Seriously, some people will turn anything into a sport. From cardboard armoured sword smiths to flaming footballs these are the most insane sports in the world.
1) The Cardboard Tube Fighting League
Cardboard tube fighting puts all those years of fighting your kid brother with a toilet roll to good use.
Each year the Cardboard Tube Fighting League organises events throughout the US and Australia where cardboard warriors meet to duke it out with nothing more than some flimsy and very home-made armour for protection.
The emphasis here is on having a laugh with style beating out substance. So while it may look like you’re facing a fearsome samurai warrior, chances are you could overcome their armour with one deft blow or a carefully deployed hamster.
Equipped with empty wrapping paper tubes, pairs of fighters battle it out until one combatant’s tube snaps, leaving the other to claim victory and the adoration of Blue Peter enthusiasts everywhere.
2) Sepak Takraw
What happens if you leave Malaysians alone too long with a ball? The answer is they invent a sport that eclipses footie with its acrobatic insanity.
“It’s a mix of volleyball and football with a healthy dose of Matrix-style martial arts thrown in.”
Sepak Takraw literally translates as kick ball and is basically a mix of volleyball and football with a healthy dose of Matrix-style martial arts thrown in.
At first glance it might look a bit like bosaball but these guys don’t have the benefit of a trampoline in the middle of the court, they have to do all the legwork themselves.
In Sepak teams of three players try to score by landing a ratan ball in the opponent’s side of the court but they’re not allowed to use their hands. As a result you get some insane moves like this:
The whole game is played out at eye watering speed thanks to the lightweight ratan ball, which means that you basically have to be Tony Jaa on steroids just to keep up.
3) Fireball Soccer
How do you make football more awesome? Set the ball on fire of course!
In an effort to make the ‘beautiful’ game more exciting some nutters from Indonesia have decided that fire is the way forward.
The basic rules of footie still apply (though heading the ball is rarer for some reason), as teams vie to knock a ball past the opponent’s keeper and into the net.
The ball in question is actually made from coconut and soaked in gasoline for up to a week before the match and just to make it even more insane everyone plays barefoot.
To the relief of firemen throughout the country though, this sport is usually only played once a year to celebrate the month of Ramadam.
Fireball Soccer may be entertaining now but in a couple of years when audiences have become tired of watching players kick fireballs at each other the sport will need to be reinvented again.
It can’t be long before we see pitches marked out in local petrol stations with goal posts made of dynamite…
4) Goanna Pulling
Aussies will do some ridiculously stupid looking things in the name of competition and goanna pulling is no exception.
Far from what it’s name suggests this not about wrenching a lizard around and thankfully it bears no relation to goose pulling either. What you will see at your neighbourhood goanna pull is relatively sane human beings performing tug of war with their necks. Which looks just as weird as it sounds:
The sport started in the 19th century in honour of the eponymous lizard which is native to Wooli, home of the national goanna pulling championships.
With leather straps wrapped round their necks contestants mimic the reptile’s posture and try to pull each other across the line.
Overall this seems like a pastime best left to the lizards, but if you can get a laugh out of a simple thing like a belt then (as the Aussies say) “good on ya”
5) Kaiju Big Battel
Unless you’ve been living in a giant underground robot factory somewhere for the last couple of years, there’s no way that you can have missed out on Pacific Rim.
The neon, cinematic sugar rush directed by Guillermo del Toro was a plot-hole ridden dose of eye candy that featured almost zero believable characters and Hellboy getting munched like so much multiplex popcorn.
What Pacific Rim did introduce Western audiences to was Kaiju, giant unstoppable beasts that tore through cities like they were made of papier maché.
“It’s not uncommon to see a gigantic sea urchin scrapping with a drunken gorilla or even a horned turtle bird.”
For Japanese audiences this is nothing new as the likes of Godzilla and Mothra have been household names there for decades, but the idea really grabbed the attention of some Boston monster fans with too much time on their hands. The result is Kaiju Big Battel, a combination of WWE style wrestling, sci-fi movie and hilarious performance art.
