Five Sports You Probably Didn’t Know About

There are certainly a couple of sports that an average American either knows about or is dedicated to. American football, soccer, and basketball are three of the most popular ones, for example. What about though, the sports that stay out of the spotlight, unpopular and forgotten despite being incredibly interesting? Here are five sports that you probably haven’t heard about.

  1. Ski Ballet: A part of the professional ski tours of the 1970s and 1980s, ski ballet hit its peak popularity before the 2000s. It was an Olympic sport up until the year 2000 and consisted of a series of jumps, spins, and footwork performed while on skis. A ski ballet showcase event even happened in Breckenridge in the mid-1980s. As years went by, increasing regulations began to impede on what the sport was truly all about, causing it to lose its place in the spotlight as a popular winter sport.
  2. Horseball: Not to be confused with polo, horseball consists of a singular ball transferring between the hands of teammates while on horses with the ultimate goal of throwing it into a net to score. The net is more in the style of a basketball hoop rather than a soccer net. The sport first came to be in Argentina in the early 1700s but was then banned by the 1790s due to high death rates. Historically, instead of a ball, a live duck was instead used. Each team has four players, and falling off the horse will result in a loss of a penalty. Aside from the horses, the sport still has the offense and defense typical of many team sports.
  3. Underwater hockey: Underwater is quite similar to real hockey except that it is underwater, and the sticks are quite smaller. Also known as Octopush, the goal of each of the two teams is to push the underwater puck into the opposing team’s underwater goal. It was invented by the British navy in the 1950s to help keep their divers in shape. Players wear fins, a snorkel, a diving mask, and a latex glove to keep their hand safe from the puck and pool bottom. The sport is non-contact and there are two underwater referees. Aside from the underwater and non-contact parts, the sport is a lot like real hockey.
  4. Sepak Tapra: Originating in Southeast Asia, Sepak Tapra is a volleyball-like sport that takes place on a court similar to those used in badminton. Each team has three people, and unlike in volleyball, they aren’t allowed to use their hands. Players must use their head, chest, knees, and feet to get the ball up and over to the other side of the net. Each of the three players has a specific position with one each being on the right, left, and towards the back of the court. A team wins by gaining points by causing the opponents to commit faults.
  5. Chess Boxing: Originating in 1992, chess boxing has spread across the world. With alternating rounds of chess and boxing, the ultimate goal of the game is to defeat your opponent in both disciplines. A singular match consists of eleven rounds, with five being boxing and six being chess. To win, players must either gain a checkmate or have the opponent withdraw from the chess match, or knock out the opponent in boxing.