Odd sports

I have a pretty reasonable sports knowledge, but there are some sports that I have never heard of, much less seen. Here are a few:

Universal Football

This was an attempt to make a hybrid code of football featuring elements of both rugby league and Australian Rules football. The game was played by teams of 14 a side on an oval field. The goals were the rugby league “H”-shaped goalposts. The off-side rules of rugby league applied within 35 metres of the goals. Hand passes could only be made backwards, though knocking-on and regathering were permitted. Players could be tackled anywhere between the knee and the shoulders. The AFL style of mark was allowed. Tries were worth two points and conversions kicked over the crossbar were worth one point.

A secret trial match was held at the Sydney Showground in 1933, but nothing further came of the idea.

Cheese Rolling

In the last weekend in May each year (the Spring Bank holiday) on the top of the very steep Cooper’s Hill in Gloucester England, people gather with their seven pound (~3 kg) hunk of cheese to take part in the famous “Coopers Hill Cheese Rolling and Wake”.

The aim of the competition is to roll your cheese to the bottom of the hill with you following it any way you can. The cheese can travel at up to 30 miles per hour, with the participants at much the same speed, which does result in some bad injuries.

Sepak Takraw

This Asian sport is arguably the most spectacular and most difficult to perform of all of the odd sports. a combination of volleyball, soccer and gymnastics. Each team has three players on the court at one time, played on a court with net height and size similar to those used in badminton. The rules are very similar to volleyball, except that using the hands is not permitted, and each player can touch the ball only once before it is hit over the net. The ball can be returned over the net using any part of the body except for the arm from the shoulder to the point of the finger. Not being able to use the arms means that there are spectacular jumps and flips to attempt to kick the ball over the net.





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