The world's weirdest sports

From the World Kabaddi League to the man versus horse marathon, here are some of the most bonkers sports around.

Peter Iantorno August 7, 2014

After the World Cup, Wimbledon and the Commonwealth Games, you may be thinking that all the good summer sport is over. But hold your horses, because there's one event still to go that you won't want to miss: the inaugural World Kabaddi League Tournament.

If you're not familiar with the sport of kabaddi, it's best described as a cross between tag and wrestling. Two teams of seven occupy separate halves of a court (or field) and take turns to send a 'raider' into the opposing half, whose job it is to tag a member of the other team and escape without being tackled.

That already sounds pretty good to us, but what makes it particularly interesting is that the raider must complete his mission without taking a breath, and to prove that he's not breathing, he has to chant "kabaddi, kabaddi, kabaddi, kabaddi, kabaddi..." yes, repeatedly.

It has a huge following in India, which is now rapidly spreading across the world, so much so that Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar has been drafted in to open the first tournament this Saturday, August 9, in London's O2 arena.

We initially thought kabaddi is as crazy and 'out there' as a professional sport can get. But we were wrong. We found these five wacky pastimes that somehow qualify as sports:

Chess boxing


It's a common accusation levelled at many sports that they disregard brains in favour of brawn. But that's not one that we can accuse this ingenious hybrid of.

Much as the name suggests, a chess boxing match consists of eleven alternating three-minute rounds (six of chess and five of boxing). Competitors can win either by knocking out their opponent in the ring or achieving a checkmate on the board.

Sepak takraw

sepak takraw We've never been huge fans of volleyball - unless it's of the beach variety, that is - but this derivative of the sport seems much much interesting.

Originating from Southeast Asia, sepak takraw is pretty much the same as volleyball, apart from a different ball is used and, oh yeah, you're only allowed to use your feet, knees, chest and head to get the ball over the net. This results in some amazing acrobatics that have to be seen to be believed.

Unicycle football

Trust those crazy Americans to come out with something as off-the-wall as unicycle football. Yes, this is exactly as it sounds; a game of American football where all the players are riding unicycles.

This makes for plenty of bumps, bruises and nasty crashes. Have a look at the video above to see what we're talking about.

Man versus horse marathon

Manvhorse In the same way we weren't surprised the Americans came up with unicycle football, it doesn't come as any surprise that the man versus horse marathon is the result of a discussion between two men in a pub in Wales.

Started in 1980, the 22-mile race sees runners compete against riders on horseback. As you'd imagine, the horses are usually the winners, but in 2004 a man by the name of Huw Lobb managed to triumph, winning £25,000 in prize money in the process.


Buzkashi Played mostly in Central Asia, buzkashi - which translates literally as "goat bashing" - has to be the most bizarre sport we've ever come across.

Played by two teams of 10 riders on horseback, the aim is to drag a goat carcass into your opponent's goal. The sport is typically played in a rather brutal manner, with riders often being whipped and kicked off their horse.