Unusual Sports you’ve never heard of

Have you played any of these?

We’re all familiar with Baseball, Soccer and Basketball. But what about the unusual stuff? What if I want to Toe Wrestle or competitively iron my shirts in a canoe? Well this list is here to shed some light on the unusual sports you’ve never heard of. Enjoy!

Shin-KickingThe Wonderful World of Ouchies

Shine kicking is one of the unusual sports

Sometimes the simplest things in life are the most marvellous; two men squaring off, kicking each other really hard in the shins. Magnificent.

Dating as far back as the 17th century, Shin-Kicking or Purring was one of the main attractions in the Cotswold Olimpick Games. Shin-Kicking has even been described as a British martial art.

So how does it work? Well you take your opponent by the collar and you try and kick him as hard as you can in the shins. The player to force their opponent to the ground wins a point. Generally a game consists of best of three. In modern Shin-Kicking players are allowed to stuff their socks with straw in an effort to soften the incoming blows. Legend has it that players would toughen their shins with hammers in order to be the best Shin-Kicker in the land.


I could fumble with a few words to try and describe this next sport but it doesn’t quite do it justice. Here is a neat little video from Buzz60 that sums the game up perfectly:

Buzz 60

Toe Wrestling

Toe wrestling features as one of the most unusual sports
Quirky Guide

Feet are a bit weird and Toe Wrestling is even weirder. Invented by four drunken English dudes back in the 70s in an attempt to bolster English sporting pride, this pastime truly belongs in the realm of unusual sports.

Competitors start by taking their shoes and socks off. It’s considered gentlemanly to take your opponents shoes and socks off as a courtesy. To begin, the toes are interlocked with your adversary with the flat of each foot touching. The first player to pin the opposing foot wins a point. A typical game alternates from right to left foot from round to round, lasting three rounds.

I think there might be a reason why I’ve never heard of this sport.

Worm Charming

Worm Charming is one of the unusual sports on our list

Also known as Worm Fiddling, this unusual sport was actually a profession many centuries ago. Worm charming was used to harvest bait for fishing but sadly as time went by worms needed less and less fiddling and slowly this artful trade diminished. To commemorate this amazing vocation a sport was invented to keep the spirit of worm fiddling alive.

To play, competitors are given a 3 metre square plot of land with the task of raising as many worms as possible in the given time. Each team consists of three people, charmer, catcher and counter. At the end of a match all worms are to be returned to the ground by order of the British Association of Worm Length Supporters (BAWLS). Detergent is banned from all forms of competitive play. The current world record holder is ten year old Sophie Smith of Willaston, England who raised a staggering 567 worms during the World Worm Charming Championships back in 2009.

So fiddle freely with your worms but don’t lube with detergent and be careful of the BAWLS, and remember to always put it back in the hole.

Muggle Quidditch

Muggle Quidditch was bound to be part of the unusual sports list
Lawn Gnome Publishing

Taking root from the popular Harry Potter series of books and films this unusual sport has evolved into a very serious, albeit less magical, event worldwide. Starting back in 2005 at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont this sport has developed enormously with no less than seven iterations of its rulebook being published since its inception. All competitive matches are governed by the International Quidditch Association (IQA) with countries world-wide taking place in the Quidditch World Cup.

The rules are fairly complex so I’m going to ask that you imagine Quidditch from the movies but just take out the flying, magic and devilish good looks of Daniel Radcliffe. Also the Snitch is just a dude dressed in gold spandex with a tennis ball stuffed in a sock attached to his waist. So you kinder get the gist, it’s a bunch of people running around with broomsticks between their legs, throwing balls, chasing a golden man screaming ‘I’ve never felt so alive!’

Extreme Ironing

Unusual Sports? Yep, extreme ironing is one.
My Premier Therapy

There’s just something satisfying about gliding a hot iron over a shirt watching the crinkles turn smooth. Well imagine that satisfaction while teetering precariously on a cliff – that shit will turn your heart right up to rumba.

Welcome to extreme ironing. The Extreme Ironing Bureau described this majestic pastime as:  ‘the latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well-pressed shirt.’

So the concept is simple, take your laundry to extreme places and iron that business. We’re talking deep in forests, high on mountain tops, in canoes, out of planes, even underwater (I’m not really sure how that last one works). One gent took his ironing onto London’s busy M1 motorway – talk about living life to the max.

So if you like the outdoors, extreme sports and well-pressed garments then this one could be for you.

Chess Boxing

Chess boxing belongs to the unusual sports list
It’s Nice That

An old French proverb says that ‘You cannot play at Chess if you are kind-hearted.’ Chess Boxing supports this proverb by combining careful strategy with some good ole fashion biffo.

The name says it all – Chess and Boxing. Competitors duke it out in alternating rounds of Chess then Boxing. A full match consists of six rounds of Chess with five rounds of Boxing. A winner is declared by achieving check-mate or a knockout. Half physical, half mental, I guess the audience can always go get a beer while the Chess is on.