Strangest sports: Top 10 weirdest sports in the world today

Strangest sports: Top 10 weirdest sports in the world today

Claudia Kogi
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:14 PM

When it comes to sports, we have a lot of alternatives that seem normal, and ones you probably even enjoyed playing in school; but there are a variety of options available that are stranger than any typical baseball games. This list will give you a comprehensive look at the bizarre and most weird sports you might wish to attempt.

The weirdest sports ever invented
Strangest sports: Top 10 weirdest sports in the world today. Photo: George Shelley (Modified by author)
Source: Getty Images

Some are unique, while others are an intriguing fusion of sports and strange activities that wouldn't fit the normal description of sports; these strange sports range from zorbing to wife-carrying, among others. Which is the strangest sport in the world right now? Well, let's find out.

A list of the strangest sports in the world

Sport is a vital part of the human culture, and for centuries people have invented new sports as pastime activities. According to various data analysis, here are the 10 weirdest sports ever invented.

10. Sepak Takraw

Weirdest sports ever invented
Tommy Vang returns the ball in a game of Sepak Takraw at the Hmong International Freedom Festival at Como Park on 3rd July 2022. Photo: Richard Tsong-Taatarii
Source: Getty Images

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  • Place of origin: Malaysia
  • First played: The 15th century

Probably the least weird sport on the list. Sepak Takraw, also known as "kick volleyball," is a very common sport in Southeast Asia and is quite similar to volleyball. The only difference is that players can pass the ball around with any part of their bodies other than their arms, and the game is played with a ball made of dried palm leaves.

The early versions of Sepak Takraw were more cooperative exhibitions of talent intended to work the body than competitive games. Still, by the 1940s, the game had spread throughout Southeast Asia, and informal rules had been added.

9. Shin Kicking

Which is the strangest sport in the world right now?
The shin-kicking championship in one of the events, during the Cotswold Olimpicks, 2014. Photo: Anna Lythgoe
Source: Getty Images
  • Place of origin: England
  • First played: 1612

Shin kicking is a sport, believe it or not. The South of England is a hotspot for this unusual sport. The game's objective is repeatedly kicking your opponent in the shin to bring them to the ground. Before the game begins, you have to shove a straw down your pants and put on a lab coat for whatever reason, before you can start grappling and kicking your opponent. A referee (also in a lab coat) keeps a careful eye on the game to ensure the regulations are followed.

8. Tuk-tuk Polo

Weirdest sports in the world
Players take part in a tuk-tuk polo match as part of a promotional event organized by a Sri Lankan leasing company in the southern town of Galle on 21st February 2016. Photo: Lakruwan Wanniarachchi
Source: Getty Images
  • Place of origin: Sri Lanka
  • First played: 2016

Traditional polo has been adapted for horses and elephants. Now it can be played from even tuk-tuks. Three-wheeled open vehicles, known as "tuk-tuks", are common in Thai cities. The game was created to replace an earlier version of polo played on elephants' backs but was abandoned in 2007 after an elephant went on the rampage.

Teams of two players ride two tuk-tuks in the game, with one player serving as the driver and the other as the player who strikes the ball. The ball, which resembles a cricket ball, is thrown by players using short sticks that resemble mallets. Similar to previous polo variations, the game's purpose is to score as many goals as possible by kicking the ball through the goalposts.

7. Quidditch

A list of the strangest sports in the world
A stand with a ring that serves as a goal stands on the field of a Quidditch sport. Photo: Michael Matthey
Source: Getty Images

The game was first played as an intramural activity at Middlebury College and was based on the fictional broom-flying sport of Harry Potter. Over 400 colleges currently offer the sport after it quickly took hold in the country's universities.

Players attempt to throw balls through circular hoops at the opposite ends of the field, much like in the novel, while imitating the fictional flying form of the game by gripping broomsticks between their legs.

6. Toe Wrestling

A list of the strangest sports in the world
Host Jay Leno, announcer Edd Hall and toe wrestler Alan Nash on 4th December 1997. Photo: Margaret Norton
Source: Getty Images
  • Place of origin: Staffordshire, England
  • First played: 1974

The list doesn't get any weirder. Like arm wrestling, toe wrestling involves two opponents locking toes and attempting to pin each other's feet. In a best-of-three competition, the goal is to pin the opponent's foot on the tedium by switching feet throughout each round. It should be no surprise that this sport was created in the 1970s in a Derbyshire pub by four drinking mates who wanted to create a competitive activity.

