Greetings, sports aficionados!
Are you ready to embark on an extraordinary adventure?
Jump into our unique sports list, sorted by popularity.
From adrenaline junkies to casual players seeking a new thrill, there’s a fascinating sport here for everyone!
Unique Sports List
- Hoverboard Racing
- Drone Soccer
- Bubble Soccer
- Electric Unicycle Polo
- Wheelchair Rugby
- Chess Boxing
- Slackline Yoga
- Underwater Hockey
Table of Contents
Pickleball is a paddle sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. It was invented in 1965 by Congressmen Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum in Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA.
The sport is played on a badminton-sized court with a lower net, using a perforated plastic ball and composite paddles. Pickleball has grown in popularity, especially in North America, where it is played in schools, community centers, and dedicated sports facilities.
While not an Olympic sport, the US Open Pickleball Championships and the USAPA National Championships are major annual events in the pickleball community.
#2 Hoverboard Racing
Hoverboard Racing first emerged in the 2010s, enabled by the development of self-balancing, battery-powered hoverboards. Riders compete on a course to complete laps in the fastest time, showcasing their balance and maneuvering skills.
While still a relatively niche sport, Hoverboard Racing has gained popularity in urban areas worldwide. Not yet an Olympic sport, it does have organized events, like the Hoverboard World Cup and the International Hoverboard Racing Championship.
#3 Drone Soccer
Drone Soccer, also known as Droneball, is a relatively new sport that originated in South Korea around 2016.
It is played with teams of drones inside a protective cage, with the objective of scoring goals by navigating a larger drone with a ball inside it through the opponents’ hoop.
Drone Soccer is quickly gaining popularity across the globe, with an annual World Drone Soccer Championship being held since 2017 and the FIDA world championship. It has not yet been included in the Olympic program.
#4 Bubble Soccer
Bubble Soccer, also known as Zorb Football or Loopyball, originated in Norway in 2011, invented by Henrik Elvestad and Johan Golden. In this sport, players wear inflatable bubble suits, allowing them to bump into each other without injury while playing soccer.
Bubble Soccer is popular as a recreational activity in parks and indoor arenas worldwide, suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Although it is not an Olympic sport, the sport has numerous local leagues and tournaments, along with the annual Bubble Soccer World Cup.
#5 Electric Unicycle Polo
A modern twist on the traditional sport of polo, Electric Unicycle Polo was first played around 2015 and it is most popular in the United States and Europe. Competitors ride electric unicycles while using polo mallets to hit a ball into the opposing team’s goal.
Although still a niche sport, Electric Unicycle Polo has gained a dedicated following, with regional and national tournaments held across the world. As of now, it is yet to become an Olympic sport.
#6 Wheelchair Rugby
Wheelchair Rugby, also known as Murderball, was created in Canada in 1977 as a team sport for quadriplegic athletes.
Combining elements of rugby, basketball, and handball, teams of four compete to carry a ball across the opposition’s goal line. The sport has grown in popularity worldwide and has been an official Paralympic sport since 2000.
#7 Chess Boxing
Chess Boxing, a truly unique hybrid sport, was invented by Dutch artist Iepe Rubingh in 2003, inspired by a French comic book. It combines mental agility and physical prowess by alternating rounds of chess and boxing throughout the match.
The sport is most popular in Europe, with the World Chess Boxing Organization (WCBO) overseeing competitions and world championships. Chess Boxing has not yet been included in the Olympic program, but the sport continues to gain a dedicated following and attract more competitors.
#8 Slackline Yoga
Also known as Yogaslackers, Slackline Yoga is a fusion of yoga and slacklining that originated in the early 2000s in the United States. This sport challenges participants to perform yoga poses on a slackline, promoting balance and focus.
Popular worldwide, it has dedicated practitioners and teachers hosting events and workshops. Though not an Olympic sport, Slackline Yoga has various competitions and is featured in events like the International Slackline Association’s World Slackline Masters.
#9 Underwater Hockey
Also known as Octopush, Underwater Hockey was invented in 1954 by British Navy officers in order to improve their diving skills. In this sport, two teams of six players compete in a swimming pool, using short sticks to manipulate a puck across the pool floor and into the opponents’ goal.
Underwater Hockey is most popular in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, and is governed by the World Underwater Federation (CMAS) and the International Underwater Hockey Commission. The sport has biennial World Championships, but it is not yet part of the Olympic program.
Inspired by J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels, Quidditch was adapted as a real-life sport by college students in 2005 at Middlebury College, Vermont, USA. This mixed-gender sport combines elements of rugby, dodgeball, and tag, with players running with a broomstick between their legs.
The International Quidditch Association oversees the sport, hosting the Quidditch World Cup biennially, and it is popular in countries such as the US, UK, and Australia. Quidditch is not an Olympic sport.
More Unique Sports
- Blindfolded Fencing: This unique twist on traditional fencing originated in the late 20th century as an alternative and inclusive form of the sport that challenges athletes’ other senses. Participants are blindfolded, relying on touch and sound as they battle their opponents. Blindfolded Fencing is popular in various countries and has been featured in several international fencing demonstrations, but it has not yet become an Olympic sport.
- Bossaball: Invented by Belgian Filip Eyckmans in 2004, Bossaball is a team sport that combines elements of volleyball, soccer, gymnastics, and music. Played on an inflatable court with a trampoline and music, teams spike a ball across a net by using kicks, flips, and various acrobatic moves. Bossaball is popular in Europe, South America, and Asia, with the Bossaball World Cup held annually. As of now, it is not an Olympic sport.
- Lightsaber Dueling: Based on the iconic Star Wars weapon, Lightsaber Dueling became an organized sport in 2011 with the founding of LudoSport in Italy. Combining martial arts, fencing, and choreography, participants engage in choreographed battles using LED-lit, polycarbonate lightsabers. The sport has gained an international following with the annual SaberCon event and multiple national leagues. Lightsaber Dueling is not an Olympic sport.
- E-Foiling: E-Foiling, or electric hydrofoil surfing, emerged in the late 2010s as a water sport allowing surfers to glide above the water on a surfboard equipped with an electric motorized hydrofoil. Most popular in coastal regions and popular surf destinations, E-Foiling is a growing sport with organized events like the Lift E-Foil Race Series. It is not yet recognized as an Olympic sport.
- Spikeball: Spikeball, often known as roundnet, originated in 2008 when entrepreneur Chris Ruder revived a 1980s backyard game. This intense, fast-paced sport involves teams using their hands to bounce a ball off a mini trampoline-like net, with gameplay resembling a mix of volleyball and four square. Spikeball has gained international popularity with the formation of the Spikeball Roundnet Association and the hosting of tournaments worldwide. It is not an Olympic sport.
- Wiffleball: Wiffleball, a variation of baseball, was invented by David N. Mullany in 1953 in the United States. The sport uses a perforated plastic ball, allowing for easier pitching as it slows down and curves more than a traditional baseball. Wiffleball is popular in the US and other countries, where it is played indoors and outdoors. The annual Wiffle Ball World Championship takes place in the US, and the sport is not part of the Olympic program.
- Tchoukball: Invented by Swiss biologist Hermann Brandt in the 1970s, Tchoukball is a non-contact team sport that blends elements of handball, volleyball, and squash. The objective of the game is to throw a ball against a small trampoline-like frame, scoring points when the ball lands on the ground. Tchoukball is popular in Europe and Asia, with the International Tchoukball Federation hosting world championships. The sport is not an Olympic event.
- Battle Archery: Battle Archery, also known as Archery Tag, was developed in 2011 by John Jackson in the United States. This sport combines elements of archery, dodgeball, and paintball, with teams attempting to eliminate opponents using foam-tipped arrows. Battle Archery continues to grow in popularity, with facilities and competitions available worldwide. As of now, it is not an Olympic sport.
- Combat Juggling: Emerging in the 1980s in San Francisco, Combat Juggling is a high-energy competition where jugglers attempt to knock down their opponents’ pins while maintaining their own juggling pattern. The sport has a dedicated following, with the World Juggling Federation organizing the Major League Combat event. Combat Juggling is not an Olympic sport.
- Skyaking: A unique combination of skydiving and kayaking, Skyaking was created in 2009 by American pro kayaker Miles Daisher. In this extreme sport, participants skydive from an airplane while sitting in a modified kayak, performing aerial stunts before deploying a parachute for landing. Skyaking remains a niche sport for adventure seekers and is not part of the Olympic program.
- Sepak Takraw: Also known as kick volleyball, Sepak Takraw originated in Southeast Asia around the 15th century. This sport is played with a rattan ball, and players use their feet, head, knees, and chest to pass and score points, similar to volleyball. Sepak Takraw is popular in Thailand, Malaysia, India, and other Asian countries, with the International Sepaktakraw World Championship being held since 1988. It is not yet an Olympic sport.
- Canyoning: Canyoning, also known as canyoneering, is a multidisciplinary outdoor activity involving rappelling, climbing, and swimming through canyons and waterfalls. The sport’s origins are difficult to pinpoint, but it gained popularity in Europe and the US in the 20th century. Though not an Olympic sport, Canyoning has various competitions, like the annual Ouray Canyoning Festival in Colorado, USA.
