From Donkey Racing to Rock-Paper-Scissors – The Weirdest Bets
That’s easily explained with human nature. People love to bet and take guesses, and if the opportunity presents itself, they won’t think twice. We’ll leave the discussion of whether some of the activities down below are actually sports for some other time. But do keep in mind that people treat them as such and place bets accordingly. Let’s have a look at some of the crazier ways to spend your money.
The Weirdest Bets:
Quidditch: Should You Bet on the Nimbus 2000 Rider?
Quidditch. A mouthful, isn’t it? As far as fantasy sports go, this is the most ‘fantasy’ one, plucked from the Harry Potter books. The series turned into a global phenomenon that is a culture in its own right today. No wonder people tried to recreate the game of Quidditch in real life. It might not be as spectacular as the books describe it or the movies show it to be, but there are people who practice it and people who bet on it.
US Quidditch, the organization behind Quidditch matches, was established in 2010. Today, there are 3,500 athletes and 150 teams involved. And yes, running around with a broom between your legs trying to throw a volleyball through any of the three hoops of your opponent might not sound so glamorous, but it’s good fun and attracts attention. Even if you weren’t a Potterhead, it might provide some good entertainment.
Donkey Racing: Are Donkeys Muleheaded?
To steer away from fantasy territory and back into the real world, here’s a thought! If horses can be trained to race, why not train donkeys? In fact, donkeys are trained, and they do race!
But how do they race if they can’t carry a rider? People have figured it out! Whether do donkeys carry weights, including a saddle, and the riders run next to them, or they pull carts along a track, people get excited and place bets. One of the most popular donkey races is the so-called Burro Racing in Colorado, a long-running tradition in which participants are paired through harnesses with the donkeys.
Wife-Carrying: For a Happy Marriage
Here’s a secret – you don’t have to be married to your partner to participate in this quirky sport. And it is a sport, as weird as it might sound. It’s actually a professional sport in Ireland, and it’s absolutely legitimate to bet on it.
There’s even an All-Ireland Wife Carrying Championship, but other countries like Australia, Estonia, and Finland also have a taste for wife-carrying. The World Championship is actually held in Finland. In its essence, this spot entails a team of two (one carries the other) to go over a difficult obstacle course. The fastest pair is the winner!
Cow Patty Bingo: Stinky, Indeed
Alright, in all honesty, this is not exactly a sport, but it garners attention and is often suggested as an idea to raise funds for charity. In its essence, it’s a weird combination of roulette and bingo, where you have an enclosure with a grid, much like the one you have on bingo cards and roulette layouts, with each square having its own number.
Participants ‘purchase’ those squares by making a bet. Once no more bets are accepted, an animal (usually a cow) is let onto the field. The winner is the owner of the first square to get… well, a dollop from the cow.
Reindeer Racing: Go Faster and Faster
Let’s step back into more familiar territory. Up north they don’t resort to donkeys, they use reindeer to race! They don’t have to be Santa’s. Does it sound funny? Actually, reindeer racing is quite extreme, with participants being pulled along on skis. Reindeer can reach speeds of 37mph (60km per hour). Imagine hurtling toward the finish line with such speeds? No wonder you have to be over 60kg to participate as a jockey.
In the end, reindeer racing is a highly competitive sport requiring you to be in excellent physical shape. If you prefer to get up-close and personal only with Santa’s reindeer, though, you can just bet on the winners.
Rock, Paper, Scissors, Bet!
Rock, Paper, Scissors is a game known to have resolved not one or two disputes over the centuries. But how about it being a competitive sport? In fact, there are several tournaments organized to play Rock, Paper, Scissors with a competitive element.
There’s even a court ruling that this is purely a game of chance, and not of skill. An excessive bet of $500,000+ was at the bottom of that ruling when the loser had to remortgage his house to pay off the lost bet. With some tournaments involving 150 contestants, the game of Rock, Paper, Scissors can be a source of swift fun and immediate results, if you decide to bet.
