comBATON – Welcome to Martial Arts Football

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Do you like American Football but wish kicking was allowed in the game? Are you a martial arts student who wishes classes weren’t so darn boring? If this is you, comBATON will be your favorite sport.

ComBATON was invented back in 1998, by Steve Blanton, but the first practice game didn’t take place until November 2004. You see, although Blanton had a vision, he needed someone to develop the game into a playable version, and that person was David Turnbull, president of the Florida A.A.U. Tae Kwon Do Association. He had more than a few black belt students more than willing to play in a game of comBATON, and when he saw how naturally they acted as a team, on the field, he knew he had struck gold.

The word comBATON is derived from combat and baton, and“the object of the game is for the offense to move the baton down field and score on their opponent’s goal pole. The defense must stop the offense and end the attack by kicking the baton carrier.” The goals are more like poles from which the opponent’s baton hangs, and a member of the attacking team carrying their baton has to kick the opponent’s baton to score. Sounds a little confusing with all these batons lying around, but martial arts enthusiasts seem to love it.

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Horse Boarding – The Latest in Equestrian Extreme Sports

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Adrenaline junkies have found a new way to get their fix – horse boarding, a fresh extreme sport where boarders on off-road skateboards are dragged by horses, reaching speeds of over 35 mph.

Horse boarding was invented three years ago, by Daniel Fowler-Prime, after he tied a rope between his mountain board and a horse, and decided it was a pleasurable experience. He was just messing around on the farm, and laughing with his friends, but soon realized this could actually be considered a sport. This summer, he’s proud to be organizing Britain’s first Horse Boarding Championship.

According to Daniel, ”We have people from all over the country coming to the training ground to try it. It’s very accessible for people of all abilities, you only need a bit of space and a lot of guts,” Easy for him to say, he’s a professional stunt horse rider and has made appearances in films like “Kingdom of Heaven” and “The Da Vinci Code”, but for regular people, holding on to a rope while maintaining balance at 35 mph has to be pretty tough.

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In Austria Hockey Is Played under the Ice

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Underwater Ice Hockey is a new sport that originated in Austria and is increasingly popular among freedivers and extreme sports enthusiasts.

Not to be confused with underwater hockey, which is played in indoor swimming pools, underwater ice hockey is practiced in a 6 meters wide by 8 meters long rink under the icy surface of a frozen lake. After cutting a square hole in the thick ice, players wearing wetsuits and carrying hockey sticks jump into the ice-cold water and try to guide a floating puck into their opponents’ goal. Think of it as an upside-down game of hockey.

Underwater ice hockey players need to have excellent breath-holding abilities, considering they’re not allowed to play with any kind of breathing apparatus. Considering matches can get pretty physical, players need to surface about every 30 seconds, for a breath of fresh air. Because divers can easily get disoriented during a game,  in case one of them is to exhausted to reach the hole, or can’t find it, four divers equipped with oxygen tanks supervise every match. Underwater ice hockey periods last 10 minutes, and players are allowed 10 minute breaks to warm up.

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Cycle Ball – When Cycling Met Football

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Cycle Ball is a niche sport that combines football and cycling in a unique way. It’s been around for over a century, but it’s still regarded as an unusual sport, especially in America.

Also known as “radball”, Cycle Ball was invented in 1893, by a German-American named Nicholas Edward Kaufmann, and steadily gained popularity around Europe. The first Cycle Ball championship was held in 1929, and the sport even reached far lands like Japan, but it never really caught on in the US. You’d think Yanks don’t fancy weird sports played on a bike, but how do you explain the increasing popularity of Bike Polo, or Unicycle Basketball?

Cycle Ball is played by two teams made up of two players riding around a basketball field and trying to shoot a ball through their opponents’ goal, using their heads, or the front wheels of the bikes. It may sound strange, but it’s a pretty simple and fun game to play. A match consists of two seven-minute halves, in which players must keep their feet off the ground to avoid a free-kick, and try to score more goals than their adversaries. While defending the goal, one of the players is allowed to use hands, but you’d be surprised how hard the ball is usually struck in one of these games, so using hands doesn’t help much if the ball is well directed.

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Knokkers – Combining Pool and Bowling in One New Sport

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Played on a table four times the size of a regular pool table, Knokkers is a new sport that combines elements from both billiards and bowling.

Back in 1985, Steve Wienecke, from Fredericktown, Missouri, was playing in a local pool league, and one day he got it in his head that it would be great to actually play on the table. The former semi-pro football player and cage fighter, currently working as a parole and probation assistant is also an inventor in his spare time, so once the idea was born in his head, it was bound to become reality. His other inventions were deemed unoriginal, but he knew no one had ever built a giant pool table like the one he had in mind.

The idea for his Knokkers table lingered in his head for quite a while, but Steve finally started working on it in 2008. His wife originally thought he was crazy, but seeing his idea take shape, she began encouraging him to realize his dream. Local businesses provided the materials our inventor needed (38 railroad ties, five truckloads of gravel, and 4. 1/4 yards of concrete) and after 200 hours of hard labor, his Knokkers table was complete. “It’s exactly like a regulations pool table, only everything is scaled up four times.Even the dimensions of the pockets are the same, just a lot bigger.” said Steve Wienecke.

