In the Swedish town of Östersund, the World Championships in biathlon is currently taking place. For the uninitiated of you, the biathlon is a winter sport that combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. In Swedish, it is called ‘skidskytte’ – literally ‘ski shooting’. The sport is a race where the contestant with the shortest total time wins. Depending on the competition, missed shots result in extra distance or time being added to the contestant’s total.
The biathlon is an example of a hybrid sport – one which combines two or more sports in order to create a new sport. Waterpolo, which combines swimming and handball, is another example. Biathlon is the king of the hybrids as it is the only one to be recognised as an Olympic sport.
As usual, I got curious about what other hybrid sports exist. So I did some research. Here are some of the, according to me, funniest ones:
Bossaball – combines the many elements of volleyball, football, gymnastics and the Brazilian martial art Capoeira. Strangely, it is played on an inflatable field with 2 trampolines at each side of the net. These allow players per side to bounce high to spike or touch the ball.
Chess boxing – weirdly combines the sport of boxing with games of chess in alternating rounds. Chess boxing fights have been organized since early 2003.
Darchery – combines darts and archery, using crossbows and arrows typically used for archery, but the target is a dart board.
Footgolf – combines football with golf. Players kick a football into large holes placed around a golf course.
Headis – combines table tennis and football. Players use their heads to hit a football across the table tennis table and net. Sounds exhausting.
Kronum – combines handball, football, basketball and rugby played on a circular field with four goals at each end.
Octopush – combines swimming, diving and hockey. Players try to push around a hockey puck at the bottom of a swimming pool. The goal is to shoot the puck with a small, curved piece of wood into the opposing team’s goal.
Do you play any of these sports? Or do you play another hybrid sport? Let me know!
Please share this post if you liked it, and follow me on Insta #watchingtheswedes