11 Weird Sports You’ve Never Heard Of
Chess Boxing is a unique sport that combines mental activity with physical combat. Artist Iepe Rubingh was the first person to organize a chess boxing competition as part of a performance art piece, but the idea was quickly adopted by players who had heard of the idea and wanted to take part.
Chess boxing matches contenders of a similar weight class and ability, and the idea of the sport is that they alternate rounds of boxing and chess. A competitor wins if they knock their opponent out, or if they are able to put them into checkmate. The first real competition took place in 2003. The sport is particularly popular in Germany, England, India, and Russia.
Sepak Takraw is the native Malay word for what we in English might call kick volleyball. The sport is played between four players (two teams of two) who pass a ball back and forth over a net like volleyball, but do it without using their hands. Feet, knees, chests, and heads are all regulation, but players are forbidden from using their hands or arms. The goal is to be as elegant and graceful as possible while playing.
Sepak Takraw was played as far back as the 15th century, and it quickly spread all throughout South Asia and Oceania. Migrants from that area spread it around the globe, and now there are competitions organized in places as far off as Canada and the USA.
Ok, this one sounds too ridiculous to be real, but the sport of worm charming has been a part of rural English life in areas like Willaston and Devon for decades. To participate, worm charmers are allotted a 3-foot by 3-foot plot of land, and the goal is to encourage as many worms out of the earth as possible in 30 minutes. By pounding a stake into the ground and vibrating a metal saw on top, worm charmers use sonic vibrations to force the worms out of the earth.
The person who charms the most worms from the ground in the allotted time wins. Then, after the competition is concluded, the worms are released back into the wild. This is a sport that truly has to be seen to be believed.