From rugby to football to cricket, the British are famous for inventing sports that bring crowds together. But we often forget that they are also at the core of more amazing games. Let me take you on a quest to discover the 6 most unusual sports in vogue in the United Kingdom.
One Sunday morning, you find yourself in Hyde Park posing for the main character of a very cliché movie, and there, reality hits your face: You’re not the star everyone likes, but there Four men throw themselves headlong into their game of spikeball.
If you don’t know what spikeball is, haven’t passed, or at least haven’t followed up with enough attention, your BAFA is deep in “physical activities and sports.” And that’s a shame, because you’re missing out on a really crazy sport, a type of tennis that doesn’t have a racket with a trampoline instead of a net.
Of course, after my meeting with these four top athletes, I had only one thought in mind: to discover the unusual sports that the British practice, or even invent. I was sure that these people who drive on the left, eat sausage for breakfast and still wear T-shirts in November, would surprise me, so I began my research. And I was not disappointed. With all the generosity that is my specialty, so I share with you today six popular games from the United Kingdom that have piqued my curiosity.
No, I am not talking about cricket, a sport that is already very popular on British soil, but croquet. Invented in the Middle Ages by the French, crochet was first very fashionable at the court of Louis XIV before completely disappearing from our favorite hobby. But it was not up to our English friends who recovered it and made it an excellent sport for retirees. The principle is simple: Hit the balls with a mallet to pass them through the hoops, all in ridiculous positions. One-of-a-kind polo without a horse, or how to take away all the fun of polo.
But the little detail that particularly pleased me in this game is the two arches placed in crosses in the center of the field called “bells”. One of them actually has a small bell attached to it, and when the ball passes under the bell, it must ring the bell, otherwise, its passage is considered void and must start again.
Such forms of British billiards are indebted, along with many more balls, to the artistic spirit of Colonel Francis Fitzgerald Neville Chamberlain. In 1875, British soldiers stationed in India were fond of the then classic billiards and its two-tone balls. But this did not suit our colonel, who asked the officers to add colored balls in addition to the 15 traditional red and black balls. And thus you find yourself completely lost in front of a pool table covered with yellow, green, pink, brown or blue balls. Thanks Francis.
Gaelic football, or Cad in Irish, is the most popular sport in Ireland. It resembles rugby but less violent and with a rounder ball – sacred to lovers of the oval. But the funniest thing about this sport is that each player can only play for one team in their entire life, depending on the county they come from. Ah, the patriotism when you hold us.
The British also have their own patent. Lawn bowling, or grass bowling, originated in England and is widely practiced in Commonwealth countries. There is nothing particularly strange in the practice of this game that is similar to that of petanque, except that the balls are not round, but are slightly crushed on either side and that she plays on a very green lawn. That said, I don’t get the point of playing petanque without pestis, but hey…
le wall game
The Wall game is arguably one of the UK’s most exclusive games. If you’re not from the upscale Eton College, or don’t know William and Harry or Boris Johnson closely, you’ll probably never get the chance to play the 250-year-old game. But if you don’t want to die of boredom, you might be able to participate in a sport. In the game, spectators have to stand 43 meters from the game to see a group of players competing for the ball along a wall built in 1717.
The Wall Game is held annually at Eton College on 30 November, St Andrew’s Day. It’s like the Super Bowl of the Walls game, but don’t worry, if you can’t make it this year, there’s no rush because no “goals” have been scored since 1909.
Best to last, my little darling of rankings: I take for you chess-boxing, or the expression “healthy mind in a healthy body,” to its climax. Don’t look for any hidden meaning behind this name, it is actually a mix between boxing and chess. Although the UK cannot afford to claim this nugget, invented over 25 years ago by Yugoslav comic book writer Enki Bilal, the game maintains its minor popularity among English businessmen.
This hybrid game consists of six rounds of four-minute chess and five rounds of three-minute boxing, all in a ring with a chess board in the middle. Between each round, the participants have a minute to breathe, and the victory is achieved either by KO, or by decision of the referee, or by checkmate.
Those who practice boxing chess explain that they may thus combine physical expenditure and intense contemplation, or that the strategy in boxing is very close to that of chess. But I’m not sure that doing a game of chess after taking a few hits to the head is really the ideal way to get your brain working.
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