Unusual Sports

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Unusual Sports

Zoe Lin, Staff Writer

Across the world, people participate in countless different sports. Some of the more popular sports include basketball, football, soccer, and baseball. However, people also engage in more uncommon sports, such as toe wrestling, underwater hockey, and chess-boxing. Although these sports may sound quite bizarre, many of the people partaking in these activities are just as serious about them as people participating in more common sports. 

Toe wrestling, created by Pete Cheetham, Eddie Stansfield, Pete Dean, and Mick Dawson, originated in Wetton, Staffordshire, England in 1973. Each match starts out with players taking each other’s shoes and socks off as a common courtesy. Next, the players interlock their toes together and attempt to push their opponent’s foot to the side. For over 40 years, competitors have participated in the World Toe Wrestling Championship. Alan ‘Nasty’ Nash, who appeared on The Tonight Show, is the current world champion, recently acquiring his 16th title this year. Though toe wrestling may not seem like a physically demanding sport, Nash recalled he once broke four toes in the middle of a semi-final. “I kept the swelling down and went back in for the finals, and I won,” he stated. 

Underwater hockey, also called Octopush, was invented by the British Navy as an attempt to keep their divers in shape, as well as extend their capacity to move and work efficiently underwater. Eventually, the game traveled to Australia and quickly developed into a sport played in at least 36 countries. The rules of underwater hockey vary throughout regions, but in world tournaments, teams are composed of six players wearing fins and snorkels. When the buzzer sounds, two teams of six rush to the center of the pool, where a puck is placed. In order to score, the players must use their miniaturized hockey sticks to hit the puck through a trough. Each game lasts for 33 minutes. Though this sport may seem odd, it’s actually quite popular in countries like Australia and New Zealand. According to The Atlantic, “underwater hockey is as widespread in New Zealand high schools as football or baseball are in America.”

Chess-boxing is exactly what the name suggests; a combination of chess and boxing. The sport consists of two people switching between rounds of boxing and playing chess. There are a total of 11 alternating rounds, with each round lasting three minutes. In order to win, the opponents must either beat their opponent during the chess round or by knockout during the boxing round. The sport, inspired by the graphic novel Froid Équateur, was brought to life by Iepe Rubingh in 2003. A decade later in November, the first official World Championship was held in Moscow. 

It’s no doubt that everyone has heard of the mainstream sports, such as baseball, basketball, or football. However, there are a countless number of different sports played all across the world that are far from ordinary. Though these sports may be strange, many people still immensely enjoy participating in these sports.

 

Photo Courtesy of THELOWELL.ORG