Okay, we won’t keep you in suspense anymore. Here’s the second half of the top 10 wackiest and weirdest sports…
(And don’t forget to click on the pics for action videos.)
5. Bog snorkelling
Started in Wales in (surprise surprise) the Seventies, supposedly as a result of a conversation in a pub (as most new sports probably are), bog snorkelling involves racing through a flooded trench dug into a peat bog about 60 yards long, and then racing back again. That’s pretty much all there is to it. Competitors must wear a snorkel and flippers and aren’t allowed to try to swim. Wetsuits are not mandatory, but are probably advisable.
4. Cheese rolling
A round of Double Gloucester cheese is given a one second head start down Cooper’s Hill in the Cotswolds. Hundreds of people charge down after it. The winner is the first one to the bottom of the hill, or the person who catches up with the cheese. But seeing as it reaches speeds of up to 70mph, that never happens. The prize is the cheese, and international fame. You might not want the cheese, given where it’s been. In 1993, 15 people were injured, 4 of them seriously. Organisers received death threats in 2011 after trying to charge a high entry fee, supposedly to try and reduce the number of competitors to comply with the health and safety laws that saw the 2010 event cancelled.
3. Running of the bulls
Because as every real man knows, it ain’t a real sport unless something bleeds. Made famous by Ernest Hemingway, with the encierro at Pamplona in Spain now the best known, bull-running involves penning a bunch of bulls in the streets and then letting them run wild whilst a bunch of idiot humans run in front of them and try to avoid getting gored. The path leads to the bull-ring, where the bulls are tortured until they collapse the following day whilst the same idiot humans whoop and cheer. Over a dozen of these idiot humans have been killed by the bulls at Pamplona in the last century. The heart bleeds. Theirs, mainly. Ours, only sarcastically.
2. Tossing the caber
Perhaps the most emblematic event of the Highland Games, tossing the caber secretly impresses us weedy Sassenachs, but it still amounts to chucking a bit of a tree around. The caber is typically an almost-20ft-long pole made of larch that weighs about 80kg. The aim of tossing it is not just to achieve distance, but to have it land perfectly. The top of the caber should land nearest to the thrower, so the caber can’t just be pushed up into the air and allowed to fall. Ideally it should come to lie at exactly twelve o’clock to the thrower. He loses points the further it lands from this sweetspot, and if the caber doesn’t turn over in the air. The person throwing the caber is called a tosser. No comment.
1. Chess boxing
But surely the weirdest sport currently played is chess boxing. It’s exactly what it sounds like. Competitors play six rounds of chess in the ring, interspersed with five rounds of boxing – if both competitors last that long. Having the strongest fist won’t necessarily secure victory here. Competitors need to be equally skilled with their knights and bishops, because chess boxing matches can be won either way. The sport is currently enjoying an explosion in popularity, though the first proper matches weren’t held until 2003. Interestingly, chess boxing first appeared in 1992 – in the pages of a comic book.