Okay, here’s a hybrid sport for you: combine volleyball, football, and gymnastics. And (why not) throw in a trampoline and make the referee double as the DJ.
The sci-fi author and pacifist H. G. Wells invented one of the first miniature war games.
Edith Margaret Garrud trained British suffragettes in Japanese martial arts so that they could evade capture by the police.
What do long distance runners do when they want a real challenge? Run 251km across the Sahara Desert, of course.
Mainoumi Shūhei is a legend in the world of sumo for defeating opponents more than twice his weight.
Lake Eyre, in the middle of the Australian Outback, is only a lake when it floods. And when that happens, people like to sail yachts on it.
In Mexican wrestling the mask is sacred, and its loss in the ring is the ultimate insult. The first Mexican wrestler to lose his mask was El Murciélago Enmascarado, The Masked Bat, and it all happened eighty years ago.
For the several of the first modern Olympic Games you could win a gold medal in sculpture, painting, music, literature, or architecture.
Shengguan Tu is a board game from a millennium ago that charts players’ rise through the many layers of Chinese bureaucracy.
In simultaneous play, a chess master competes against multiple opponents at the same time. In 1951, International Master Robert Wade began such an exhibition match with 30 teenage schoolboys from Moscow. He would not win one game.
Courier chess, played from the 12th century CE on, had kings, queens, bishops, knights, rooks, and pawns… but it also had henchmen, fools, and couriers.
A Christmas Eve parlour game played in Victorian England involved grabbing burning raisins with your hands and eating them while they were still alight.
The 19th century had many different cue sports, like everlasting pool and scratch pool. Life pool, one of the ancestors of snooker, gave each player three ‘lives’ which other players could eliminate until only one was left standing.
Sometimes the image says it all; in the 1990s the United States military experimented with skateboards for urban warfare.
Many Buddhist scriptures include a list of games that Buddha would not play. It is the first list of games in history.