American Sports You May Not Have Heard Of

Sport is a massive industry all over the world, capturing the imagination of the public and generating billions of dollars in revenue. Some of us like to take part in sports at an amateur level or just for fun, and there are so many different sports and games you could play, meaning you’ll be spoiled for choice. Nevertheless, having a lot of choices never stopped anyone from inventing new sports and importing sports from other countries. If you fancy the idea of trying a new sport or going to watch something a bit different, here are some ideas for more unusual sports being played in the US.


Ball games

Polo is traditionally associated with athletic horses, golf-course-quality grass and the wealthier members of society. Cycle polo is essentially the same sport but played on bicycles. It was invented in 1891 and is now played in 30 countries around the world. Unicycle football is another adaptation of a well-known sport, and as the name suggests, players ride unicycles while attempting to play football. It’s one of the more recent inventions, originating in Texas in 2008. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you’ll know all about Quidditch, the wizarding world’s national sport. Although it started life as a figment of J K Rowling’s imagination, it was turned into a real game by some enterprising muggles. Obviously, there’s no flying involved, so the players run around after the balls with a broomstick between their legs instead. If you like racquet sports, pickleball might be worth a try. It’s a combination of tennis, badminton and table tennis and is gaining in popularity.

Picture source: Bike Polo Facebook


Lawnmower Races

If you want a cheap form of motorsport, lawnmower racing could be just what you’re looking for. The mowers have their blades removed to make things safer but can have performance enhancements to make them more powerful and easier to handle. In Indiana, they hold the Twelve Mile 500 every 4th of July, and it has become a staple of the sporting calendar. Zorbing is another sport that has really taken off over the last few years. Inspired by the hamster ball, participants attempt to race each other from inside a giant see-through inflated bubble that rolls along the ground or on water. You can start by just having a go in a zorb at a theme park and progress to racing if you like the feel of it. For the truly adventurous, how about ostrich racing? These massive, flightless birds can run at speeds of up to 43 miles an hour, pretty much as fast as a racehorse.


Yes, it really is a sport

Did you know that throwing snowballs has been made into a sport? Yukigassen comes from Japan, where it was developed in 1989. It’s a snowball fight tournament, so given that many US states have heavy snowfalls in winter, it has become popular in America too. You may have seen photos or videos of dogs on surfboards, but were you aware that dog surfing is an actual sport? It’s been around since the 1920s, and in California, they hold the Surf City Surf Dog Competition every summer.

These sports are only the tip of an underground sporting iceberg, so find out what is on in your area and have a go at something out of the ordinary.

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