Bog Snorkeling: Take a Deep Breath!
If you thought the Cow Patty Bingo was disgusting, here’s your chance to rethink. Enter Bog Snorkeling! It’s exactly what the name suggests. A group of contestants race through a bog while snorkeling, navigating through the murky terrain. It might sound like a stinky joke, but it’s actually a very demanding sport.
It’s quite popular among British punters. There’s even a World Bog Snorkeling Championship held in Wales every year since 1985. Most UK sportsbooks take bets in the category. But as much as the Brits love weird sports, the UK is not the only place where bog snorkeling is practiced. You can find competitions also in Australia, Sweden, and Ireland. There’s even a Bog Snorkeling Triathlon!
Choose Your Champion In WWE
As far as weird sports go, the World Wrestling Entertainment events might be the closest to traditional sports. And why wouldn’t it be? The WWE draws in a massive audience, and the arena bursts at the seams with fans during special events. With crowds rivaling those at NFL games, it’s only natural that sportsbooks accept WWE bets.
It’s not a mainstream category to bet on just yet, but you can find spots to bet on the biggest international events in the WWE calendar like Royal Rumble, SmackDown, and WrestleMania. In fact, betting on these events is one of the fastest-growing niche betting markets we know of today.
Cornhole: Throwing to Victory
Cornhole isn’t an internationally famous game. In it, players take turns throwing bags of corn kernels aiming at a hole in a raised platform. You might guess why it’s not a globally renowned game. It’s primarily popular in the United States, with several organizations and associations actually ‘governing’ the ‘sport’ of cornhole.
Most cornhole betting happens locally, during county fairs for example. However, occasionally, you can find a sportsbook accepting bets and odds published for the cornhole championship. And yes, such a thing does exist. Despite its rules and game mechanics, it’s a sport that participants take seriously, and might find it fun to bet on it.
Buckle Up for Harness Racing
So far, you’ve seen sports harnessing donkeys, reindeers, and, of course, horses. How about harnessing a wagon? Don’t be alarmed, though! Harness racing is actually quite close to horse racing. The main difference is that the jockey isn’t riding the horse. Instead, they’re seated in a two-wheeled wagon that’s pulled by the horse. Outside looking in, it looks hilarious, but it’s, in fact, serious business.
That’s why it draws in both people with a taste for novelty betting, as well as expert horse race bettors. It’s fairly popular in the Scandinavian countries, with Sweden and Finland being leaders in harness racing. It’s a sport driven by and funded by gambling activities, and given it still exists, it’s safe to assume there’s plenty of people who bet on it.
There are Weird Sports Galore to Bet On
From the stinky to the spunky, to the truly exciting sport-like activities, we covered an unmatched diversity. But is this enough for you? If not, don’t worry, we have a few more ideas for you to explore if you’re in an adventurous mood. If you don’t go way off with novelty bets like the end of the world and Oscar guesses and stay in the realm of sports, but still get a breath of fresh air away from the traditional categories, you can bet on:
- Pigeon racing;
- Arm wrestling;
- Jai Alai – one of the fastest sports, played strictly for gambling purposes;
- Cow Chip Tossing – not so far from Cow Patty Bingo;
- Chicken Bingo;
- Ferret Bingo;
- Pesapallo – or the Finnish version of baseball;
- Cheese Rolling – even if you don’t bet, it’s worth watching for the spectacular tumble some participants take;
- Mountain Unicycling;
- Sumo Wrestling;
- Chess – not as weird, with a very limited range of bet options.
Not enough? Well, you can always turn to eSports for a taste of something new. Still, we do believe, if your passion are weird sports with weirder rules, you can find what to bet on. Of course, some ‘sports’ are not present in the official sportsbooks, some are local, and some like Harness Racing have different rules in the different parts of the world. But the fact of the matter is that if you wish to find the weirdest sports bet possible and place it, you can!
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