9 Strangest Sports Around the World That People Bet On

by | 8 May 2024

While most people are familiar with mainstream sports like soccer, basketball, and tennis, there is an interesting realm of obscure sports that different people from around the world like to bet on. Humans are always looking for exciting new ways to pass the time hence the conception of some of the craziest games there are.

Though odd, most of these sports have a cultural significance to their place of origin — each one brings sports enthusiasts, punters, and thrill seekers closer together!

Photo: Major League Quidditch

1. Quidditch

Inspired by the magical game in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, Quidditch has become a real-life sport that people can enjoy! Players ride broomsticks, throw balls through hoops, and try to catch the golden snitch. Quidditch has gained a considerable following, particularly in the United States, where it is played competitively in college leagues and tournaments.

Photo: Cornhole Antics

2. Cornhole

Cornhole is a backyard game that has evolved into a popular sport with organised leagues and tournaments. Participants take turns throwing bean bags at a raised platform with a hole in it, aiming to score points by landing the bag on the platform or, ideally, through the hole. Cornhole competitions make for a lighthearted, family-friendly fun time!

Photo: College Sport Wellington

3. Underwater Hockey

You’ve heard of hockey, but have you heard of . . . underwater hockey? Originating in England, underwater hockey is a unique sport that takes place at the bottom of a swimming pool. Players, wearing snorkelling gear, use a small pusher to maneuver a puck and try to score goals against the opposing team. Underwater hockey has gained popularity in countries like Australia and offers a thrilling underwater spectacle for bettors to enjoy.

Photo: The Atlantic

4. Cheese Rolling

For the brave and adventurous, cheese rolling in England is a tradition that is full of laughs and dirt (and body pains). The annual cheese rolling event takes place on a steep hill in Gloucestershire, where individuals throw themselves down the hill to chase a wheel of cheese, tumbling and rolling their way to the bottom. The first person to reach the finish line wins the cheese wheel called the Double Gloucester as a prize.

5. Bog Snorkeling

In Wales, a sport called bog snorkelling draws attention with its very unique, muddy challenge. Clad in snorkelling gear, the athletes prepare to undertake the ultimate challenge of wading through murky, stagnant water and battling against the clock and each other. The fastest swimmer through the clinches the title.

Photo: Mark Blinch / The Atlantic

6. Rock, Paper, Scissors

While it may be surprising to consider Rock, Paper, Scissors — a fond childhood game — a sport, it has evolved into a competitive activity in China. In this setting, Rock, Paper, Scissors demands not only quick thinking but also psychological acumen. The mind games begin long before the players throw their hand gestures, adding an element of strategy and cunning to the sport. 

Photo: Bob Weder

8. Curling

A pristine ice rink; crisp air filling the arena as teams huddle together. While Curling may not seem strange to Canadians, it is not a familiar sport to many other nations. Tension builds, and the crowd holds its breath as the first stone glides across the ice towards the target, or “house,” at the other end. Teammates use brooms to sweep the ice and guide a curling stone, unfurling with a delightful mix of finesse and gripping suspense.

Photo: Salla

9. Reindeer Racing

The spirit of the North comes alive in this exhilarating take on racing. Competitors ride sleighs pulled by majestic reindeer, racing against each other for victory in a winter wonderland, blanketed in snow. As the gates swing open, the reindeer bound forward, their powerful hooves propelling the riders across the alps.  Rooted in the rich cultural heritage of the Arctic regions, reindeer racing pays homage to the deep connection between humans and reindeer, celebrating the enduring bond that has been forged over centuries.

 

Discover an endless world of sports

These peculiar yet exciting sports from around the world showcase the vast and diverse range of quirky activities that exist for both participants and spectators (and punters) to enjoy. From the magical realm of Quidditch to the mud-soaked bogs of Wales, each sport brings its own charm and excitement. So, if you’re looking to bet on something truly out of the ordinary, you’re sure to come across a thousand fascinating sports that give you a thrilling betting experience.

 

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