Fancy a quick round of toe-wrestling? Or a game of underwater hockey?
Australia is a sport-loving nation, there’s no denying it. If you can name it, we usually have a team competing in it. Football, basketball, gymnastics and ping pong are all well and good, but if you’re after some unique spectating or want to join a team with a difference, then check out these weird and wacky sports from around the world.
1. Shin Kicking
Yes, this is an actual sport, not just the activity of choice for toddlers having tantrums. Popular in the US and the UK, competitors come together to kick each other in the shins until one person falls to the ground. Ouch!
2. Toe Wrestling
Yes, you read that correctly. Toe wrestling is indeed a real sport in the UK. Competitors sit across from one another on the floor, and attempt to pin each other’s toes with their own toe. Kind of like thumb wrestling, except with your feet.
Popularised by the Winnie the Pooh books by A. A. Milne, this sport involves competitors dropping sticks from a bridge into a stream and seeing which stick is carried by the current to the other side of the bridge first. The World Poohsticks Championships are held at Day’s Lock in Oxfordshire every March.
4. Underwater Hockey
Well there’s field hockey and ice hockey, so why not underwater hockey? Played just the same as on dry land, this game will have you holding your breath with excitement.
5. Cardboard Dueling
Have you ever taken the cardboard tube from the inside of wrapping paper and challenged someone to a duel? I bet you didn’t think it was an official sport! The Cardboard Tube Fighting League (CTFL) holds events in Australia and the U.S. for kids and grown-ups. You compete in full cardboard armour with cardboard swords.
7. Wife Carrying
Believe it or not, this sport was made official by its place of origin, Finland, which is now the location of the International Wife Carrying Championships. The essence of the sport is exactly how it sounds – the first pair to cross the two dry obstacles and one water obstacle on the 253.5 metre track wins the wife’s (or girlfriend’s, or sister’s or friend’s) weight in beer! Championships crop up all over the world, especially in Finland, the UK, the USA and here in Australia.