Quirky Sports To Try This Year
Playing a sport is a great way to keep fit, have fun, and make friends. But what happens when you’ve tried all the obvious sports, like soccer or baseball, and they’re not for you?
If you’ve been playing the same sport for a while and are looking for something new to try, then why not try one of those lesser-known, unusual sports? Get your sporting mojo back by trying something a little different.
This sport is so much more than throwing a frisbee for the dog or between a few friends. In Ultimate Frisbee, two teams of seven try to get the frisbee into the endzones of the playing field, which is the same size as a football pitch. In this non-contact game, players can’t run with the frisbee, and there’s no referee. Sportsmanship is a key part of the game.
Ultimate frisbee needs speed, agility, and endurance. It’s easy to pick up and has similar benefits to high-intensity interval training.
Pickleball is a fast-paced paddleball sport, that brings together some elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis. Two or four players play on a badminton-sized court over a modified tennis net. Solid wood or composite paddles are used to hit a perforated polymer ball over the net. Like tennis, badminton, or table tennis, this can be a low-impact sport, and fun for all ages. Learn more about the sport, and read the latest pickleball news here.
Handball is still relatively new in the UK and the US, but it’s already popular in Eastern Europe. In fact, professional handball players in Norway, France, and Denmark can earn six-figure salaries. Players try to score in the goal of the other team by passing and running with the ball. The game requires speed and stamina, thanks to the fast pace of the game.
Yes, quidditch, that game from Harry Potter. Unfortunately, there’s no actual flying involved in the ‘Muggle’ version, but there are still broomsticks. The sport gained popularity at universities in the US and UK and has grown into an international sport. There are now teams registered in countries including Australia, Brazil, and Vietnam.
The game is a mixture of rugby, dodgeball, and handball, drawing on the rules of the fictional sport. Each team has a keeper, two beaters, a seeker, and three chasers. All players hold a broomstick between their legs. The Quaffle is represented by a volleyball, and dodgeballs are used for bludgers. A player dressed in yellow plays the part of the Golden Snitch. The ‘snitch runner’ is allowed to leave the confines of the pitch to avoid being caught, but may not go into buildings or climb trees.
Teams are mixed-gender, and tackling is limited, making this a fun and inclusive, if unusual, sport.
Korfball is a mixed-gender ball game, played indoors, that is a mixture of basketball and netball. The sport is already very popular in Taiwan, Belgium, and the Netherlands. It’s been slower to catch on elsewhere, but there are a reasonable number of teams playing in the South East of the UK. Four men and four women to shoot the ball through the basket of the opposite team. Players are not allowed to dribble, run, or walk with the ball. The sport is inclusive, as it’s non-contact. Duels for the ball are only allowed between members of the same sex. The game is active and fast-paced, making it an excellent cardiovascular workout.
Hurling, or Camogie, first began being played in Ireland 3000 years ago. When men play it, the sport is called hurling, but when played by women, it’s known as camogie. The game is a field sport played with a wooden stick similar to a hockey stick (this is called the hurley), and a small, hard ball, called the sliotar. Players can hit the ball while it is on the ground or in the air, but they may only run with the sliotar if it is balanced or bounced on the hurley. Players can take four steps, but then must pass to another player, score, or throw or recatch the sliotar. Games of hurling are a great workout, partly due to the large size of the pitch.
Sepak Tawraw originated in Southeast Asia. It is sometimes known as kick volleyball, and it’s been around since at least the 15th century. The game is low-energy but requires a lot of skill. Players use their feet, knees, chest, and head to get a rattan ball over a net. Sepak Takraw is a great way to improve coordination, reaction time, and core muscles. It’s accessible to all ages and is popular as a training exercise for other sports, particularly soccer.
Waling basketball is a slower version of the popular sport, making it suitable for all players. It’s most popular with people over 50, thanks to the slow pace and low impact. The sport was created in Surrey, inspired by a walking football match. The rules of the game are the same as traditional basketball, except the players are always restricted to a walking pace.
Walking basketball is a brilliant non-contact sport for older people who are looking to improve their physical fitness without joining the gym, or for sportsmen recovering from injuries and who need to gently ease their way back into playing sport.
This sport might not be everyone, as you’ll need to be good on one wheel. There are five players on each team, but no goalkeeper. The whole team has to work together to keep the ball (usually a tennis ball) away from your own goal, using an ice hockey stick. Both feet must remain on the pedals of the unicycle when a player is engaging with the ball. There’s no offensive contact between players. The game is popular in France, but it is catching on elsewhere too. Riding a unicycle takes a lot of balance and control, building strong core muscles, which is one of the main benefits of this quirky sport.
The game is fast-paced, making it a good cardiovascular workout too, with a lot of pedaling up and down the court.