that you can hit or kick the ball however you want. Just a warning though: play volleytennis a few times, and you won’t want to go back to volleyball.
- Roller Derby
Here’s one that you’ve probably heard of but never played. This wheeled sport takes place on a circular track. Jammers from each team score by lapping the entire opposing team, and while it sounds simple, the level of physicality involved in roller derby makes that quite a challenge.
While roller derby has been around for a long time, it is enjoying something of a resurgence at the moment with recreational leagues having success in places such as Southern California and Japan.
American audiences may not have heard of this one. Goat pulling is the national sport of Afghanistan, although it is seldom played in this age. The sport is played on horseback, but unlike polo, you don’t have to be a wealthy socialite to participate.
The point of Buzkashi is to grab the carcass of a decapitated goat while at full gallop, and the match begins with a tussle to get the goat from the center of the playing field. Once you’ve got the goat, it’s a no-rules sprint to the goal line, but the opposing team can do literally anything they want to keep you from scoring. Not for the faint of heart.
If you’re looking for a new favorite pastime, there are many more where these came from. Chess boxing, extreme ironing and wife carrying are just a few of the choices we couldn’t go into detail about in this piece. Rest assured, if you’ve considered inventing a new game, there’s probably a group of people just like you already playing it