Meet Jim Cripps, the Incredible Backwards Bowler

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You’ve probably never seen anything like this before, I sure haven’t. Tennessee native James Cripps earned the nickname Backwards Bowler for a very simple reason – he’s able to bowl perfectly well without even facing the lanes.

Believe it or not, it all started as a friendly bet. Jim Cripps loved bowling, but he admits he was pretty terrible at it, so at one point a friend challenged him to try and score 150 points backwards. It sounds impossible, but Jim says he managed to land a strike on his first try, and ended up with a final score of 163. After that he just couldn’t stop bowling backwards. “We never settled up on the bet, but I think I definitely came out the winner of the bet because it truly has been great,”Cripps said. As you can imagine, his skills improved dramatically over the next few years, and he now has an average of 204 points per game and holds a Guinness record of 278.

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Man Creates Indestructible Football for Kids in Third World Countries

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After seeing kids in poor and war-torn countries forgetting about their daily lives by playing football with balls made of trash, Tim Jahnigen dedicated his life to creating an indestructible ball that wouldn’t deflate in the hardest of conditions.

It’s called the One World Football and it can take any amount of punishment, from being run over by a car to being punctured with a knife, without deflating. Jahringen, from Berley, California, got the idea for this incredible football in 2006, after watching a documentary about children in Darfur who found refuge from their daily plight by playing with balls made of garbage of string, because regular balls donated by relief forces and sporting goods companies ripped and deflated within 24 hours, on the rocky terrain that doubled as a football field. Still, kids took so much pleasure in kicking a ball around that they played with just about anything that even resembled a football. In the next two years he searched for a material that could be morphed into a ball that wouldn’t wear out, go flat or need to be inflated. Many of the engineers he spoke with questioned his idea, but Tim eventually found what he was looking for. It’s called PopFoam, a type of hard foam made of ethylene-vinyl acetate, a material similar to what the popular Crocs shoes are made of.

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Ultimate Trampoline Dodgeball Takes Gym Sport to New Heights

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The first trampoline dodgeball court was inaugurated in 2004, and the sport has been growing in popularity ever since. Now, the world’s first Ultimate Trampoline Dodgeball Championship might finally bring it into the spotlight.

There are a lot of popular sports played on giant trampolines these days, including basketball and volleyball, but trampoline dodgeball has to be the most exciting one yet. Created by Sky Zone Sports, this revolutionary game is played by the same rules as traditional dodgeball, with some slight differences. Instead of just trying to dodge and catch the balls by running around the court, in trampoline dodgeball the playing surface is made up of several trampolines, allowing the players to jump 10 feet in the air or bounce off the walls and “floor”, and making the experience even more fun. Two teams of five go against each other in 4-minute-long matches, with the one knocking out all opposition players being declared the winner. If at the end of four minutes, both teams have players on the court, the match goes into sudden death, until the first player is knocked out. In the upcoming championship, the team who wins two matches out of three will advance into the next stage of the competition.

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Retro Running – The Fine Art of Putting One Foot Behind the Other

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Whether you’re looking for a fun way to get BACK into sport, spice up your boring training or struggling to escape constant injuries, there’s no better way to do it than retro running.

Running backwards may look like a weird, unnatural way to move, but it’s apparently very beneficial for the human body. In fact, the Chinese have been practicing walking and running backwards for thousands of years as a way of staying in shape and reducing the risk of injuries. It wasn’t until the 20th century that retro running developed in the United States, but today it’s recognized as a very efficient workout by many fitness gurus and athletics experts, and competitions are regularly organized all around the world.

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Footbrawl – A Sport That Combines Football, Martial Arts, and Rugby

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Footbrawl is a controversial team sport invented during the late 1980s, in Australia, as a training aid for martial arts students. Despite violence concerns, footbrawl has been growing in popularity and may soon become an internationally played sport.

New Martial Arts Football, or Footbrawl, is a full contact sport in which participants have to fight to score and survive the game in one piece. As in many other sports around the world, the main goal of footbrawl is to get the ball into the net and score more points than the opposing team, only that’s not as easy as you might think. Combining elements of mixed martial arts, football, rugby and even ice hockey, footbrawl is a unique game that gives “footbrawlers the chance to let off some steam without any serious injuries, and offers spectators an unforgettable spectacle of non-stop thrilling action.

