People chasing chesse down a hill.

Blog: The Strangest Sports in the World

17 March 2017

It’s nearly that time of the year again where we gather around the telly to watch celebrities put aside their dignity for a day of laughter, all in aid of a good cause. Comic Relief is a charity which was founded in 1985 with the vision to create a just world, free from poverty. The charity consists of two big fundraising campaigns which alternate each year, Red Nose Day which was launched in 1988 and Sport Relief which followed fourteen years later. Red Nose Day receives the limelight this year on Friday 24th March, but we’ve decided to combine both campaigns and bring to you our list of the top 5 most outlandish sports played throughout the world.

5. Bed Racing
Believe it or not, this sport has been embraced fairly close to home in a town called Knaresborough in North Yorkshire. Teams of six, plus a passenger whose role is to lie on the bed (I know which one I’d rather be), race against each other to get their bed across the finish line first. Each year the race has a different theme and the rules demand that the teams decorate the bed to fit the theme beforehand (for anyone interested, the theme for this year’s race is Heroes and Villains). Bed racing is a demanding sport, the runners face obstacles such as a 20% gradient climb and a river.

4. Chess Boxing
Although most people would consider chess and boxing to be on very different ends of the spectrum, this hybrid sport is becoming increasingly popular, there are even European and world championships. Participants alternate between rounds of chess and boxing, a checkmate or a knockout determines the winner.

3. Cheese Rolling
The concept of this race is simple, a cheese wheel is released from the top of a very steep hill and competitors must beat it to the bottom (can you imagine the reactions of the oblivious people just driving by). The first person to get to the bottom of the hill and beat the cheese wins, the prize is the cheese (I bet they’re thrilled). Don’t be deceived, the sport can result in a lot of casualties as the cheese can reach up to 30 miles per hour with the competitors at similar speeds.

2. Extreme Ironing
Who said that ironing was boring? This extreme sport involves participants travelling to remote locations and ironing clothes. ‘Ironists’ must produce a photo of them with an ironing board, an unplugged iron and creased clothes in extreme places around the world (have a google, there are some great photos out there). High altitudes, underwater, hanging from cliffs and on top of moving vehicles are just some examples of places where these enthusiasts have already been captured at.

1. Unicycle American Football
All the normal rules of American football apply to this sport (well except for the fact all the players are on unicycles, nothing major…) but what merits this sport coming in first place is the bizarre process used to decide which team starts off with the ball. Instead of a coin-toss, there is a ‘unicycle joust’ where players use boxing gloves attached to long sticks and try to knock each other over. To date, there are only 8 teams in America which compete professionally in the ‘Unicycle Football League’. Unfortunately I don’t see this making an appearance at the Olympics any time soon.

If you are an Olympic hopeful or just looking for something a little more down to earth, check out our range of sport courses HERE

Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day 2017 will be broadcast live on BBC One at 7pm on Friday 24th March. There will be lots of opportunities to help raise money for the cause in the activities that will be taking place throughout the colleges leading up to the event, but you can also donate here if you’d like to: 

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