There are many mainstream sports that have been embraced by fans and the online sports betting community, but there are also many niche sports that you may not have heard of. Regardless of whether you’re someone who loves sports bets, or you’ve never gambled in your life, sports lovers will doubtless want to know more about these incredible and strange sports that are enjoyed across the world.
Join us as we take a look at five of these unusual sporting activities.
1. Cheese rolling
If you’ve watched “We are the Champions” on Netflix, you might have already heard about cheese rolling, a sport that is both humorous and dangerous at the same time! The UK county of Gloucestershire is home to this rather unusual test of strength and agility, with people gathering at the now famous Cooper’s Hill – near the city of Gloucester – to take part in (and watch) this annual sporting event.
All the participants in this event chase a (now replica) wheel of Double Gloucester cheese down the 200-yard-long Cooper’s Hill with the goal of being the first across the finish line. The winner of this event not only receives bragging rights, but also gets a real wheel of cheese for their efforts!
However, this sporting tradition operates in a very informal manner, as authorities have tried to shut down the event due to injuries that have occurred in the past. Needless to say, this type of event is unlikely to make it onto any official sportsbooks, especially if you like to bet online.
2. Competitive slapping
If you live outside Russia, you may not be familiar with this sport, but competitive slapping has definitely caught the interest of people from the largest country in the world. In this simple sport – which should come with a “don’t try this at home” sticker – two participants stand across from each other, a small table in between them, and take turns slapping each other! If either “slapper” is unable to strike back during their round (either due to a knockout, technical knockout, or resignation,) their opponent is declared the winner!
While this sport has yet to catch on in the rest of the world, it wouldn’t be surprising to hear that Russian sportsbooks offer sports betting lines for this competitive sport. (Unfortunately we were unable to confirm whether this is the case.)
3. Chess boxing
Two very different competitive activities have come together in chess boxing, a sport that combines the more intellectual battles that take place on a chess board with the undoubtedly more physical affairs of the boxing ring.
The first chess boxing event was originally a performance piece that was based on an idea from a French comic book, albeit with some tweaks to the original concept. In a chess boxing event, the two participants take part in alternating rounds of chess and boxing, with the winner being decided by knockout, TKO, checkmate, running out of time during the chess round, player resignation, or disqualification. As in real boxing, competitors face off against opponents from a similar weight category.
While still a niche sporting event, this is the type of unusual sporting activity that may catch the eye of those who like betting on sports, which may see it being adopted by sportsbooks. Time will tell if this test of strength and intelligence will break into the mainstream!
4. Egg throwing
An activity that was once associated with Easter celebrations, egg throwing or tossing has taken on a life of its own. This is primarily thanks to the World Egg Throwing Federation and the World Egg Throwing Championships that they host in the village of Swaton, in the English county of Lincolnshire. In this event, participants can compete in numerous egg-related competitions including:
- Egg static relay – Competitors must pass an egg down a line as quickly as possible. This involves teams with 11 members.
- Egg target throwing – Participants score points by throwing eggs at a human target. Points vary depending on which part of the target’s body they hit (the highest-scoring zone is the groin, apparently.)
- Egg throwing – Players toss an egg to each other in teams of two, with each throw being further than the last.
- Egg trebuchet – In this event, people design trebuchets to fling eggs at a member of their team who stands far away from the trebuchet.
- Russian egg roulette – In this game of chance, two players each receive six eggs. One of them is raw, while the other five are hard-boiled. Both players must smash each egg against their head in turn. The person who smashes the raw egg against their head first is knocked out and their opponent is declared the winner!
While not all of these are sports events, egg throwing does sound like it might be a great deal of (messy) fun… although it could be a vegan’s worst nightmare!
5. Lawn mower racing
Is it surprising that so many devices with wheels end up being used for competitive races? From bicycles and carts to cars, many people throughout our history have clearly shown to have a need for speed! Despite not sounding like a great idea, ride-on lawn mowers are not exempt from this phenomenon, with people from Australia, the US and the UK taking part in ride-on lawn mower races!
As one might expect, this sport involves multiple racers who ride on customized lawn mowers. An already risky sport, thankfully these lawn mowers have had their blades removed, somewhat reducing the danger of any injuries in the event of an accident. These races take place on dirt tracks, with the winner being decided by the first to cross the finish line, or complete a specific number of laps – much like other vehicular sports. It’s believed this sporting event began in both the US and UK during the 1960s.
While these races might not exhibit the same level of showmanship as F1, NASCAR, or rally racing, there’s undoubtedly a niche group of racing enthusiasts who love this type of, er, grassroots event!
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