10 Sports You May Not Know
Many humans, if not most, possess an inherent drive to compete against one another in a test to determine whose raw skill is superior. This competitive urge slowly developed over centuries into organized contests, until sport became a regular convention among most civilizations. Whether sporting called for basic one-on-one fighting skills, or the ability to toss a spear further, it was apparent that competition provided the perfect scapegoat from the troublesome areas of ancient life.
As society advanced, so too did sport. Modern sports have evolved into complicated contests, featuring rulebooks as long as the Bible, and a myriad of leagues comprised of dozens of echelons. North America is dominated by the ‘Big Four’, including the NHL, MLB, NBA, and the NFL. The most popular sport in the world, soccer (or football to the other six billion of you), is played regularly on six continents. This article however, will focus on some of the popular sports around the world you may not be aware of. From as long as 3000 years ago, to as current as 2005, these ten sports will likely test your sporting knowledge.
10. Tchoukball (chuke – ball)
Sharing many aspects with handball, tchoukball pits two teams of nine against each other who must each endeavour to bounce the ball off either of the two angled trampolines without the other team catching the rebound. With the trampolines on either side of the court, and a crease that surrounds them, players may not take more than three steps while avoiding the crease at the same time. A point is scored if a player bounces the ball off either of the trampolines and the ball hits the ground.
9. Elephant Polo
Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s polo, but on elephants. While said to be first played in India, Nepal and several other Eastern Asian countries developed the game into what it is today. Two teams of three elephants (two people on each elephant, there’s no way you can steer those behemoth’s and strike the ball at the same time) must work to hit the ball across the goal line. At no point can more than one elephant be in the crease. Note: France is surprisingly the reigning champion…
While not a competitive sport in the practical sense, this Burmese game requires one to hit the ball in the fanciest of ways while walking in a circle with up to five other people. This demanding game requires you to use your feet and knees to perform tricks with the ball. Usually a player will stand in the middle while the other five provide support. While sounding like a simple concept, chinlone is truly one of the most beautiful sports to watch.
7. Rock-it ball
Having only been developed in 2005 in the UK, rock-it ball represents one of the many up and coming school sports. Centered around what looks like a double sided lacrosse stick, two teams of five must compete to strike a member of the opposing team with the ball. Points are scored if you manage to hit an opponent between the shoulder and foot, or if you catch an opposing player’s shot. The new sport promotes sportsmanship, honesty, and was primarily developed for those who may not be athletically gifted.
Closely related to basketball, and derived from netball, this popular Western European sport combines passing and shooting skills. Opponents must pass the ball without taking any steps, and have to sink the ball into a net that is 3.5 metres tall without a backboard. Played co-ed style, men are only permitted to guard men and vice versa. The purpose of the sport’s development is to take away the physical aspect of netball and basketball.
5. Sepak Takraw
Probably the most unique sport on the list, this Southeast Asian sport is similar to volleyball, but with only the use of your feet. Each team, comprised of three players, must serve the ball from a circle on the floor, using their foot. In a sequence not unlike setting up a volleyball player for a spike, players will place the ball above the net for their teammates to spike it with their foot in a back flip motion. Teams register a point when the ball hits the floor on the opposing side, and must reach 21 points for the win.
Fistball is another volleyball like sport, except this time it’s just a giant version. Played on a field 50 metres long and 20 metres wide, fistball pits two teams of five either outside on a field or inside. The rules are essentially the same as volleyball, except at any point the ball may touch the ground, as long as it doesn’t bounce a second time. The service line is approximately three metres from the net, and a serve may be performed in any fashion using the hand.
3. Jai Alai
Jai Alai is commonly thought of as containing the fastest ball in sports, but was recently proven wrong by Sports Science (it was revealed to be golf when Jason Zuback crushed a golf ball at 204 mph). Teams of two play on a long court with a high ceiling, walls on the front, back, and left sides, and 14 horizontal lines running the length of the court. Players use an object called a xistera, a banana shaped slinging machine that’s used to catch and whip the ball at the front wall, aiming to land the ball in between the fourth and seventh lines for a point.
2. Muggle Quidditch
Most people are aware of the famous, previously fictional, flying sport from Harry Potter. What many people don’t know is that the sport has transcended into reality, infesting colleges across North America quicker than any thought possible. Players must carry a broom while attempting to toss the quaffle into one of the three hoops. The seeker, a position made famous by Harry Potter himself, must search the entirety of the college campus for a person dressed in gold. If the seeker is caught, that team is awarded 150 points and the game ends.
Hurling is an ancient Irish sport, dating back more than 3000 years. This dynamic sport can be played in many ways which are primarily focused around a stick called a hurley. Played on a field almost identical to a soccer field, two teams of 15 players wearing nothing more than helmets will hack, slash, check, and slam their way to getting a goal. You can catch the ball with your hand, hit the ball like a baseball, run with it (although you have to balance the ball on the end of the hurley), shoot it at the net, and swing for a field goal.
Now’s your chance to brag, how many did you already know? Drop a comment below!
(All images were taken from http://www.google.ca)