Weirdest Sports From Around the World

Most people think of soccer, basketball and obviously football as headliners in the sports section, but why not give something else a try. Society always looks for current and different trends so that’s what I brought to you. After researching unusual sports, I compiled a list of the top weirdest ones from around the world to illustrate the history and gameplay of different kinds of sports allowing readers to open up their minds to new and somewhat crazy physical activity.

Unicycle Hockey

Unicycle hockey is so far out there, that you may think a clown car missed the circus exit and ended up at a hockey rink, and you would be kind of right. According to, a one on one game of unicycle hockey was first played in a German circus film in 1925. By 1960, this phenomenon evolved into a sport which was promoted as a form of healthy living. By 1985, the first official unicycle hockey team was created in Germany. Odd as it may seem, the sport continued to gain traction in 17 countries with nearly 100 teams worldwide. With half a bicycle and a couple pieces of hockey equipment, unicycle hockey was born.

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Unicycle hockey, played on a rink roughly two-thirds the size of an ice hockey rink, has teams with five players and extra subs. As if hockey was not hard enough, try doing it on one wheel with no brakes. Better yet, both feet have to be on the pedals of the unicycle in order to play the ball. Players use tennis or street hockey balls with regular hockey sticks. It is hard to believe that this sport all started from a circus scene in a movie.

Cheese Rolling

It may sound like an edible version of curling, but Cooper’s Hill cheese rolling ranks up there with some of the most dangerous sports in the world. The British Broadcasting Company claims that cheese rolling has been going on in Brockworth, Gloucestershire, England for nearly two centuries. Atlas Obscura website says that every May contestants run down a steep 600 foot-tall hill after an eight pound wheel of cheese. Time Magazine reports that the first person to catch the cheese or pass the finish line wins the cheese.

Ironically, the cheese wheel had to be replaced with a foam replica in recent years, since some spectators were injured by a rogue wheel of cheese topping speeds of 70mph. That’s right, officiators care more about the bystanders than the athletes. (I guess the participants signed a waiver.)

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In actuality, injuries among runners are even more common. The Daily Star reported that some players have suffered broken limbs, broken backs, and torn muscles all for a single wheel of cheese.

Chris Anderson, a British soldier, has the most wins totaling 22 over the past 14 years. Despite tearing his calf muscle during last year’s race, Anderson still won.

Extreme Ironing

The Fact explains, “Extreme ironing is an outdoor sport that combines the danger and excitement of an ‘extreme’ sport with the satisfaction of a well pressed shirt.”

The idea was first introduced in 1997 by a man from Leicester, England. In 1999, he traveled the world to promote extreme ironing. With growing participation in America, Fiji, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, it gained a large enough following to be recognized as a sport. People would trek through dense forest, climb mountaintops or dive to the bottom of the ocean to perform the act of ironing. Germany hosted the first world championship in 2002. Since then, it has also been hosted in Austria, Chile, Croatia and Australia

Photos By of Sharon Gerau

Yak Polo

Yep. You are reading this right. Imagine replacing your graceful polo pony with a big, hairy stubborn animal like a yak and the proper Englishman with an untrained Mongolian nomad. It sounds like a disaster waiting to happen, but at the same time it works. The website The Telegraph describes, the separation of the Soviet Union and Mongolia  around 1990. As a result, Russia stopped funding Mongolia with subsidies.

In 2005, Yak Polo was created out of necessity. Not only did it add to the nomads’ tourism and income, but it may have even saved the yak from extinction. Yak population was low, but saw a healthy rebound after the introduction of this sport. This bizarre sport  has even extended to Pakistan due to its new spin on an old sport.

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While the gameplay is similar to regular polo, there are some contrasting details explained by Yak polo requires two teams of five players. One person is the assigned goalie and the other players move the ball up a field with mallets trying to score by hitting the ball into the goal. The team with the highest score at the end of the game wins.





Chess Boxing

Combining the skills of an athlete and a scholar, chess boxing requires intellect and physical endurance. Rules of the Sport website explains that there are six matches of chess alternating with five rounds of boxing. Players win by performing a checkmate, the forfeit of a competitor, a knockout or a point accumulation in boxing. Each match starts with a four minute round of chess followed by a three minute round of boxing. Players are given a one minute break between rounds.

Cool explains that points are awarded in a ten point system in boxing. Each knock down earns one point. If a knockout or tapout is achieved, the opponent automatically wins.

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Chess matches are won with either a checkmate, a forfeit or expired time — meaning that the required number of moves was not met within the time limit, claims The Chess

Chess boxing started in 1992 and is currently recognized in England, France, Germany, Japan, Russia and the Netherlands.