ESPN Lesser Known Sports Highlights – Kirkwood Release


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Those who enjoy sports of all kinds can appreciate the hard work and dedication of the athletes. The years of training, injuries and miles traveled to reach the skill level of an accomplished competitor is something to admire.

There are so many sports out there. But it wasn’t until ESPN decided to take a joke and make it a reality that ESPN 8, aka The OCHO, became an annual celebration of lesser-known sports in the sports stratosphere.

Since the pandemic has limited sporting events, here are a few sports students may not have heard of.

Chess boxing: Inspired by a comic book, that’s exactly how it sounds. There are 11 competitive rounds, three-minute rounds, alternating boxing and chess. Players win either by KO, checkmate, or if the chess timer runs out, the main opponent wins. It was designed to test the strongest and smartest athletes in the world and has been around since 2003.

Sepak Takraw, aka Kick Volleyball: It started in South East Asia and is now a global sport. It has a court the same size as badminton, using only the feet, knees and head to touch the ball. The ball is called a rattan, designed after wicker furniture, and has synthetic rubber on the outside. The top two out of three win the game.

School bus race 8: Think of NASCAR with school buses, stock car racing mixed with a demolition derby, and you get the idea. There are also people inside the buses, with helmets, of course. The wheels of the bus spin (and spin) and could crash into the finish line.

Acrobatic Pizza Trials in the United States: If you thought you had pizza skills, think again. It’s a fierce competition with events featuring the biggest dough stretch, fastest pie maker, fastest box folder and freestyle dough stunts. This is where competitors from coast to coast compete for the best in the Midwest. when it comes to pizza.

Stupid Robot Fight: Created in New Zealand, Stupid Robot Fighting is a unique form of combat that pits two life-size hanging puppets, controlled by an operator sitting behind each robot, against each other. Think of junkyard robots. Viewers will have a great time watching the battle in all of its ridiculous glory.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


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