This next sport comes from way back in 1798 from Marquena, Spain where the first indoor court was built. This indoor court is called a fronton and has only 3 walls. This odd structure has the game played in it called Jai-alai. In Jai-alai the purpose is to play the ball off the wall in a manner to which their opponent can’t handle the ball cleanly or throw the ball back within the time limit. When the ball bounces off the walls, a player can catch it cleanly in the air or after the first bound. The ball used is made of a hard rubber and can be thrown at speeds around 180 mph. With speeds like this, l wouldn’t want to catch that with my bare hand. A special “glove is used and is called cesta-punta. This glove is strapped onto one arm of each player. To fully understand, watch the video below.
From my perspective, this sport looks like it needs alone of practice to become really good at it. With several fronton in the US already, I feel this sport could make a rise with some interest and advertisement. America could have another sport to play and compete on the national level.
I don’t know about you, but I feel hockey is a hard sport especially the ice skating part. Now, take away the skates, add a unicycle, and you have unicycle hockey. Unicycle hockey is a lot like regular hockey. There are 5 players on the court from each team at any time. Any player can be the goalie at any given time. There are no special rules for the goalie. You are allowed to use your hands like in normal hockey. Players can be sent to the penalty box for things like unsportsman like conductor disregard of the rules. Other forms of punishment can be given like taking penalty shots from I meter or 6.5 meters. Like normal hockey, if the game ends in a tie, there is a shootout for the winner with 3 players. Something that is special to unicycle hockey besides the unicycles is the object used for play. What is used is a dead tennis ball. There are also certain specifications that must be meet pertaining to the wheels. There rules help make the game safer for everyone involved.
This sport could make its way into the lives of Americans. Used for skill and talent this sport can fill rec areas all over. I wouldn’t expect it to get really popular if it did make is way to America, but it will be interesting to find out.
Other unicycling sports rules along with hockey can be found in this document:
In Finland, the national championship for what apparently is a sport, wife carrying. It is quite simple to figure out this sport. The husband carries his wife over his shoulders. As easy as this sounds, there are a few rules. A couple don’t have to be married is one rule. Another rule is she male can’t drop his partner. If he does, this results in a 15 second penalty. In wife carrying, the goal is to carry your partner faster Hen anyone else. These athletes ran a course that is 278 yards long that contains obstacles like water hazards and log jumps. In the North American Championship the winner’s prize is wife’s weight in beer and five times the wife’s weight in money and entry into World Championship. The wife’s weight must be a minimum of 108 lbs. or the have to carry a sack that makes up for the weight. The style of carrying that has become popular the last few years is the Estonian carry.
Wife carrying has a little potential of becoming more popular than it is now. American couples may find this to be a new pastime or weight loss fun. With age limits on the sport, this sport isn’t available for everyone. This is why wife carrying will stay unpopular in America.
From the heart of South Africa comes the “lady” way to play basketball. Korfball is there way of playing basketball. Known to the US as ringball, this sport is a mixture of ultimate Frisbee, lacrosse, and obviously basketball. It has been played in South Africa since early 1900’s, coed since 1970’s, and became an official sport in 1980’s. The court is 27 meters by 18 meters and divided into three equal sections with three players in each that must stay in their section. This non-contact sport is won by score more points than your opponent. Points are scored by throwing the ball into the goal. This sport can be played in the grass, outside on a court, or inside. Ringball can be played in any weather as well. In South Africa’s own Olympics, ringball is the official sport.
My take on this game is that just like some of the other sports I have covered; it will not become too popular in America. I feel like basketball is too popular to bread a game that is so close in game style. Even though it would be a great family game so is many other sports that wouldn’t take so much effort as this one. South Africa can continue to play korfball and carry their traditions out just like anyone else.
A very new sport that is definitely unpopular in America is Footby. Footby is a combination of soccer (foot fairy sport) and rugby. A coin toss decides the beginning of the game with possession or defending. Two teams of 10 play for two 40 minute halves with a 10 minute break in between. Like most normal sports, the objective of the game is to score more points than your opponent. If a tie occurs, overtime rules declare 5 minute periods with 1 minute in between. OT is over when one team scores aka sudden death. After 4OT, special rule go into play to end the game. Game play ends if a team drops below 7 players. There are 4 different types of players: back, centre, forward, and kicker. These players have to wear a specific number due to their position. A team is only allowed one kicker. Different rules apply to different positions like the use of their hands or punting the ball. To score, a team has several options. There is a try, worth 3 points, a goal, worth 1 point, and a try-goal, worth 5 points if immediately scored after a goal.
I feel this sport is just another sport that will not become very popular. It has its differences but not enough to back it. Maybe in a few decades this sport will have a rise but for now it will stay quiet and unknown.
