8 Lesser-Known Sports Around the World

Sports are a good from of physical activity and competition, and anyone can create a sport if they’re creative enough. Some sports have been around for quite some time, and gained international recognition. However, some are more obscure and lesser-known. We think that these lesser-known sports deserve to be in the spotlight more, so here goes!


1) Zorbing

Origin: New Zealand

How does rolling around in an inflatable plastic ball sound like to you? Fun? That’s exactly what zorbing is. Also known as globe-riding, sphereing or orbing, zorbing can be done both on land or water. Feel yourself roll down hills while admiring passing scenery, or bob around on the water. Did you know you can zorb in Malaysia? Google “zorbing Malaysia” and you’ll find it easily!

Image Credit: pilotguides.com

2) Kabaddi

Origin: India

Kabaddi doesn’t require any equipment nor special techniques except one, but it would likely fit right in the “extreme sports” category. Probably best understood as an advanced version of “tag”, one player called the “raider” has to enter the opposite team’s area and tag them to earn points. Then, they must return to their own half of the court without being tackled by the opposite team. Why is it extreme? All this must be done in a single breath. Fun fact: the World Cup Kabaddi 2019 was held right here in Malacca, Malaysia in April!

Image Credit: mumbailive.com

3) Underwater Wrestling (Aquathlon)

Origin: Russia

Not to be confused with theĀ otherĀ aquathlon (swimming and running), underwater wrestling was first played in the 1980s in Russia. It’s wrestling, but underwater, so the struggles and such are different. The objective is simple: get your opponent’s ribbon fastened around the ankle. So what do underwater wrestlers wear? Basically, a swimsuit, a swimming cap, goggles and flippers. Let the fight begin!

Image Credit: theculturetrip.com

4) Extreme Ironing (EI)

Origin: England

Basic, comfortable ironing becoming too bland an activity for you? Why don’t you try out extreme ironing instead? According to the Extreme Ironing Bureau, extreme ironing is “the latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well-pressed shirt.” Well, yes, we’d love a perfectly-creased shirt while we skydive, definitely. Imagine this though.

“Honey, did you pack the ironing board for our hike up Mount Himalaya?”
“… I’m leaving you.”

Image Credit: babbletop.com

5) Ice Boating

Origin: Europe

Uh, who said that boats could only be sailed on water? When winter comes and all is frozen, bring out the ice boats instead! Also known as ice yachting, ice boating is a popular sport in cold areas, including northern continental US and Europe. These special ice boats have skis or runners underneath them, allowing them to glide on ice smoothly. Think ice skates, but they’re boats instead.

Image Credit: iceboat.org

6) Wife-Carrying

Origin: Finland

The Finnish have got the right idea: carry yo’ wife! The good news is, you can participate even if you don’t have a wife, or you are not a wife yet. We checked, and rules state “a female teammate”. The victory of this sport is simple: the fastest couple to complete the race wins! However, “wives” need to be at least 49 kg and above 17 years old. If the “wife” is lighter than 49 kg, rucksacks with weight will be given to her to increase total weight. In fact, the World Wife-Carrying Championship was just held earlier this month on 6th July 2019, in which a Lithuanian couple defended their title of champion.

Image Credit: sbs.com.au

7) Snowkiting/Kite Skiing

Origin: USA

Without proper training and supervision, snowkiting can be a dangerous sport. The skiier uses the power of the wind and kite to move across icy terrain, and this is the one sport that allows skiiers to travel uphill, whereas other snow sports only allow downhill travels. As with other snow sports, you can perform stunts with snowkiting as well. As long as there is wind, you can snowkite!

Image Credit: haugastol.no

8) Sepak Takraw

Origin: Malaysia

And last but not least, we have our own sport here on the list. As Malaysians, we are inherently familiar with it, but it doesn’t mean that the world knows about it yet. In fact, we’ve seen questionable spelling of the sport, but let’s not go there. Very simply sepak takraw is a version of volleyball, traditionally played with a rattan ball. Instead of using hands and arms, players can only use their feet, knees, chest and head to touch the ball, which makes it quite challenging indeed.

Image Credit: thesportivo.com

Besides speak takraw, have you heard about any of the other sports mentioned above? Which would you like to try out, and what other lesser-known sports should we know about? Share them in the comments below!