Contestants dressed in elaborate creature costumes do battle inside a ‘danger cage’ decked out with tiny sky scrapers, to the woops and screams of a crowd who are clearly not taking things too seriously.
It’s not uncommon to see a gigantic sea urchin scrapping with a drunken gorilla or even a horned turtle bird. The bouts are scripted, but it’s clearly a feat of athleticism just to move around in some of these get ups, let alone hit somebody in one.
And at the end of the day who doesn’t enjoy watching a garbage monster getting roundhoused by a can of kung fu chicken soup!?
Next up we have another sport that’s taken some cinematic inspiration, but this one comes with a more bloodthirsty twist.
Jugger is a combat sport featured in the 80’s movie Salute of the Jugger, where teams armed with swords, chains and maces knock each other about while one unarmed player tries to score goals using a dog’s skull for a ball.
Avid 80s movie fans in both Australia and Germany decided to turn this fantasy fracas into a real life sport and their efforts proved so successful that in 2007 the first international Jugger tournament was held.
Obviously any sport this awesome would result in some serious jail time for the survivors and at least one stern phone call from the NSPCA, but even the toned down international version is pretty entertaining:
In international jugger the death dealing weaponry and dog skull from the movie are replaced with foam covered role playing props.
This means that players simply take a knee when hit by any of the weapons, rather than rolling around coughing up their own blood.
Despite the less violent approach, games are still fast paced, tactical and good fun to watch. Just like the movie, jugger features mixed teams too, giving the girls a chance to really show the guys how it’s done.
7) Milk Carton Regatta
Not got a boat? No problem, you can still take to the water (or do pretty much anything else) as long as you’ve got milk.
Across the globe from Latvia to Maui, wannabe mariners are chugging down gallons of the white stuff each year to build incredible home made boats like this:
Racers compete to be crowned the fastest drinks container on the water or at least the last one left afloat as these bobbing works of art often break up before the race is over, leaving paddlers quite literally in the drink.
Sporthocking was clearly made up by drunk skateboarders sat around down their local pub.
Invented in Germany, the sport involves flipping, spinning and even sliding a brightly coloured plastic bar stool just like it was a regular deck.
Sporthocking even steals moves right out of the skating trickbook like this double hardflip.
While ‘extreme sitting’ might not be the catchiest name for a sport, sporthocking does give you the chance to chill in style between each set.
The end of each trick or combo is signified by the hocker sitting down on the stool as nonchalantly as possible, even if he’s just cracked himself in the nuts with his piece of freestyle furniture.
9) 360 ball
If Wimbledon ever had a makeover it would probably look something like this.
Played out in a circular court, 360 ball pits teams of two players together in a mashup of squash and tennis.
The ball must be played off the black circle in the center once during each team’s turn, and may even be bounced off the walls or coping around the outside of the court to continue the rally.
Players need lightning fast reflexes and great forward planning to stay ahead of the game though sometimes just being willing to take a faceplant into the wall or floor can really save the day.
Crowd pleasing dives are common place and the speed of the game requires a brain like Kasparov just to keep up. Federer and Nadal must be sweating in their immaculately sponsored tennis shoes.
10) Beer Mile
Like running? Love beer? Then sprinting a beer mile is for you.
Torn straight out of the pages of Stag Dos For Dummies, beer miles are basically a pub crawl poorly disguised as a sport. Runners hot foot it four times around a standard athletics track, stopping for a quick bevvy every lap.
Understandably necking beers is not conducive to running in a straight line and can even result in some pretty spectacular vomiting, but this doesn’t seem to slow competitors down much with a top times coming in under the five minute mark.
To be fair though, if runners are finding it so easy it’s probably time to throw some obstacles like hurdles or a water jump in to make it more of a challenge.
After all what’s the worst that could happen?