The Weirdest Sports You Can Bet On

by Manish Singh

Betting on sports has become a completely normal part of our everyday life. Even markets that have kept themselves closed off to sports betting – like the US – have opened up to it. The sports most people bet on are among the most popular in their respective regions – think basketball and American football in the US, football (soccer) in Europe. There are, in turn, more “exclusive” sports you can also bet on, like horse racing, rowing, and online golf betting is also a thing.

But if you dive into the betting options at Vwin or any other outlet, you’ll find quite a few sports you may have never even heard about – but you can still wager on them.

Gaelic games

(Hurling. Photo: Wikipedia)

It’s not unusual for certain sports to be country-specific. Sometimes, they are huge – like American football – and other times, they are much more restricted, like the Gaelic games, specific to Ireland, a country with a population of barely over 6.5 million.

In Ireland, despite its closeness to the UK, Gaelic sports – Gaelic football, hurling, Gaelic handball, and rounders – are way more popular than association football (soccer) or rugby, routinely overtaking them in terms of viewership and in-person attendance.

Surfing

Another surprising sport that you can bet on is surfing – even if it has become a bona fide Olympic sport. While it is often depicted in pop culture as an extreme sport practiced for nothing but the thrill (or perhaps a lifestyle that involves oneness with nature and a lot of casual partying), it is indeed a serious sport, complete with its global governing body (the World Surf League or WSL), and its own World Championships.

There is an entire list of official surfing competitions held all over the world, with participants from pretty much every country with a coastline that’s fit for riding the waves. Currently, the WSL titles are held by Brazilian surfer Italo Ferreira (men) and US surfer Carissa Moore (women).

Darts

For most of us, darts is a game we play at the pub. For many, in turn, it’s more than just a passion: it’s a sport. And as such, it has its own international competitions that you can bet on.

The World Darts Federation (WDF) is the international governing body of darts as a sport. The organization has more than 70 member nations, and five WDF Major tournaments each year, held in England, Germany, and the Netherlands, plus dozens of smaller events held around the world.

The WDF World Cup is held each year since 1977. The latest edition, in 2019, was held in Cluj Napoca, Romania, with the Netherlands performing best at the tournament. This year’s edition will also be skipped, with the event returning – hopefully – in 2022.

Bandy

When you see players with skates dressed in thick clothes and grilled helmets skating around with sticks in their hands, you probably think of ice hockey – instead, it might as well be a game of bandy.

Bandy has a common ancestor with ice hockey and field hockey. It is a team winter sport played on ice with sticks and – this is the first thing where it differs from hockey – a ball. Its rules are also different – the rules of Bandy have been heavily influenced by association football. In short, it is a mix of field hockey, ice hockey, and soccer. It is played by eleven athletes per side on a rink the size of a soccer field, in two 45-minute halves.

Bandy is especially popular in Sweden, although there are prominent bandy teams – and fan bases – across the world. The Federation of International Bandy, the sport’s global governing body is also based in Sweden. The biggest tournament in the world of bandy is the Bandy World Championship held each year since 1957.

Curling

There are many strange sports in the world, many of them played on ice, but curling has to be the most recognizable. Even if you never heard of the sport, you most likely saw its characteristic element: two sweepers brooming the ice in front of a massive sliding object.

The rules of curling are pretty simple: the players slide a stone on a sheet of ice toward a target area marked with a bullseye. The closer to the red spot in the center the stone stops, the more points the throw is worth. The game is played by two teams of four players each, with every member throwing two stones, for a total of eight.

While the sport itself may seem funny at first, it does require a lot of skill. This is probably why the sport has been accepted by the International Olympic Committee as a bona fide winter sport in 1998. There are 17 countries that have sent curling teams to the Olympics over the years. And it is a staple at many bookmakers in the rest of the time, too.

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