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Federer and Nadal Face Off on Floating Tennis Court

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Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, the two top seated tennis players in the world, kicked off the tournament in Doha with an exhibition match on a floating tennis court. I never thought I’d get the chance to write a post about my favorite athlete of all times, Roger Federer, on a blog about oddities, but I guess you really never can say never.

Usually, there’s nothing a tennis player hates more than a flooded court, but in this case both Nadal and Federer were more than happy to get their feet wet, in order to promote the upcoming ATP Tour. They were brought in by boat, to a tennis court floating in a lagoon, on the coast of Doha, Qatar. The two exchanged a few friendly balls, but avoided sprints, as neither seemed to fancy a bath.

Nadal said: “For the past three years we have done a few different things, and this one was a very nice experience.” and Federer added “”It was good fun. It was so different. You’re always excited and nervous to see how it will turn out. It is always nice promoting an event and an entire tour with Rafa.”

What’s even more impressive is how these two tennis legends leave their rivalry on the court, where it belongs, and works so well on promoting different events, and tennis itself.

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“Butt Drag” Wrestling Move Drags Sexual Battery Charges

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Preston Hill, a 17-year-old Buchanan High School student from Clovis, California, used the Butt Drag move on one of his teammates at a school-sponsored event and now faces sexual battery charges.

As both Preston and his father assert the “butt drag” is a move that his coaches taught him ever since he was in middle school, the boy’s family doesn’t understand why such a common move brought such dire consequences. As coaches describe it, the “butt drag” is a move which involves grabbing the butt cheeks of the rival and inserting your fingers inside his anus, as to obtain better positioning and leverage.

Although it has been used for years in many wrestling matches, Preston has been suspended until his expulsion hearing. He has also been charged with sexual battery and the trial was to begin on Thursday, 9th of Dec.

On the other hand, Ross Rice, the assaulted boy’s father, claims it was an intentional aggression,as Preston was looking to get revenge on his opponent for standing up to him in school. “Preston took it beyond a wrestling move. He crossed the line.”

This is not a first. In 2007, an also 17-year-old wrestling champion from  South Dakota was charged with rape and attempted rape, as there were six other wrestlers that testified against him, saying that he penetrated or tried to penetrate their anuses. He was found guilty…

I can’t wait to see your comment on this one!

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Bike Polo Is Quickly Becoming a Popular Sport

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Derived from the traditional equestrian sport the English are so found of, bike polo started out as just another underground urban sport, but is now one of the most popular cycling sports in America.

Bicycle polo can be traced back to 1891, when Irish cyclist Richard J. Mecredy first came up with the crazy idea of riding the bike with one hand and holding a polo mallet in the other. Back then, it was played on grass, just like horse polo, and it wasn’t until the last decade that bike polo started being played on hard surfaces.  Bikers first started competing in Bike Polo games in cities like New York, Chicago and Seattle, but thanks to the Internet, it quickly spread to other US cities, and is now a regimented sport, with a clear set of rules and its own championship – the North American Hardcourt Bicycle Polo Championships.

The game of Bike Polo basically features two teams of three members chasing a street hockey ball, trying to kick it through the opposition’s small goal. Their mallets are made from plastic tubes and old ski sticks, and their fixed gear bikes only have one handlebar, to allow better control of the hockey ball. As you can imagine, this is not the safest sport in the world, especially considering it’s played on hard surfaces and there are a lot of crashes involved. Players try to gracefully avoid bumping into one another, but that’s not very easy to do on a bicycle, and accidents do happen. But that’s precisely what makes bicycle polo an adrenaline filled sport, and that’s why so many people love it.

Bike polo is well on its way to becoming a mainstream sporting event, as authorities keep building more and more sanctioned places to practice the sport, all across the United States, and players hope they’ll soon be able to organize world class bike polo competitions.

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Vaulting at the World Equestrian Games 2010

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If you thought riding a horse was difficult enough, equestrian vaulting will seem like an impossible feat. Still, it’s practiced worldwide, and it’s even an event at the World Equestrian Games.

Equestrian vaulting is best described as gymnastics and dancing on horseback. Its origins are pretty unclear, with some saying it originated in ancient Rome, and other claiming it came from he island of Crete. One thing is for certain – horseback vaulting has been around for over 2,000 years, and it’s still a entertaining and exciting sport. Vaulting is particularly popular in countries like Germany and France, but it’s gaining a lot of followers in other parts of the world, like Brazil Australia or the United States.

In competitive equestrian vaulting athletes compete by themselves or in teams of two or more. Both the vaulters and the horse are judged according to their performances and receive scores from 0 to 10. Beginners perform their routine during the horse’s walk, while experienced vaulters perform on the horse at a canter. Horses used for vaulting are trained especially for this kind of events, and they are controlled by a lunger who keeps them moving in 15-meter circles.