5. Chess Boxing

Weirdest sports in the world
An Indian chessboxer prepares to fight as attendants remove the chessboard from the ring during The National Chess Boxing Championships in Kolkata. Photo: Dibyangshu Sarkar
Source: Getty Images
  • Place of origin: Gloucester, England
  • First played: 15th century (estimated)

This sport is as it sounds. Chess - the board game, mixed with boxing – the combat sport. Players alternate between rounds of speed chess and boxing. How weird is that? The goal is to strike your opponent hard enough to impair his ability to think while playing chess or confuse them with chess strategies and divert their attention from boxing. Depending on which occurs first, you can win this sport by knockout or checkmate.

4. Wife-carrying

Weirdest sports ever invented
A competitor wears a medal after completing the 2018 Wife Carrying Race in Dorking, Surrey, England on 8th April 2018. Photo: Isabel Infantes
Source: Getty Images
  • Place of origin: Finland
  • First played: 1992

Wife-carrying originated in Finland. Yes, as you've probably guessed by the title, you must carry your wife over an obstacle course in the fastest possible time. The only rules are that the course is exactly 253.5 meters long, the wife must weigh at least 49 kilograms, and the man will be penalized for dropping her by 15 seconds. The world championships are held in July, and the winner gets his wife's weight in beer.

3. Zorbing

A list of the strangest sports in the world
A woman rolls in a giant water polo over the water surface. Photo: Andreas Arnold
Source: Getty Images
  • Place of origin: New Zealand
  • First played: 1994

Zorbing is one of the strangest sports you can play—all you have to do is get inside a huge, inflated ball and roll down a hill. So, you are correct if you think zorbing as a sport sound odd, and you are also correct if you think it sounds fun. The rider bounces around and experiences the rush of speed. The odd sport has been practiced since the middle of the 1990s and has subsequently achieved international success.

2. Cheese Rolling

A list of the strangest sports in the world
Contestants in the men's downhill race chase the cheese down the hill during Gloucestershire's famous Cheese-Rolling contest on 5th June 2022, in Gloucester, England. Photo: Cameron Smith
Source: Getty Images

  • Place of origin: Cooper's Hill, near Gloucester in, England
  • First played: 1826

Cheese Rolling involves racing down a hill behind a wheel of Gloucester Cheese. When rolled down Cooper's Hill near Gloucester, England, the 7-9-pound Double Gloucester round has a one-second head start and may accelerate up to 70 miles per hour.

Although its origins are unknown, cheese rolling used to be a locals-only event held annually at the end of May. To compete for glory during Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake, people now travel from all over the world.

1. Extreme Ironing

  • Place of origin: Yorkshire Dales National Park, England
  • First played: 1980
Which is the strangest sport in the world right today?
A woman irons on the frozen Lake Hibara at minus seven degrees Celsius during the Extreme Ironing competition on 14th February 2015, in Kitashiobara, Fukushima, Japan. Photo: The Asahi Shimbun
Source: Getty Images

Ironing has evolved into performance art and an adventure cult as people look for bizarre locations and methods to iron their clothes. Extreme ironing is officially defined as "the latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well-pressed shirt," according to the Extreme Ironing Bureau.

Ironing boards are carried to almost any location, including New York City, caves, forests, and waterfalls. The sport was invented in Britain and has received a surprisingly large amount of media attention.

People have created a variety of pastime activities throughout history to keep themselves amused. So, it's no surprise that the world of athletic competition occasionally veers towards the weirdest sports. The above sports are a few of the strangest sports that individuals from many nations have invented, some bizarre, extreme, and amusing ways to stoke the competitive flame. So, which of these sports would you want to try?

READ ALSO: List of all Spanish La Liga teams that have never been relegated recently listed La Liga clubs that have never been demoted to the second-tier league. The Spanish topflight has many great teams, but not all have escaped relegation in their history.

La Liga consists of 20 teams. The last three clubs often get relegated to the Segunda División to create room for three top teams from the second tier. Only three clubs have survived relegation from la Liga. Follow the above link to discover more.

Claudia Kogi photo
Claudia Kogi
Claudia Kogi is a Kenyan content creator with over 3 years of experience. Claudia joined as a writer in January 2022, covering sports and relatable content.