The 8 Most Baffling 'Sports' From Around The World
Once again we're taking time to celebrate the one tradition common to all cultures: gathering in large groups to participate in utterly pointless and often mind-bogglingly dangerous sports.
All it takes is a lot of bored males and, more often than not, alcohol.
What is it?
Shin Kicking is part of the Cotswold Games, a four hundred year-old tournament that claims to be the oldest Olympiad in the world, and, because of the absence of synchronised swimming, it may also have a valid claim to be the best.
There's rarely a sport more perfectly summed up by its name. Shin Kicking is a contest between two fighters as to who can knock the other down by the simple, honest method of kicking the shit out of one another's shins.
If you cause your opponent to fall, you earn a point. Bouts are won on a best-of-three basis, the winner going through to the next round. Call us unadventurous, but we think we'd probably throw the fight immediately after some hairy, beefy, rosy cheeked English farmer demolished our wizened, malnourished shins with one swing of a sheep-shit covered boot.
Competitors are allowed to cram hay down their pants to try and protect their shins, but what with hay having the protective qualities of a soggy tissue, we can't picture it doing much good.
The Cotswold Games began in the early 1600s when a local attorney called Robert Dover organised the games a protest against the rampant growth of Puritanism. Because if anything is going to make those prudes lighten up it's the horrific breaking of another man's shins.
In the games early days, duelling was an event. In one fight between Sir German Poole and a Mr. Hutchinson, Poole sliced off three of Hutchinson's fingers before Hutchinson even drew his sword. Hutchinson responded by slicing off Poole's nose, and the gruesome turn of events probably short-circuited plans to combine the events by strapping knives to contestant's shoes during the shin-kicking event.
Bossaball (AKA Trampoline Volleyball
Belgium, though there are clubs in Brazil, Germany, Spain and Kuwait, among other places.
What is it?
Bossaball is a variant of volleyball, but with elements of soccer, gymnastics and capoeira (a Brazilian martial art) thrown in. All of it is played on a souped-up bouncy castle, producing something which is mind-blowingly awesome. Seriously, why isn't this shit in the Olympics?
The game is played on an inflatable volleyball court, and in front of the net on each side is a round trampoline so players can get some serious height when spiking. Teams are comprised of three, four or five players, one of which must be on the trampoline (the attacker), whilst the other four must set the ball up for the attacker to spike. And of course everyone is bouncing around and giggling the whole time.
The game is over when a team reaches twenty five points, or when the bigger boys come along and throw everyone off so they can play.
The game was invented a few years ago in Belgium, making it the first good idea to come out of the country since the Trappist Monks realized worshiping God was much more fun when you're drunk off your ass.
The name comes from Bossa nova, which is a style of Brazilian Music, and Bossaball officials are known as samba referees. They officiate the game, but also provide the soundtrack with drums, turntables and microphones, an innovation we think would improve many sports (golf most of all).
Free Style Walking (aka Skateboarding Without a Skateboard
Anywhere jaw-dropping stupidity can be found.
What is it?
Freestyle Walking and "Free Running" seem to be sports for people who bought the clothes to dress like Bam Margera, but didn't have any money left to buy a skateboard. So they go jumping off rails and fences using only their feet.
You can buy special shoes called Soap Shoes with hard soles meant to make it easier to slide along a rail before slipping off and destroying your nuts.
There are other offshoots like FMX or Foot Motocross, which is an extreme sport where people do BMX bicycle stunts the, er, bike. So, again, FMX is just running around and jumping.
Freestyle Walking was developed by Illinois residents Brian White, Brandon Kennedy, Tom Mottier and Mike Rempert in 1995 as a means of self-expression and creative interaction with one's environment. Everyone else just called it walking stupidly.
Experts expect the sport to die out in just one generation, as repeated rail nut-crushings have rendered virtually all participants sterile.
Ferret Legging (aka Stuffing a Ferret Down Your Pants
What is it?
Imagine, if you can, standing in a barn in a small village on the moors of North Yorkshire, in England. In the barn, there are a lot of dour looking Gentlemen standing around you, glowering, drinking ale and smoking pipes. Oh yeah, you're shirtless, and your trousers are securely tied around your ankles. There's a fellow in front of you holding two ferrets. These two small, carnivorous, weasel-like beasts with sharp claws and teeth are squirming, and they look both pissed off and really, really hungry.
Then, the fellow with the ferrets gives you the nod. You pull your trousers out, and he throws the ferrets in, pulling your belt tight afterwards.
That's basically the idea of this. It's referred to as "keepin' 'em down" and Ferret Leggers have to keep the two thrashing, angry ferrets down their trousers for as long as possible. When the Ferret Legger can't take any more, they whip their trousers down, freeing the Ferrets, and spend the next few weeks trying to piece together their shredded pride. And genitals.
Organized events seem to have petered out before the era of YouTube videos, but fortunately you can still find some enthusiasts participating in the privacy of their own homes.
The current world record is held by a Yorkshireman called Reg Mellor, who kept two ferrets down his trousers for five hours and twenty six minutes back in 1981. No one dared ask him why.
We have no idea, nor do we really want to find out. All we know is that it was popular in the early 1900s, and rallied again in the 1970s. Currently Yorkshire and Scotland are both arguing as to who invented the sport first, hopefully each accusing the other.
