World of unusual sports

Last week saw men and women competing against each other in an annual race held in Manila, Philippines. Like any other race, first one to cross the finish line won. So what’s the catch, you ask?

Well the 100 odd participants that took part in this event had to wear three-inch heels. That’s right, men and women alike. The competition is a held to honour the shoe industry of the city.



It’s not just Philippines where such bizarre races can be witnessed. Here is a glimpse at some of the wackiest sports played by people.


Not across the threshold silly! Instead a man has to carry his wife and cross an obstacle course. Fastest couple wins the race.

This is a world championship event held every year in Sonkajärvi, Finland. Taisto Miettinen and Kristiina Haapanen have been defending champions for past four years.


  • Wife should not necessarily be yours. It can be someone you bumped into, on your way to the venue, or your neighbour’s wife, but only for the duration of the competition!
  • ‘Wife’ should be of legal age, above 17 years.
  • She should weigh at least 49kg. If not, extra weight is added to reach the minimum requirement. She is also required to wear a helmet for protection.
  • Having fun is important.



What do you win?

A mobile phone, obviously, but the most important thing that you win is your wife’s weight in beer. Now that is an incentive.



It is held on top of steep Cooper’s hill in Gloucester region of England. It takes place during last week of May every year (Spring Bank Holiday). Typically a block of cheese is rolled down a hill and first person to cross the finish line after the cheese wins the race.

Traditionally participants are supposed to catch the cheese, but it can reach the speed of 30mph, which makes it hard.


  • Cheese block should be 7-9lb double gloucester cheese.
  • It should have one second head start.
  • The winner must run back up the hill and return the cheese back to its ceremonial place.



Winners normally get cash prize. Participants tend to take part mostly for tradition and fun.



It is exactly what it says, snorkelling in a bog. Not just any bog, but the Waen Rhydd Peat bog, in Powys, Wales. Held in August every year, it has been a world championship event since 1985.

Participants are required to swim along the 55m bog trench filled with freezing water. The fun, however does not stop there. You throw a mountain bike in to the mix and woohoo, you get Mountain bike bog snorkelling!

This is, again, exactly what it sounds like. You take a modified mountain bike and ride/swim/snorkel in the bog.


  • Participants must cover two lengths.
  • Traditional swimming strokes are not allowed.
  • Snorkel and flippers are mandatory.
  • Wet suits can and, preferably, should be used.



In 2009, winner of mountain bike bog snorkelling championship, Bryan Evans from Bridgend, South Wales was awarded a place in Guinness Book of World Records for his time of 54.91 seconds.



A combination of few awesome things gives you this wacky sport. It is a hybrid of volleyball, football, gymnastics and capoeira (a martial art form of afro-brazillain origin). To this you add inflatables, couple of trampolines and a net and you end up with bossaball.

Samba referees, who are refrees-cum-master of ceremony-cum-dj-cum-entertainers with percussion instruments bring this game to a whole new level. Though not necessary to play the game, the samba referees add the element of music which allows you to enjoy the sport even more. It has its origin in Belgium but is now popular in various parts of Europe and some regions of South America.


  • Two teams of 3, 4 or 5 players each.
  • You have to ground the ball in opponent’s field.
  • 8 contacts are allowed per team when the ball is in your own filed.
  • Any body part can be used and multiple contacts by one player are allowed. However, hands can only be used once.
  • Any point made in the opposite trampoline region is worth 3 points and any other region is 1 point.
  • Be creative.



This game is suitable for every one and can be played in any setting, beach, ground, stadium etc.



No it is not kicking with shins, it is kicking the shins, of your opponents. Objective is as simple as it looks. You have to kick the ‘shin’ out of your rival and each time they fall, you win a point.

Part of the Robert Dover’s Costwold Olympiks, it is an ancient sport, the roots of which can be traced as back as 1636, held in Gloucestershire, England.


  • There are three bouts.
  • Highest score at the end of the three rounds wins.
  • You have to kick at the shins of your opponent till they fall. Each fall earns you a point.
  • You can protect your shins by padding with straw.
  • Keep Kicking.



Ben Corfield was the 2011 winner.



Mother of all thumb wrestlings is here, it is the toe wrestling! The sport originated in Derbyshire, UK in the year 1976.

Each year a toe wrestling championship is held at the Bentley Brook Inn, near Ashbourne on the Staffordshire/Derbyshire border, UK. The organisers have had high hopes for this toe breaking sport and in 1997 applied for inclusion in the Olympic Games.


  • Shoe off, you face your opponent toe-to-toe.
  • The battle takes place on toedium.
  • You have to interlock your big toes with that of the opponent and try to force the other to the floor.
  • Smelly feet are not allowed.



Small trivia: It is common courtesy for a player to remove the other player’s shoes an socks.

Now there is a whole new world of unusual sports opened for you to explore and maybe pick up one. Who knows, some day you could be shin kicking champion!

Main Image: Thomas Biedermann

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