Like many other countries, Germany enjoys indulging itself in the excitement and action of sports. Everyone knows Europe is famous for its wild affection for soccer. How could you possibly beat the fun of a such a classic recreational activity? Just like with America’s obsession with football though, some people are getting bored with the normal and turning to something, let’s say, a bit more untraditional.
In the last couple of years, sports that take certain aspects down a twisted and beaten path, have gained a cult following. Since about the 1980’s, people all over the globe have been searching for something strange and different to grab and keep their attention. Most of these abnormal sports stem from somewhere in America and slowly gain popularity across the ocean after their foundation.
Sports like Sheep Rodeo, “Octopush,” Naked Rugby, Segway Polo, and Cardboard Tube Fighting have all made their way around Western Europe in the past two decades. Sheep rodeo is a sport for young “mutton busters” (generally ages 2-6 or so) in which kids get on top of sheep and try to hold on as long as possible until they absolutely can’t anymore. It’s a sport strictly for children (riders must be under 60 pounds) and it has caused a bit of a stir within socially liberal circles, claiming that it is bad for both the rider and animal. However, the spectacle of it all continues to draw attention.
Octopush is a game founded in 1945 by Alan Blake for his Southsea diving club to stay entertained during the winter. It is a team sport in which eight members use a small stick to get a puck into a goal. In so many ways, it is nearly exactly like underwater hockey. It is most often played in Britain and areas in northern Europe. The rule-book is long and extensive, leaving no ends left untied.
Naked Rugby, by nature of being so… naked, is a sport originating, not in the United States, but instead in New Zealand. It has become such a widely watched and played sport that there are even World Master Games between, for example, The UK and Spain.
The first game of Segway polo was played in 2004 on July 11th during halftime of a Minnesota Vikings game. It founded the Bay Area segway polo club, which continued to grow in strength across America and into Europe. The sport was deemed official and rules were created. Once the sport had gained enough teams, the WOZ bowl was founded, named after Steve Wozniak, an avid segway polo player and Apple founder. Outside of the USA, teams exist in New Zealand, Germany, Barbados, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.
Reminiscent of the Gladiator ages, Cardboard Tube Fighting is another strange sport that has caught on among young children, primarily boys, reminiscing about the history of weapons in one of the most untraditional ways possible. Many children have picked up a cardboard tube from a paper towel roll some time in their life and bonked a friend or sibling on the head. Some people have taken this to the next level, creating a Cardboard Tube Fighting League. The league sets distinct rules and offers set competitions for all people interested. Having started in Washington, USA, the sport has spread out across the states and has started to catch interest of children and adults abroad in Europe and Japan.
The future of strange sports is open to the imagination! What could catch on next?