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From the obscure to the odd, and even the outstanding, the world of “Sports with O” presents a diverse range.

In this article, we investigate these uncommon sports and activities, delving into their origins, aims, and structures.

Prepare to embark on a voyage into the extraordinary realm of “O” sports.

Sports that start with the Letter O

  1. Open water swimming
  2. Orienteering
  3. Obstacle course racing
  4. Oina (Romanian traditional sport)
  5. One-wall handball
  6. Octopush (Underwater hockey)
  7. Offroad racing
  8. Outrigger canoeing
  9. Over-the-line
  10. Oztag

#1 Open water swimming

Open water swimming

As an Olympic sport since 2008, open water swimming involves navigating long distances in natural bodies of water, such as oceans, lakes, and rivers.

Originating in the 19th century, the sport has grown to include iconic events like the English Channel crossing and the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim.

Open water swimming is popular in various countries globally, with strong competitors hailing from the United States, Germany, and Russia.

#2 Orienteering


Originating in Sweden in the late 19th century, orienteering involves navigating through a series of checkpoints using only a map and a compass.

The sport has since spread globally and is particularly popular in Nordic countries, Central Europe, and North America.

Orienteering became a competitive sport in 1961, when the first World Orienteering Championships were held.

Today, the International Orienteering Federation organizes world championship events and encourages the growth of the sport worldwide.

#3 Obstacle course racing

Obstacle course racing

Combining running and various physical challenges, obstacle course racing began as a military training exercise.

The sport gained popularity in the 21st century, with events such as Tough Mudder and Spartan Race attracting many participants.

Obstacle course races can be found all over the world, and the Obstacle Course Racing World Championships are held annually.

#4 Oina (Romanian traditional sport)

Dating back to the 14th century, Oina is considered the national sport of Romania. The game, similar to baseball and rounders, is played with a leather ball and a wooden bat.

Oina has experienced a resurgence in popularity in recent years, with the Romanian Oina Federation organizing national championships and promoting the sport internationally.

#5 One-wall handball

A variation of American handball, one-wall handball emerged in the early 20th century in New York City.

Played with only one wall, it has gained popularity in urban areas and is now played in countries around the world.

The World Handball Championship includes one-wall handball events, with players from the United States, Belgium, and Ireland dominating the tournaments.

#6 Octopush (Underwater hockey)

Invented in the United Kingdom in 1954, Octopush, also known as underwater hockey, involves two teams pushing a puck across the bottom of a swimming pool towards the opponent’s goal.

The sport has since spread to over 20 countries, with the World Underwater Hockey Championship held every two years.

#7 Offroad racing

Offroad racing

With roots dating back to the early 20th century, offroad racing is a motorsport that takes place on unsurfaced terrain, often including mud, gravel, and sand.

Now popular worldwide, the sport includes renowned events such as the Baja 1000, Dakar Rally, and King of the Hammers.

Despite its global appeal, offroad racing has not yet been included in the Olympic Games.

#8 Outrigger canoeing

Outrigger canoeing

Dating back thousands of years, outrigger canoeing originated in the islands of the Pacific, most notably Polynesia, as a means of transportation and cultural expression.

The sport is now practiced in various countries, with the International Va’a Federation governing competitions such as the IVF World Distance Championships and the IVF World Elite & Club Sprint Championships.

#9 Over-the-line

Invented in Mission Beach, San Diego, California, in the 1950s, over-the-line is a variation of softball played on sand.

The sport is popular on the West Coast of the United States and has an annual World Championship Over-the-Line Tournament in San Diego.

However, because of its regional appeal, over-the-line has not reached Olympic status.

#10 Oztag

Originating in Australia in 1991, Oztag is a non-tackling version of rugby league football, incorporating elements from touch rugby and rugby sevens.

The sport’s popularity has grown substantially in Australia, with the Oztag World Cup held every three years featuring teams from various countries.

Although not an Olympic sport, its fun, accessible nature continues to attract players globally.

More Sports with O

  1. Oil wrestling: As the national sport of Turkey, oil wrestling dates back to the ancient Ottomans. Wrestlers, covered in olive oil, compete to pin or lift their opponents above their shoulders. Events like the Kirkpinar oil wrestling festival are held yearly and have become local and tourist attractions.
  2. Olympic weightlifting: Originating in Ancient Greece, Olympic weightlifting involves lifting a barbell with maximum weight in two specific lifts: the snatch, and the clean and jerk. It has been a modern Olympic sport since 1896, with competitions held at international, regional, and national levels.


Which sports start with the letter O?

Some of the sports that start with the letter O include Orienteering, Obstacle course racing, Oina, One-wall handball, Octopush (Underwater hockey), Offroad racing, Open water swimming, Outrigger canoeing, Over-the-line, and Oztag.

What is the most popular sport that starts with O?

Open water swimming might be considered the most popular sport that starts with the letter O due to its inclusion in the Summer Olympic Games since 2008. Swimmers navigate through natural bodies of water, such as oceans, lakes, and rivers, often competing over long distances. It attracts a large number of participants worldwide and has become an iconic endurance event in the sports world.

Max is a sports enthusiast who loves all kinds of ball and water sports. He founded & runs stand-up-paddling.org (#1 German Paddleboarding Blog), played competitive Badminton and Mini Golf (competed on national level in Germany), started learning β€˜real’ Golf and dabbled in dozens of other sports & activities.

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