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Test Your Middle Finger at the Bavarian Finger Wrestling Championship

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Finger wrestling, or “fingerhakeln”, used to be the way the men of Bavaria settled disputes back in the 17th century, but now it’s just an obscure sport that draws hundreds of strong men to the German region, for the annual Finger Wrestling Championship.

Now, I knew about thumb wrestling and toe wrestling, but I was totally oblivious to finger wrestling. That’s probably because it never caught on outside Bavaria, but the men there take it so seriously they even have a championship to determine which one has the strongest middle finger. The 35th edition of the annual Finger Wrestling Championship was held in Schnaitsee, Chiemgau, right in the heart of Bavaria, and brought together 156 competitors ready to snap their fingers for the title of champion.

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Playing on the World’s Most Dangerous Golf Course Can Literally Kill You

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Playing golf at Camp Bonifas in South Korea can prove dangerous in more ways than one. After all, it is notorious for being the most dangerous golf course in the world. What’s the worst thing that can happen, you ask? Well, you could get blown up to smithereens, for one.

The deadly golf course is pretty small at 192 yards, but it feels like a good 250 yards. The place is flanked by military style bunkers on the right, and on the left side, separated by an 18-foot high security fence topped by concertina wire, lie buried countless unexploded mines. Even a small mistake could cause a huge, fatal explosion. A nearby sign warns players, “Danger. Do not retrieve balls from the rough. Live mine fields.”

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Urban Golf – Taking the Game Out of Country Clubs and into the City Streets

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There’s something very satisfying about hitting a ball into a hole with a golf club. And for those who don’t have access to great golf clubs or even mini golf courses in the neighborhood, and also for those who would like to avoid the formal nature of the sport, there’s always Urban Golf. This slightly altered version of golf can be played, well, absolutely anywhere you please.

Urban golf gets its name from the very urban landscape that it has been adapted for. In other words, it’s simply golf played in a city environment – potholed streets and black asphalt, building sites and car parks, with the city’s everyday life creating obstacles. The excitement of the game comes from the fact that each day poses a new obstacle, a new course, and new challenges. Lampposts serve as trees, buildings as wooded areas and drains, bunkers. Interestingly, the concept of urban golf has been around since 1992, when Torsten Schilling began playing golf in areas surrounding his office in Berlin. Today the sport has evolved into a real movement, with many supporters and members around the world.

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Blo-Ball – Air Hockey Played with Your Mouth

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What could make a game like ping pong more interesting? Abandon the paddles and blow the ball across, of course! And that’s exactly what Blo-Ball is all about. The game is a mix of air hockey and ping pong, with players crouching on either side of a six-foot long table. In a bizarre display of lung-power, they take turns in blowing the ball across to their opponents. Rails on either side of the table keep the ball from falling off ever-so-often, and the height is adjustable to accommodate player heights. It can be played singles or doubles, and the first sider to blow 11 points, is the winner. As fun as the game sounds, it does seem incredibly tiring.

 

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Ultimate Tazer Ball – The Sport That Lets You Taze Your Opponents

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If you’ve read or watched the Harry Potter series, you’d know that Quidditch has Bludgers that are hurled at opponents to make them lose control of the ball. While this could be fatal in real life, no one’s ever thought much of it since it’s only make-believe. But what if there really was a sport where players were armed with weapons to cause serious injuries to their opponents? That, my friends, is exactly what Ultimate Tazer Ball is all about. The weird sport actually allows players to use stun guns on members of the opposing team.

I watched a few short videos of the sport being played, and in my opinion, there’s nothing fascinating about it beyond the use of the stun guns. The ball used by the players is actually pretty huge, like a beachball, which makes it look like grown men running behind a kid’s toy and trying to stun each other in the process. Menacing expressions are adopted, which I’m guessing is to provide the audience with some entertainment while in reality, nothing much is going on. But again, that’s just my opinion, so let me tell you the rules of the game, and then I’ll let you be the judge.

