1. Eukonkanto – Finland and Estonia
What it is: The time honored tradition of a wife carrying race! Winner of the annual competition reportedly wins his weight in beer.
Why you couldn’t play it: The same couple, Taisto Miettinen and Kristiina Haapanen, have won for the past five years. Obviously, Finns take this seriously and spend all year running through obstacle courses with their wives strapped on; do you have that dedication?
2. Buzkashi – Afghanistan and Central Asia
What it is: A variation of polo played with the headless corpse of a goat.
Why you couldn’t play it: The games can last for days on horseback. Players are known to whip each other and attempt to dislodge their opponents in order to get hold of the goat.
3. Chess Boxing – World Wide
What it is: A game that combines the intellectual vigor of chess with boxing’s love of punching people in the head, in alternating rounds. The first person to be checkmated or knocked out loses.
Why you couldn’t play it: Do you think you’re good enough at chess and boxing to win at this? Really?
4. Pato – Argentina
What it is: A horseback game comparable to a combination of basketball and polo, played with a ball that has six handles.
Why you couldn’t play it: Originally played with a duck instead of a ball, the game was plagued by violence in its early years. Today it is safer, but still requires impressive riding skills, as well as the likelihood of being ripped from your saddle.
5. Yak Racing – Tibet and Mongolia
What it is: You know, just people riding on top of yaks for about a quarter of a mile, to celebrate yearly festivals.
Why you couldn’t play it: Yaks run really fast, and bumpily, and aren’t bred for humans to ride in general… So there’s that.
6. Hurling – Ireland
What it is: A prehistoric Gaelic sport that is part hockey, part lacrosse, and part soccer. Balls are hit through goals for points, and they can exceed 93 mph.
Why you couldn’t play it: No padding is worn while playing hurling, and helmets were not required until 2010. Plus there’s the difficulty of hitting a ball going close to 100 mph.
7. Yağlı Güreş – Turkey and the Balkans
What it is: An oil wrestling competition that has run continuously since 1357, making it the longest official running sport.
Why you couldn’t play it: Putting someone in a hold is hard enough as it is. Can you imagine doing it while your opponent is almost naked and covered in olive oil?
8. Jai Alai – Spain
What it is: A Basque variation of racquetball, if racquetball were on crack.
Why you couldn’t play it: Balls have reached speeds of 188 miles per hour in game. That’s probably almost twice as fast as you’ve driven in a car.
9. Sepak Takraw – originally the Malay-Thai Peninsula
What it is: A volleyball-like game, in which players can only use their feet, knees, chest and head.
Why you couldn’t play it: Lifting your leg that high and spinning through the air seems more like a Kung-Fu movie than a sport; come on!
10. Bossaball – Spain
What it is: A mix of soccer, gymnastics, capoeira, and volleyball played on top of inflatable trampolines.
Why you couldn’t play it: Honestly, the trampolines would just be way too distracting. Why play when you have an adult inflatable castle equivalent?
11. Caber Toss – Scotland
What it is: An athletic competition based on one’s ability to throw a 19 foot 6 inch, 175 pound log. Score is not based on distance, but accuracy.
Why you couldn’t play it: Let’s be real, you have to be really good at handling wood to get this done right.
12. Ferret Legging – England
What it is: An endurance contest in which ferrets are trapped in your pants, and you withstand their biting for as long as possible.
Why you couldn’t do it: It’s an endurance contest… in which you shove… angry ferrets… down your pants. The record stands at five and a half hours.
13. The Summer Redneck Games – USA
What it is: A southern variation of the Olympics, including such games as toilet seat throwing, the cigarette flip, and dumpster diving.
Why you couldn’t do it: Is your neck red enough to compete?
14. Goanna Pulling – Australia
What it is: A type of full body tug-of-war, in which contestants are connected via a strap around the backs of their heads.
Why you couldn’t do it: The whole thing just sounds like a real pain in the neck, doesn’t it?
15. Zorbing – World Wide
What it is: Remember that game, Monkey Ball? This is essentially that, except you’re the monkey.
Why you couldn’t do it: Actually, you totally could. This… Looks… Awesome!
16. And if none of that is extreme enough for you, there’s always speed flying in Switzerland.
What it is: An extreme winter sport combining skiing and paragliding.
Why you couldn’t do it: Something about safety concerns, flying off mountains, etc.