5 Sports And Games From Around The World (That I’ve Never Heard Of) – 英会話・英語 アミック
Sometimes I like to look at Wikipedia’s List of Sports page, which lists different sports and games from around the world into over 100 different categories. These categories range from the more common like ‘Cue Sports’ (e.g., pool, billiards) and ‘Basketball Family’ to those that are less common and obvious like ‘Kite Sports’ and ‘Mind Sports’.
I could easily kill an afternoon or three trying to learn about every game and sport that’s ever been invented, but to start here are five I’ve chosen at random that I didn’t know about before:
Origin/Where it’s played: Central Europe, although many nations around the world field national teams
What it is: Five-a-side volleyball played on a large outdoor field. The ball must be hit using the arm or a closed fist. Teams get three hits to pass the ball back over the net, however the ball is allowed to bounce once on the ground before each hit.
Wikipedia fun fact: In 1927, almost 12,000 teams played organized fistball in Germany.
Origin/Where it’s played: Europe
What it is: It’s what the decathlon is to track and field sports, except with the racket sports of table tennis, badminton, squash, and tennis. In a match, players play one set in each discipline, moving from smallest racket to largest.
Wikipedia fun fact: As of June 2016, the International World Tour contains 23 events divided into six challengers, 12 International World Tour tournaments, two Super World Tour tournaments and three World Championships (singles, doubles and national teams).
Origin/Where it’s played: Argentina
What it is: A horseback game like polo, except teams are passing what is essentially a basketball with handles to one another, trying to throw it into the opposing team’s basket.
Wikipedia fun fact: Pato was banned several times during its history because of the violence—not only to the duck [which was originally used instead of a ball]; many gauchos were trampled underfoot, and many more lost their lives in knife fights started in the heat of the game.
Origin/Where it’s played: Japan
What it is: Similar to cross country running in the US, except the distances are much longer and it’s a team relay instead of an individual race.
Wikipedia fun fact: One of the most popular modern ekiden in Japan is the Hakone Ekiden, which features teams of 10 male students from various Japanese universities of the Tokyo (Kanto) region. This race from central Tokyo along Tokyo Bay, past Yokohama to Hakone and back is held over two days at the New Year, covering 219 kilometers. It is a popular spectator sport that draws large crowds (a million or more) along the whole route and receives full network television coverage nationwide over the two days.
Origin/Where it’s played: Finland, UK
What it is: 5-a-side soccer, except that it’s played in a muddy bog or swamp. There is no offside rule and the games consist of two 12-minute halves.
Wikipedia fun fact: The first organised championship was the 1998 Finnish championship and was the brainchild of Jyrki Väänänen, nicknamed “The Swamp Baron”. There are currently an estimated 300 swamp football teams around the world.