Like cockfighting, dog fighting dates back thousands of years and has roots in Ancient Rome as well as China. These days, however, it is illegal in most developed countries.
If you can imagine trying to wrestle 7 people while holding your breath then you can get a feeling for what kabaddi is all about. As one of the oldest sports in Southern Asia, kabaddi is essentially a giant wrestling match between two teams. The twist, however, is that only one member of each team can cross into the other team’s territory at a time and while doing so he or she must refrain from breathing.
15| Camel Jumping
Practiced in antiquity by men of the Zaraniq tribe in Yemen, this ancient sport has just recently started making a comeback with participants trying to jump over as many camels as they possibly can.
14| Viking Skin Pulling
Essentially one big game of tug-of-war, the Vikings preferred using animal skin over rope and playing over a huge fire pit. Usually the winners would walk away with the spoils of the town they had just plundered which often included rape-rights to the women. As you may have guessed the losers become intimately acquainted with the fire pit.
13| Basque Pelota
Closely related to tennis, this very old game has sometimes been referred to as the “fastest sport in the world”. Ball speeds could reach up to 200 mph.
12| Chariot Races
Although NASCAR certainly has its dangers, chariot racing was little more than a death match with a finish line. In fact, it was almost impossible to win without being seriously injured and the life expectancy of most racers was increcibly low.
The official sport of Argentina, pato was originally played with a live duck, although after many government interventions participants now use a ball instead. With players on horseback it’s something of a cross between polo and basketball, the objective being to the get the ball to its own side. These days its not nearly as violent as it use to be.
Played by Native Americans, this game wasn’t nearly as violent as the others on this list although losers were sometimes known to commit suicide. The game itself was relatively simple and involved rolling a large stone across the ground as participants threw spears at it.
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