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Spikeball – Volleyball’s Brilliant Distant Cousin

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Intense, competitive, trash talk – are the three terms used by the founders of Spikeball to describe the game. After watching a short video of how the sport is played on their website, I’m finding it very hard to disagree. It’s really quite exciting just to watch, so playing it should guarantee an absolute whale of a time.

Spikeball is probably best described as volleyball’s distant cousin, but there’s a lot more to it than just that. The net used for Spikeball is small and circular – probably the size of a Hula Hoop, and it sits on the ground at ankle level. The ball is pretty small too, just about palm-size. Two teams play against each other with only two players on each team. The objective of the game is to smack the ball across to your opponents, just like in volleyball. However, with spikeball, you need to bounce the ball on the net first, so it ricochets upwards at an opposing player. They in turn have to be able to bounce it back to your team, within three hits, or you score. You score points every time they miss, and a score of 21 is needed to win the game.

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Calcio Fiorentino – The Ultimate Manly Sport

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Imagine a sport that’s a mix between soccer and rugby, with absolutely no rules whatsoever. Man, that’s got to be brutal! And that’s exactly what Calcio Fiorentino is. It’s the ultimate sport to prove your strength, power and courage.

The game originated in Italy during the 16th century in Piazza Santa Maria Novella, Florence. The words Calcio Fiorentino can be loosely translated as the Florence Kick. True to its name, the game was devised by four of Florence’s most prominent noble families. Their intention was simple, to be able to show off their physical prowess to their enemies. In those days, spectators of the game were limited only to the ruling class.

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Blind Tennis – Yet Another Amazing Sport from Japan

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The Japanese really do seem to invent a lot of sports, especially for the disabled. Not long ago, we told you about Doglegs, a wrestling sport for the handicapped. Now, we’re going to introduce you to Blind Tennis, which is of course, tennis played by the blind.

The creation of the sport is largely credited to Miyoshi Takei, who in spite of his blindness, started to play tennis as a kid with the encouragement of his high school teacher. His only aim at the time was to hit a ball that was flying through the air as hard as he could, even though he couldn’t see it. After several trials, he finally invented a special kind of tennis ball that is spongy and light in weight. The ball rattles, so that blind players can track its movement with their ears. Miyoshi’s endeavors met with success and the first national blind tennis championships were held in Japan in the year 1990. Today, hundreds of Japanese players take part every year and a few from other countries too, such as China, Korea, Taiwan, Britain and the United States.

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Bamboo Drift Racing – A Combination of Speed and Balance

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I couldn’t stand still on a cane of bamboo even if it was on land. To think that there are people who can balance themselves on a bamboo pole floating in water! It’s probably the world’s thinnest boat.

Bamboo Drift Racing is actually a sport in Southwest China’s Guizhou province. Competitors stand on a bamboo pole and paddle using a thin stick of bamboo. Considered an exotic minority sport in China, the rules have changed over the years. In fact, although the tradition is to use bamboo, competitors now use a similar-looking strip made from green fiberglass. This offers better buoyancy and makes the boat more durable . The fiberglass sticks also help increase speed, and can be taken apart with ease later on. Still wondering how in the world it’s possible to row while standing on a stick? The trick, apparently, lies in the waist. All the balancing is done by controlling the bamboo using your waistline.

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Ferret Legging – A Truly Bizarre Animal Sport

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Most people couldn’t stand something as small as a cockroach up their trousers. And then there are the brave ferret leggers who endure not one, but two fully grown adult ferrets trapped in their pants. The weird sport, called Ferret Legging, is a test of endurance or just the ability to “have your tool bitten and not care”.

Also known as ferret-down-trousers and put ‘em down, the rules of the sport are pretty tight. Competitors have two ferrets placed inside their trousers, which are tied firmly at the ankles and belted up at the waist, thereby eliminating any point of escape for the furry creatures. The competitor then stands before judges, enduring the misery of the razor-sharp claws and teeth of the ferrets. Other rules state that competitors cannot be drunk and the ferrets must not be sedated. Also, the ferrets must have a full set of teeth that have not been blunted or filed. The man who stands the longest, wins.

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