Sports for Dummies: Odd Sports


In this segment of Sports for Dummies, we are diving into some of the weirdest sports we have ever seen or heard about. These sports range from wife-carrying to worm-charming, and outhouse racing. These sports take place all the way from Europe to England to Michigan, Iowa, Washington, and Nevada 

     Wife-carrying is a sport that involves a male competitor carrying a female competitor through a special obstacle course, the goal being to complete the course as fast as possible. There are three different ways of carrying the “wife” including piggyback, fireman carry, and Estonian style( wife on back upside down with legs over his shoulders). The track that they race on is 235.5 meters long which seems like a short distance, but when that is paired with the track being made of sand and the requirement of two dry obstacles and one water obstacle, that is one meter deep, makes this race that more challenging. Also, no one can wear high heels or a shoe that could cause injury when running. There are variations of this one being the senior competition where the carrier has to be 40 years or older. Then there is a team competition where three people compete by “handing off” the “wife” at certain checkpoints. When they get to the checkpoint they have to drink 0.5 liters of the official “wife-carrying competition drink”. According to locals it is nothing more than soda water and if spilled could end up in a 15-second penalty. 

 Let’s move on to a different sport: worm charming. I know it sounds weird, but it is not what you think. First, it originated in 1980 when each participant gets three-meter square plots of land they then try to find as many worms as possible in 30 mins. The World Worm Charming Championship takes place in Cheshire, England normally in late June at a primary school. Some people use techniques like vibrating the ground by sticking implements into it, playing music, or patting the soil. The only rules are no importing worms or digging for worms. The record is currently held by a 10-year-old who got 567 worms.

  The last sport of this article is Outhouse racing. I know this seems even weirder than the other two, but it is still kind of interesting. You design and build your own outhouse and put it on skis. You then have two people push it about 150 meters.  This racing event is held in Michigan where they race down Main Street in Coopersville. This event has been going on since 1993 and is always on the last Saturday of February. This event is also held in Iowa, Washington, and Nevada (with wheels, not skis). They all have different histories but we will only discuss some of them. The one in Michigan has different age categories ranging from 6 years old to 50+.  In Virginia City, Nevada this race came about from a political rally of sorts. The town passed an ordinance banning outdoor latrines and citizens that were mad about this dragged outhouses in front of the courthouse and then the tradition started. It takes place on C Street and attracts 3,000 to 4,000 people a day for this race. In Iowa, they have this race during their state fair but it is run completely differently than in the other one’s states before. The teams are composed of three pushers and one driver. During the race, teams push the outhouses to a toilet, and the team member who sits inside, then must burst out of the outhouse and wipe clean a toilet seat smeared in chocolate using nothing but his or her (fully clothed) posterior. Then the same team member then runs over to a giant tank filled with a mixture of animal feed and water plus some other vegetables to search for a corn cob buried in it, change a roll of toilet paper and return to the outhouses where the teams push them back to the starting point. 

  With all of this weird sports information you can go forward in life knowing that apparently, anything can be a sport if you try hard enough. Most of these events take place at local events so try and go and participate in your own community. Stay tuned for more normal sports and some more interesting ones.

Jessica Dudley, Staff Writer

Sophomore Jessica Dudley is a staff writer for the 2022-2023 Colonel Newsmagazine. She likes Marvel, playing sports, and playing with and learning about animals.

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