The Strangest Sports Ever Conceived

Sports help us forget about our problems. Instead of getting all bent out of shape about unpaid bills, we choose to watch former UFC Champion Ronda Rousey actually bend somebody out of shape.

Most of us sports fans lean towards the more established leagues: basketball, baseball, hockey, football… but there’s more to the world of competition than the so-called “Big four.” Many of them are a lot more creative, too.

Don’t believe me? The following list includes such hidden-sports-gems as Worm Charming, Wife Carrying, and… you know what? If you want to read more you’re just going to have to keep on scrolling!

Extreme Ironing

If you’ve ever wanted to take your ironing game to the next level, then Extreme Ironing is for you.

Yes, Extreme Ironing is for real. The sport was invented by a British man named Phil Shaw in 1997 and even gained enough traction to necessitate the 2002 World Extreme Ironing Championship.

So, how do you play? Well, first you’ll need an ironing board, a shirt, and of course, an iron. Next, you’ll need to find an interesting (preferably extreme) place to do the household deed. The goal here is to pick the most unique and/or dangerous location. Over the years, adventure seeking busy bodies have crossed Mount Rushmore off of their honey-do list, and even ironed whilst parachuting.

Chessboxing

Brain meets brawn with this strange (and popular) sports collaboration. Chessboxing is the brainchild of Dutchmen Iepe Rubingh in 2003. Surprising absolutely nobody, Rubingh would go on to win the first ever official competition of the sport that he invented, beating Jean Louis Veenstra in ’03.

The rules of Chessboxing are as literal as the name itself. A match is 11 rounds that alternate between three-minute rounds of chess and three-minute rounds of boxing. A fighter can win the match in one of two ways: by knocking out their opponent during one of the five boxing rounds or scoring a checkmate during the chess rounds. Finally, an excuse to punch somebody in the face for killing your queen!

paul prescott / Shutterstock.com

Dog Surfing

Catch a wave on the most adorable (and strangest) sport known to man. People have been putting their dogs on surfboards since around the 1920’s. Why? Because it’s hilarious, obviously. Dog Surfing mostly served as a parlor trick. But in 2006 everything changed.

Things got official in ‘06 with the inaugural Loews Coronado Bay Resort Surf Competition in California. These days, Dog Surfing competitions are fairly well documented, with an annual World Dog Surfing Championship and everything!

Three judges watch the dogs glide across the water and judge the animals based on how long they stay on their board and whether or not they look scared. I didn’t make that up.

KKStock / Shutterstock.com

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