The components of a vaulting exercise include a mount and dismount, as well as various maneuvers like kneeling, standing, handstands, flips, and tossing teammates into the air. While the vaulting horse is not saddled, it does wear a surcingle fitted with special handles that help vaulters.

The latest vaulting exhibition took place at the World Equestrian Games 2010, and was won by the US team. You can see an entire vaulting routine, in the video at the bottom.

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Headis – Table Tennis Played with the Head

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A hybrid of football and table tennis, headis is a fun, easy-to-play sport that’s becoming more and more popular with each passing day.

As you probably already guessed, headis is pretty similar to table tennis, only you have to hit the ball with your head. All you need to play headis is a regular tennis table and a special rubber ball with special bouncing properties, and that is probably the main reason why the sport is played by more people every day.

Headis was invented in 2006, by René Wegner, a sports science student at the University of Saarbruecker, in Germany. Because the football field was occupied, Wegner started hitting a football back and forth on a tennis table, with a fellow student. That’s when he got the idea for a new sport that soon spread throughout Germany.

While it may seem very similar to table tennis, headis is actually more comparable to badminton. Since players have to get behind and underneath the ball, they workout all parts of the body, at all times.

 

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Traditional Football in the River Match Played in Burton

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The annual Burton-on-the-Water football match is an old tradition that still manages to draw the interest of thousands of football fans.

No one really knows how the unusual football tradition began, but one thing is for sure – the Burton-on-the-Water match has been played for over 100 years, in the ankle-high waters of River Windrush, in Burton, Gloucester.

Two teams of six compete in the unique football match: the Burton Rovers First Eleven and the Burton Rovers Second Eleven. The two teams have to follow the rules of a normal football game,while they try to control the ball through the shallow waters of the river. Spectators are advised to wear waterproof clothes if they wish to watch the game from the side of the “pitch”, as the teams tend to make a splash.

The 2010 edition of the Burton-on-the-Water football in the river match was held on Monday, August 30, and was watched by over 1,000 spectators.

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Ear Pull – A Manly Game That Will Test Your Ears

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One of the most difficult games I’ve ever heard of, Ear Pull is an old Inuit tradition that has competitors test the strength of their ears.

The Ear Pull is as simple as it is painful. Two contestants sit down in front of each other with their legs straddled and interlocked, place a loop of twine around one of their ears, and at the referee’s signal, start pulling back until one of them either yields or the loop of twine comes off from one of the ears.

It may sound like a horrific display, to some of you, but the Ear Pull is a registered sport practiced at the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics. Competitors’ faces contort, their ears turn bright red and crumple as the string cuts deeper into the cartilage, and some of them even require stitches. And for what, some of you may ask. Most ear pull competitors say they do it to endure pain, but the old Inuits used to practice this bizarre game as training for enduring ear frostbites.

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Shaolin Soccer in Real Life

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Remember the comedy “Shaolin Soccer” starring Stephen Chow? It was an over-the-top film that featured a mix of soccer and Shaolin kung-fu. Well, believe it or not, Shaolin soccer exists in real life!

The younger students of the Shaolin Temple in Dengfeng City, China have found an original way of practicing their kung-fu and enjoying themselves at the same time. Whenever they’re not busy meditating, studying or working around the temple, the boys, aged 15 to 18, engage in a spectacular game of Shaolin soccer.

Just like in the above mentioned film, Shaolin soccer features both soccer and kung-fu moves, combined in a very entertaining way. The young monks leap through the air, kick the football like it’s an opponent, and even sit on their heads,while holding the ball. As you can imagine, every one of their Shaolin soccer games draws quite the local crowd.

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Chinese Football Fan Trains Team of Roosters

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China’ may not have been present at the World Cup 2010, in South Africa, but its team of football playing roosters would probably win any competition.

Zhang Lijun has always been a big fan of football, but he decided to take his passion for the sport to a whole new level three years, when he started training his roosters to handle a ball. Now, chickens aren’t exactly famous for their intelligence and ability to learn new things, but Zhang’s roosters have developed mad football skills.

The unusual football team is made up of only two players, and they recently had to go head to head in a mock World Cup match, on the city streets, in Liaoling Province China. Zhang Lijun played the role of the referee, while the two roosters used their feet and wings to handle the ball. Passers-by gathered to watch the bizarre spectacle and were surprised by the bird’s dribbling skills.

Maybe Zhang’s roosters should play in the national football team, or may be he could be the new coach. Either way, China would have a higher chance of qualifying next time.

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Beauty Mud Cup 2010 Held in China

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With the eyes of the entire world on the Football World Cup, in South Africa, local authorities from Changsha, China had to come up with something better, yet related to current events.

And what’s better than football? Mud football, played by barely dressed gorgeous models, of course. So they set up a small football pitch, filled it with mud, brought in  models from various Chinese cities, and got the Beauty Mud Cup 2010 under way. In the photos below, teams from Hunan and Hubei go head to head, in one of the first matches of the competition. I don’t know the score, and neither do most of the male spectators who resumed to roars and cheers every time any of the girls kicked the ball through the mud.

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