Since the dawn of man, competition to see who is superior in brains and brawn has been integral to our way of life. To test yourself against a foe and beat them in a fair and square tournament setting, has been a pinnacle most people all wanted to achieve. But perhaps we’ve been a little shortsighted, and maybe it’s time to shake up the list of mainstream sports.

The overwhelming majority of people know what and how to play football, soccer, basketball, baseball, ice hockey and tennis. But do you know how to score a pincer knockout in chess boxing? Or what it takes to compete in the wife carrying competition in Finland? Well, it’s reasonable to say you’re not alone if you don’t. But wait, there’s more!


Far from being a futuristic fantasy sport, this is a recreational sport originating from New Zealand, it requires an individual to get inside a translucent plaster orb and be the first to reach the bottom of a small steeped hill. Multiple opponents pit against each other, and even though contact does occur among the competitors, it’s quite safe as the plastic is elastic. As the orb is spherical, the faster you run, the harder it is to place your feet without falling over. Yes, it does kind of look like a human hamster wheel, only with a slight dose of claustrophobia.

Chess boxing

As you’ve guessed by the name, this unusual sport is a hybrid of boxing and chess. Fighters swap rounds of boxing, for an intermittent round of chess. Invented by French artist Enki Bilal, the first event of chess boxing was orchestrated by another artist of Dutch origin (Lepe Rubingh) in 2003. Many claim it to be a rapidly growing sport, and according to the World Chess Boxing Organization it’s become a massive hit in London and Berlin; pardon the pun.

Sport fishing

Sport fishing is recreational or competitive angling. In other words, fish are caught as a matter of skill, not for food. The field of play is vast as you might imagine, with saltwater and freshwater fish all fair game. Sport fishing is about catching the rarest most elusive fish around the world. Novice anglers are free to practice in ponds, rivers, and lakes to build up their skill set. Beginners and experts alike can acquire guides and information on the latest trends and techniques from such places like Fishing Reporters. Tournaments are held all around the globe with 1st prize offering bountiful spoils.

Toe wrestling

Yes, you read it right. Toe wrestling has been an official sport since 1976. It started in a Wetton local pub called ‘Ye Olde Royal Oak Inn,’ Derbyshire in the United Kingdom. Contestants lock their big toes together and proceed with wrestling each other’s foot to one side of a wooden ring. Upon an opponent’s toe striking a board either side of the platform, the winner gets determined from of a best out of three bout. An Englishman called Alan Nash holds the title of toe wrestling champion for 12 years. For purposes of hygiene, a qualified nurse first inspects the toes before battle may commence.

Wife carrying

Perhaps a leftover pastime from the Vikings, wife carrying sees husbands sprinting for 253 meters with their wives on their backs. The contest is held in Sonkajaervi, Finland, men can either compete with their partner, or they can ‘borrow’ the wife of their neighbor. Couples from around the world, purposely travel to the town to compete in this unusual sport. The course design is a series of sprints on flat ground, shallow water pits, and sandy log obstacles.

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