In a previous article titled: 3 Weird Sports You’ve Never Heard Of we discussed Chess Boxing, Floorball, and Bossaball. This article will cover three more weird sports you’ve never heard of:
- Bog Snorkeling
- Swamp Soccer
A combination of jogging and juggling, joggling is a running race between competitors who must also juggle balls as they run. Just like any race, the first competitor to cross the finish line wins.
One day in 1975 Bill Giduz, who liked to jog at the North Carolina State University track, brought his juggling balls with him to the track with the intention of practicing after his workout. He started jogging while he was still juggling and discovered that the pace of juggling three balls matched with a range of running cadences. In other words, every throw of a ball coincided with the natural motion of the arms. He concluded that the motions complemented one another and immediately dubbed the activity “Joggling.”
In 1976, Giduz learned that the International Jugglers Association (IJA) was searching for a new editor for its newsletter. He volunteered to do the job and traveled to the yearly IJA festival with camera, pencil and notebook in hand to cover the event and interview the competitors.
In 1979 Dave Finnigan, a member of the IJA, and a juggling educator, sent a press release to Giduz that reported that he had “joggled” a 10k race. Giduz had never spoken to or met Finnigan nor had he ever heard of any other person utter the word “Joggle” beside him. As a result of this discovery, Giduz started writing a column for the newsletter called “The Joggler’s Jottings.” He received responses from people who were aware and interested in the sport and invited them to participate in a Joggling competition at the 1980 IJA Festival in Fargo, North Dakota.
The Joggling event was held at the indoor track at North Dakota State University and Giduz was present to cover it for the newsletter. Competitors jogged and juggled around a one-mile track with the winning Joggler finishing with a time of 5:44. The event was well received and became a regular activity at the annual festival.
The World Joggling Championships are held each year as an event of the International Jugglers’ Association juggling festival. Results are recorded and medals awarded. Runners who compete in the event must be skilled in juggling three balls. Included in the competition is a 100-meter run in which contestants must juggle seven balls as they run. Competitors must demonstrate that they have the skills to juggle seven balls before entering the race. There is also a 400-meter race in which runners must juggle five balls. To participate in this event, racers must complete the 100 meter five ball contest in less than 90 seconds. The championship also includes a 5K race and relay races in which runners are required to pass one ball to the next relay runner on his team who holds two balls in the handoff zone.
Items needed to compete in Joggling include:
Rules Of The Game
All runners must juggle balls as they run a track and maintain a juggling pattern as they run. If a ball is dropped, the joggler must return to the location where he dropped it and then continue the race.
Bog Snorkeling is a competitive sport that requires contestants to complete two consecutive lengths of a water-filled channel cut through a peat bog. The competitor who completes the course without using a conventional swimming stroke in the shortest time is the winner.
In 1976, residents of Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales in the United Kingdom gathered in a pub called the Neuadd Arms and discussed the possibility of holding a racing competition at the nearby Waen Rhydd Peat Bog. Considering the idea a good one, some residents started to compete in a snorkeling race along a 60-yard (55 m) trench in the bog. The event ultimately grew into a series of competitions between men, women, and children that attracts up to 150 contestants.
In 2011, a new champion named Andrew Holmes of West Yorkshire, United Kingdom was crowned when he completed the event in 84-seconds, breaking the previous record by 6 seconds.
In 2012, Bog Snorkeling became a part of the World Alternative Games, which is held every two years.
Items needed to compete in Bog Snorkeling include:
Rules Of The Game
Individual competitors race two lengths of a 60-yard (55 m) bog trench without performing a swimming stroke. Each racer’s lap is timed. The racer with the best time is declared the winner.
Swamp Soccer, also known as Swamp Football, is soccer played in bogs or swamps. There are currently about 300 swamp soccer teams worldwide.
Because activity performed on soft bog is considered to be physically demanding, the sport was originally an exercise for athletes and soldiers in Finland. The first championship event was organized in 1998 in Finland.
In 2008, the Swamp Soccer World Cup was played in Strachur on the Cowal peninsula in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. Forty-three teams participated in the more than three-day tournament. The event was held in Edinburgh, Scotland in 2011 and Inverness, the capital of the Scottish Highlands in 2012. It returned to its original home of Dunoon, Scotland in 2013.
The sport expanded from Finland and is becoming popular worldwide. Annual tournaments are played in a number of countries including China, Brazil, and The Netherlands.
The official international governing body for Swamp Soccer is Swamp Soccer UK, Ltd., which is based in Scotland. It manages the Swamp Soccer World Cup and its mission is to introduce the sport worldwide.
The World Cup includes more than 200 teams and 3,000 players, who play 1,000 games in six different series.
A book titled Swamp Soccer by Rob Watkins was published in April 2010 and includes photos and impressions of the sport and its culture.
Items needed to play Swamp Soccer include:
- Soccer Ball
- Two Goals
- Swamp or Bog
Rules Of The Game
A team sport, Swamp Soccer is played by two teams consisting of six players each. Like soccer, the purpose of the game is to kick the ball into the goal. The team with the most scores at the end of regulation time wins. It includes two halves of 12 minutes each. Players can be substituted as often as they want.
Standard soccer rules have been modified to suit the conditions in which the game is played. A player dropkicks the ball for corner kicks, penalties, and throw-ins and there is no offside rule.