Rules of Footby
I love seeing new sports and thinking about how someone could have come up with that idea. This next sport looks very challenging but very fun at the same time. In the video it is set up on a beach which really gives a good scene for this event. Volleyball and soccer are key elements to this sport. Bossaball is played between two teams of 4 to 5 players. The arena is like the floor of an inflatable bounce house with trampolines. The whole purpose of the game is to not let the ball hit your side of the “court” as in volleyball. You are allowed 6 possessions before the ball must be played over the net. The trampoline is worth 3 points but the blue ring around the trampoline is worth 0. The area around the trampoline is grey and this is 1 point. The outer ring of the court is red and sets the boundaries. After watching the video this game makes a lot more sense and sparks enthusiasm which makes you want to go play. This sport could very well become popular in America. With some financial support and wide publicity this sport can go really far into become another one of America’s pastimes.
Any athlete would tell you that in order to be good at a sport, your mind has to be mentally prepared first before you can improve and succeed in any activity. This sport takes that thinking to a whole new level. Chessboxing combines a very physical sport with a highly demanding mental game. This sport involves two opponents going at it in the ring and then with barley any break sitting down and play chess. The event starts off with a 4 minute round of chess followed by a 3 minute round of boxing. A 1 minute break is in-between each round. Overall, there are 6 rounds of chess and 5 rounds of boxing. A player has 12 minute limit on their clock for chess. There are many ways to win at this sport. Checkmate on the board or a KO in the ring are a couple of the ways to be victorious. If a stalemate occurs then the highest score in boxing wins. If that is a tie, then the player with the black piece wins. Mainly centered in Europe and officially the first fight was held in November 2003. This is a really new sport but I feel it won’t become popular in the USA for at least a decade if ever.
Fast pace games grab the attention of spectators everywhere. Unlike golf where one could fall asleep while watching it at home on your couch and then catch the highlights later and be fine, fast pace games need to be watched all the way through. A sport that fits this description is Fistball. With speeds up to 70 miles/ hour, players play almost a version of grass volleyball. Open hand contact is not allowed in fistball but like in volleyball a player can use his/ her forearms and fist to crush the ball over to the other side. A ribbon is stretch across a field and is tall enough that a player can run freely underneath, which is allowed in some circumstances. Another difference between volleyball and fistball is that the ball is allowed to hit the ground in between every hit but only once. Matches consist of best of 5 sets and a set is won by gaining 11 points. To score, the other team must put the ball in play to where the other team can’t return it. There are world championships every four years. The sport has hit American in 1911, but since then it hasn’t blossomed like other sports such as lacrosse has. It may take awhile for it to become popular but, it doesn’t put down the fact that it seems like a very fun sport which I would love to try.
Toe Away! The referee calls out to begin a match. Two competitors fight to pin the others’ foot on the ground while keeping their toes interlocked. This sport is originated from the UK and there is a national championship held annually. The competitors go up to a platform and put their feet in what is called a toesrack. They must keep their nonwrestling foot flat on the ground and keep their butt along a certain line. There are 3 rounds in a match. The first game they use their right foot and the second the left. If a third round is needed then they will go back to the right foot. A competitor can surrender by saying “toe much” if they are in too much pain and the match will end immediately. A pin is called “toe down.” I thought I had seen it all until I saw this sport. Normal wrestling is enough but then you go and add arm wrestling, thumb wrestling, Turkish Oil wrestling, and even camel wrestling into the mix and you have to wonder what somebody will think of next. I have a feeling that this will never become a popular sport in America but it’s just a feeling and I could be wrong. So next time you get beat in a thumb or arm wrestling contest, ask to go toe-to-toe in a toe wrestling competition.
Another unpopular sport that is fairly new and unusual is Middleball. It is played like volleyball but not on a volleyball court. Is played on a racquetball court but not played with a volleyball. This is where it gets weird. It is played with…a beach ball and it doesn’t stop there. You can have up to 8 teams on the court at the same time. A padded pole is put into the center to divide the courts up into three or more sections. A regular volleyball net is used and is adjustable height-wise for the players. This game can be played by anyone even if you are only a team of one. A team of one can hit the ball more than once before going over the net. In teams of 2 or more, a single player can’t hit the ball on consecutive hits. The ball can touch the walls and the ceiling. Also if a ball lands in your court, all the other teams receive a point. A player can serve the ball from half court. The first team to 21 wins! This sport is fairly new like I said earlier. It has a great potential to become widely popular in America but not on a collegiate level. I think it will only stay as a recreational level or in senior centers. All in all though it seems like a fun sport that I would like to try out.
Video and additional information can be found at: