As most Americans know, our athletic tastes don’t exactly match those of the world. American football is rarely seen outside of North America, while football, by far the most popular sport in the world, is just beginning to reach the same level as sports like baseball, basketball and hockey. .
Perhaps it’s no surprise that there are some hugely popular competitions elsewhere in the world that the typical American probably hasn’t heard of at all. 24/7 Wall St. has identified 20 of the most interesting, unusual and popular in the area.
Some of these games, such as netball, handball – not the handball you think of – or Australian football have many similarities to popular American sports and can often trace their origins back to those sports. Others on this list, like the Afghan national sport of buzkashi, which is played with the headless carcass of a goat, are quite different.
Some of these sports, while extremely popular where they are played, have a niche in that they are only played in one location, and sometimes only at a single annual event. In these cases, like the hyper-violent calcio fiorentino, the event is usually the cornerstone of a busy festival. Here are some of the most popular carnivals in the world.
Not all of these sports take place in professional arenas – many take place outdoors, on sawdust, and on muddy terrain. Others take place at official sports venues and are often popular enough locally to sell events to tens of thousands of fans. Many of these sports have some local popularity in the United States, but if you want to see high-level competition for any of these sports, you will likely need to purchase a plane ticket. Here are 32 crucial tips for traveling abroad.
Click here to see 20 sports most Americans have never heard of