- Bokator: An ancient martial art from Cambodia dating back to the 9th century, Bokator combines elements of self-defense, fitness, and meditation. Wearing traditional attire, practitioners use elbows, knees, and feet to perform agile and powerful movements. Bokator has UNESCO World Heritage recognition and holds an annual national championship event in Cambodia, but it is not an Olympic sport.
- Aqua Zorbing: Aqua Zorbing, also known as water walking, emerged in the late 1990s as a variant of zorbing, where participants roll down hills in large transparent balls. With Aqua Zorbing, people are inside a floating zorb on water, attempting to walk or run on the surface. This fun, recreational activity can be found in amusement parks, resorts, and events worldwide. Though not a competitive sport, Aqua Zorbing continues to gain popularity as a leisure activity.
- Snowkiting: Snowkiting, a winter sport combining aspects of kitesurfing and snowboarding, was first practiced in the early 1990s in various mountainous regions. Participants use a kite to propel themselves across snowy terrain while riding a snowboard or skis. The sport is popular in North America, Europe, and Russia, with annual events like the Red Bull Ragnarok competition held in Norway. Snowkiting is not an Olympic sport.
- Unicycle Hockey: A variation on traditional hockey, Unicycle Hockey gained popularity in the 1980s. Players ride unicycles and use hockey sticks to play, often indoors or on tennis courts. The sport is most popular in Europe, North America, and Australia, and is governed by the International Unicycling Federation. Though not an Olympic sport, teams compete in the Unicycle Hockey World Championships at the biennial Unicon event.
- Zorbing Football: Zorbing Football, also known as Bubble Football, combines zorbing and soccer, requiring players to wear inflatable zorb suits. First played in Norway in 2011, the sport is popular as a recreational activity in parks and indoor arenas worldwide. Although not an Olympic sport, the Bubble Soccer World Cup takes place annually, with various local leagues and tournaments held across the globe.
- Powerbocking: Invented in 2004 by German engineer Alexander Böck, Powerbocking involves wearing specialized spring-loaded stilts known as powerbocks, which allow users to jump and perform acrobatic stunts. It has become popular in Europe and North America, with both recreational and competitive use. The annual North American Powerbocking Championships are held, although it is not an Olympic sport.
- Blind Soccer: Developed in the 1950s in Spain as a sport for visually impaired athletes, Blind Soccer is played with audible footballs. It has grown to be a popular sport, and, since 2004, has been included in the Paralympic Games and various international competitions like the IBSA Blind Football World Championships.
- Ostrich Racing: Though originating in Africa, Ostrich Racing became popularized in the early 20th century in the United States. Riders sit on the back of an ostrich and race around a track, often in costumes to entertain spectators. Ostrich Racing remains a niche sport, mainly found at events like festivals and county fairs.
- Shinty: A traditional Scottish sport dating back to the 17th century, Shinty is a fast-paced field game resembling field hockey. Teams use sticks called camans to hit a leather ball, aiming to score goals. Governed by the Camanachd Association, Shinty remains popular in Scotland, with an annual calendar of league games and the Camanachd Cup. It is not an Olympic sport.
- Jugger: Jugger was invented in 1989 in Germany, inspired by the post-apocalyptic movie “The Blood of Heroes.” The sport features two teams using foam padded weapons to score goals and prevent opposition players from scoring. Jugger has grown a dedicated following, with annual events like the German Jugger Cup and the Australian Jugger League.
- Footgolf: Combining soccer and golf, Footgolf was officially founded in 2009 in the Netherlands. Players kick a soccer ball into a series of oversized golf holes on a course, aiming for the lowest number of shots possible. Governed by the Federation for International Footgolf and national associations, the sport has grown to be popular in over 30 countries and has organized international competitions, such as the Footgolf World Cup.
- Swamp Soccer: Originating in Finland in the 1990s as a military exercise, Swamp Soccer is a mud-soaked version of soccer, played on swampy, muddy terrain. The sport has attracted players worldwide, with annual Swamp Soccer World Championships held in Finland and other international events like the Swamp Soccer UK tournament.
- Camel Polo: A unique variation of traditional polo, Camel Polo is played on the backs of camels rather than horses. The sport’s origins are unclear but is believed to have taken place in countries with significant camel populations. Camel Polo has grown more popular in recent years as a tourist attraction and entertainment event, particularly in countries like Mongolia and the United Arab Emirates.
What are some of the most popular unique sports?
Some of the most popular unique sports include Pickleball, Hoverboard Racing, Drone Soccer, Bubble Soccer, Electric Unicycle Polo, Augmented Reality Parkour, Chess Boxing, Holographic Dodgeball, Underwater Hockey, and Bionic Basketball.
How many different unique sports are there in the list?
Our unique sports list includes 35 distinctive sports.