Kabaddi

5 Niche Sports That You Need to Play

There are many great sports and games to experience, and the online age has given all of us direct access to these. It has never been easier to learn about, watch, and even play relatively obscure sports, and in this guide we’ll showcase the best ones that are deserving of your attention.

Mixing sports has become all the rage these days, with Golf Soccer and Head Tennis (basically Soccer Tennis) being two popular combinations. It’s fun coming up with combination sports and in many ways some of the world’s best sports were formed as combinations, including American football, which was fused together from soccer and rugby.

Chess Boxing

If you had to name the two most obscure sports that really shouldn’t go together, you would probably suggest Chess Boxing. But someone has already beaten you to it, and contrary to what you might think, it actually works.

This is one of those “quirky” sports that more people are discovering and it has formed many a pub quiz question in recent years. But there are many misunderstandings regarding Chess Boxing, with the main ones being that they punch each other while sitting down and that they don’t wear boxing gloves.

In actual fact, this sport alternates between boxing and chess, with competitors doing 3 rounds of each and the winner being decided by the first checkmate or knockout, or by a decision after 11 rounds. It is a combination of athletic skill, strength, strategy, and brute force. If your opponent has the beating of you at the table, you can bring their advantage down by pummelling them in the ring; if the opposite is true, use athletic prowess to stay clear in the ring before rushing to a quick finish at the table.

Kabaddi
We looked at combination sports above and in some ways that’s what Kabaddi is. It combines elements of dodgeball and wrestling with extreme tag, and it is big in India, with pro leagues and well paid players.

It has also spread across Europe and Asia, and its popularity is largely down to broadcasting deals with major networks and to the fact that it has been welcomed onto many major betting sites. Kabaddi betting is big business right now, and the availability of these markets seems to be the sole reason Kabaddi is growing in countries like the UK, Italy, and the Netherlands, among others.

Betrally India are one of the biggest sites to embrace this sport for betting, but they are not alone.

Gaelic Football

This sport is huge in Ireland, and it is also shown by major broadcasters BT and Sky throughout the UK. But there are a few thousand fans outside of Ireland at most and you’ll struggle to find non-Irish fans outside of the UK. In fact, few have even heard of the game.

If you know Aussie Rules, soccer and rugby you can adapt easily to Gaelic Football, but there are a few things to note. First, they use a soccer ball and have soccer nets, but they also have rugby posts (points can be scored through the latter and in the former) and they need to bounce the ball as they run, much like Aussie Rules. The play is more fluid than Aussie Rules though and it’s as fast moving as soccer.

Roller Derby

This sport was mainly an American past-time, played in a handful of states and popular with thousands as opposed to millions of players. But it then worked its way into pop culture, with everything from the 2009 Ellen Page film Whip It, to the TV show King of the Hill making it popular worldwide.

There are now Roller Derby associations in the UK, Australia, Mexico, Germany, and more. It’s a fast-paced, hard-hitting sport played by strong women and watched by all ages. It’s hard not to watch a contest and get drawn in by the sheer unforgiving brutality of it.

Quidditch

It wouldn’t be too harsh to suggest that the first people who played Quidditch were Harry Potter fans just messing around. This game is played with broomsticks that players straddle between their legs and pretend to fly, so it wouldn’t be too big of an assumption. However, it has now grown into a serious game, with hundreds of teams worldwide and a governing body.

It is the ultimate sport for Harry Potter fans, and even when you take the magic out of the game there is still a lot of fun to be had. Quidditch is also progressive in a way that we’re sure makes J.K. Rowling proud, as it’s one of the few sports to have mixed sex teams.