Strangest Sports from Around the World

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Sports has a history that goes back thousands of years. Wrestling is depicted in famous cave paintings in Lascaux, France, dating back to 15,300 years ago. Whilst the most popular sport in the world today is soccer, it took a millennium to reach Europe from its original homeland, China. Whilst sport has a strange history, some of the sports themselves are strange. Here are just a few:

Fierljeppen, also known as elegant jumping.

Fierljeppen is a popular sport in the North-Western Friesland province in the Netherlands.  The sport requires an individual to run toward a body of water with a pole about ten metres long and jump over the water to reach the farthest distance on the other side. This sounds simple, but the jumper must first sprint towards the pole that lies by the waterside. Then, to maximise distance, vaulters must climb as high as they can up the pole whilst it is in the water and then must jump from the top before the pole hits the ground.

Fierljeppen has been around for a couple of hundred years, but the pole was initially a tool for field workers to move across numerous ditches and canals easily. For those looking for a game that is not so energetic, check out MyBookie Casino, a US-friendly online casino that can match the best European venues. This online site is primarily known as a bookmaker, but it also offers premium slots, table games, and some attractive bonuses.

Cheese Rolling

Gloucestershire’s Cooper’s Hill has hosted a traditional cheese rolling event since the 1800s. This world-famous sport sees daring competitors run down the precariously steep Cooper’s Hill after an eight-pound round of Double Gloucester cheese. Few runners will stay on their feet during the race, with most falling and tumbling and broken bones are common. To add to the strangeness of the event, the cheese can never be caught since a brief head-start sees it reach 70 mph. The Cheese Rolling winner is the first person to cross the line at the bottom of the hill. Once only open to locals, people travel from around the world to take part.

Bossaball

Bossaball is a fun and energetic game that requires players to have acrobatic abilities. Probably best described as a game of volleyball infused with gymnastics and football techniques, bossaball is played on a specially designed inflatable platform with trampolines in the middle. Although it is possible to play bossaball without music, Bossa Nova tunes, from which the sport gets its name, usually sets the rhythm of the game, creating a carnival atmosphere. The game was invented in 2004 by Belgium national Filip Eyckmans and is played in 20 countries, but only the Netherlands has a major bossaball league at present.

Goat Dragging (Buzkashi)

Played for more than 600 years, Afghanistan’s national sport, Buzkashi, is scarily fast and extremely physical sport played on horseback, similar to polo, but using a headless goat carcass instead of a ball. The day before a game, a goat is decapitated, disembowelled and its legs severed at the knees. The body is then soaked in water for 24 hours to harden the flesh and toughen the hide before play. After the match, the goat is roasted. Riders wear heavy clothing and head protection as protection against other players’ whips and boots, but the skill of the game is witnessed by the riders’ agility and horsemanship.