Three sports you didn’t know existed 

Photo by: Brenden Cowan

Many of us grew up playing classic Canadian sports such as hockey, soccer, basketball and baseball but what constitutes classic sports in other parts of the world can be  unimaginable to the Canadian mind. 

Here are three sports that Canadians probably have never heard of:


Bossaball was created nearly two decades ago in Spain. The game is played on an inflatable surface with a volleyball-style net in the middle and a ball. The net is three metres high and the game is played in teams of five. Each side also has a trampoline that allows players to gain extra height while trying to hit the ball over the net. 

Similar to volleyball, the objective of the game is to hit the ball over the net with a maximum of five hits. However, there are restrictions on how many times you can hit the ball with a specific part of your body in one possession. For each possession, a team is only able to make contact with the ball once with their hands, twice with their feet and twice with their head. The game is normally played in the best of three sets with each set going up to 25 points. 

The game has grown across Europe in countries such as Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain, with the Netherlands launching the first-ever bossaball major league in 2015. Over the past seven to eight years the league has grown exponentially as every two years World Bossaball Championships are hosted in either Netherlands or Belgium with 8-10 countries competing in the tournament. 

Bossaball has yet to make its way to North America but with other countries in Asia and South America starting to play the game as well, we may see it come overseas in the next couple of years.

Competitive Sleeping

Yes, it is exactly what it sounds like. Competitive sleeping was first played in 1998 in the State of California. People gathered together and created a competitive sleep league. Now, many countries have their own league for the sport and the World Sleep Championship (WSC) is a yearly tournament where the best sleeper in the World is crowned.

So you may be wondering how they crown the best sleeper. All competitors are given an Oura ring. An Oura ring is a bracelet that tracks your body day and night. For this specific sport, it is used to track your zen sleep which is the main focus of scoring in the competition along with time and stillness. The longer your body is in a zen sleep the better chance you have at winning. 

In the case of the WSC, the competition is over two weeks long as Sleep Racers will battle it out in a series of round-robin and elimination matchups. After 60-plus hours of sleeping, a winner is crowned with a WSC belt and a cash prize. 

The 2023 event has yet to be announced but with the success of the 2022 competition had to earn sponsorships from Oura, Fitbit, Jamieson and other companies that make sleeping pills despite them being deemed “performance enhancing” and banned from all league play. 


Remember the movie G-Force with the spy hamsters who roll around in their little hamster balls? Well, now you get to be the hamster and roll down a massive hill, or even a mountain. 

Zorbing originated in Rotorua, New Zealand in 1994. The sport or recreational activity consists of people inside a massive plastic ball rolling down a hill. 

People can partake in it recreationally in other countries such as England, Ireland and here in Canada. The sport is comparable to ziplining or rock climbing as it can be done leisurely or at a higher level depending on how adventurous you are. 

In New Zealand, they host tournaments for the sport where people can be seen going down steep hills in a timed event. Whoever has the fastest time without exiting the course/track is deemed the winner of the zorbing tournament. 

Highlight reels for bossaball, competitive sleeping and zorbing can be found at their respective links. 

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