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You might think sports like lacrosse, synchronised swimming and even curling are all a little silly – but they’re nothing compared to wife carrying and extreme ironing! Here are some of the silliest sports that actually get taken seriously around the world:

1. Eukonkanto – Finland

If you can’t say it, don’t play it. This crazy sport, otherwise known as “wife carrying”, is an annual race requiring men to sling their wives over their shoulders and make their way through a 235-metre challenging obstacle track.

2. Yak Racing – Tibet, Pakistan, Mongolia

Jumping on the back of an untamed yak and scurrying jaggedly across a paddock might sound silly to you, but the prize of a scarf and some money 05/well be worth it for these yak participants! Yak racing makes up a big part of the Tibetan horse festival each year and is considered a very popular and entertaining sport.

3. Bossaball – Spain

If you can jump on a trampoline and “boss” around a ball, you’re a sure-fire candidate for this insane volleyball-ish sport! Team members are positioned on a trampoline and given the task of kicking, throwing or hitting a ball across a net, using no less than acrobatic and capoeira skills. Silly? Maybe not! Bossaball is so cool it’s been introduced in several other South American and European countries.

4. Bed Racing – UK

Is this a cure for insomnia? Sadly, no. Bed racing in the town of Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, is so popular that a ballot had to be created to limit the number of people participating. Competitors dress up their beds as fancifully as possible then race them down the streets and across a freezing river. Hooray for silliness!

5. Elephant Polo – Southern Asia

Horse polo might be one thing, but elephant polo? Originally invented in Nepal, this sport is so intense that it requires two people for each elephant. If you choose to play in the Championships, remember that you can’t let your elephant pick up the ball, you can’t use your elephant to block the goal and you definitely can’t let your elephant drink your beer at the end of the game (official association rules)!

6. Extreme Ironing – UK and USA

Move over American housewives, these men know how to iron! Extreme ironing combines extreme adventure sports – like water skiing, parachuting, diving and snowboarding – with the art of ironing your pants. Sounds impossible, but apparently ironing your clothes in thrill-seeking locations is more exciting than it looks. Is this the silliest sport ever or what?

7. Canal Jumping – Netherlands and Germany

What do you do when you’ve got a body of water winding nicely through your town? Jump over it with a pole! Canal jumping, or Fierljeppen, is a fave activity of the Dutch and Germans and has been around since the 1770. It essentially mimics high jumping, but somehow we reckon this ridiculous sport won’t make it into the Olympics.