The sport appears to be illegal in Great Britain, which is the only place where it is played. We suppose the authorities must turn a blind eye because, really, what can they do to punish a guy who's already had a ferret attack his testicles?
Dwile Flonking (aka Beer Rag Tossing)
What is it?
A game of dexterity, skill and terrifying amounts of booze, a mixture that we've always found to end in absolute happiness. According to the Friends of The Lewes Arms pub, one venue where the game is played, the rules of the game are impenetrable and the result is always contested. They say that because the competitors are always roaringly drunk by the time the game ends.
Two teams play the game. One member of a team, the flonker, stands with a beer-soaked rag on a stick whilst the other team links arms and dances around him, a practice known as girting, for reasons apparent to only those who have spent their adult life drinking ale.
The flonker spins around in the opposite direction to the others and has to fling the rag at them. The girters have to dodge the rag. Points are scored if the rag hits someone, but if the rag misses, the flonker has to drink a chamber-pot's worth of beer.
The game is over when four rounds are finished, or when everyone is so drunk that any movement might cause them to vomit noisily or urinate uncontrollably. Points are deducted if anyone is sober enough to remember their gender at the end of the game.
Dwile Flonkers claim that the game was invented either in the nineteenth century or sometime in the middle ages. Sober people say it was invented in the 1960s by a bunch of people with too much time on their hands.
As with most English rural sports of questionable origin, dressing up like an idiot is a requirement.
Hornussen (aka Spastic Placard Flailing
What is it?
Some claim it's a cross between baseball and golf, but in reality it only has a passing similarity to either. The game is played by teams of up to eighteen on a very long, straight field. A launcher, a curved metal ramp, is at one end, by which a player stands. He smacks a small rubber projectile, the hornuss, from the launcher with a long, bendy stick that looked like a fishing rod.
The hornuss can reach speeds of two hundred miles an hour, and can fly for up to three hundred yards. It zooms off straight towards the members of the other team, who are all standing on the field waving placards and wearing helmets.
The other team has to biff the hornuss out the air my hitting it with a placard. But because of the hornuss' small size and quick velocity, it's very hard to spot, leading to lots of comical running around with oversized wooden placards until someone sees the hornuss flying straight at their soft, pink, squishy flesh. At this point they panic and fling their placard up into the air and run away. And then whole thing starts again.
Points are scored if the hornuss hits the ground without having being stopped by a placard or someone's face.
Hornussen was developed in the early seventeenth century. It's unclear whether it was invented as a sport or, as a minority claim, as a method of warfare. All we can say is if the latter is true, it's probably for the best that the Swiss have sat out every major war since.
The name derives from the German word for hornet, because of the buzzing noise the hornuss makes as it flies through the air. We would have thought a better name would be "Meine Hoden!" for the inevitable cry a player makes when he fails to spot the hornuss until impacts his balls.
Skibobbing (aka Suicide Ski Biking
The Alps, though it has spread to the US.
What is it?
Skibobbing is a winter sport, in which competitors go down very steep snowy hills on a bike on skis. So it's like skiing, which itself can be pretty dangerous, only multiplying the danger by a magnitude of stupid because the bike doesn't appear to have any way of stopping.
We've watched videos and it appears the only thing to do on a skibob is to go really, really fast until you either run out of hill or crash. It would not surprise us in the slightest if the creator of the sport was an undertaker in a small Alpine town who fancied some extra business.
The modern skibob stemmed from a patent made in 1892 by an American called John Stevens. Stevens patented the idea of a bicycle where the front wheel was replaced by a ski.
We imagine his last words were "hey guys, look at this thing I made! Check out how cool I look!"
Skibobbing became popular in the 1950s when they were used as transport across the Alps, possibly as an effort to steal the 'Most Retarded Way of Crossing the Alps' trophy from Hannibal.
Camel Wrestling (aka Camel Wrestling)
What is it?
Not to be confused with sports like bear wrestling, in which a man with huge balls goes up against a bear, camel wrestling is a Turkish sport in which two male camels slug it out. The Tulu Camels are specially bred for the competition, and decked out with bells and colourful ornamentation. They're then sent into the ring with another camel to do battle over a hot camel-babe in heat.
The results are usually highly amusing.
Camels can win by either making their opponent fall, scream or gallop away in a comical leg-flapping manner. Trainers try and install carious fighting methods in their camels. These include wrestling from the right or left, tripping the other camel or one camel trapping the other's head against its chest and then sitting down. A camel's grasp of advanced fighting practices is notoriously poor, however, and thus it seems they just clatter around, banging into each other until one topples over.
Camel wrestling has been popular in the Aegean region of Turkey for centuries. No one quite knows when it began, though some speculate it has been around since the caravan and nomadic periods. We think that it began when two camel traders got bored and likely drunk.
Because of the presence of a camel-babe, the male camels often get incredibly aroused, which culminates in a lot of viscous spittle and excitable urine being sprayed around the arena. For some reason, ringside seats never sell that well.
If you can draw and think like a child and want $50, head to the forum and show us The Presidential Election As Drawn By a 5 Year-Old.
Or, if you didn't follow the link in the intro, check out last year's The 10 Most Insane "Sports" From Around the World. Or for a look at the bizarre foods foreigners use to fuel all that bizarre activity, check out The 6 Most Terrifying Foods in the World.