Hybrid Sports: A refreshing adventure

Modified 15 Oct 2012
Top 5 / Top 10

Physical activity and social interaction along with competitive spirit form the perfect definition of “sports“. With the change of eras from the prehistoric age to present times, sports have undergone severe diversification in genre, number, participation level and spectatorship, which has made the sport lively. Started as an initiative for improvement in physical activities and entertainment to the participant, sports have today surpassed this level and are now a mode of entertainment, excitement and leisure for vast audiences. Hundreds of sports exist varying from individual to team events. Several new events, an addition of glamour and innovative ideas have given sports its new definition. More than hundreds of sports are known to this world, which leads to social interaction between masses of different regions and communities, which in turn helps the world achieve peace.

In today’s scenario, along with the league of mainstream sports, “hybrid sports” are also gaining importance. A hybrid sport is regarded as the newest genre in the field of sports and games, which is seeing an increasing craze among the masses. Now the questions which cling to everyone’s mind are: what hybrid sports are, how the name comes into existence and what opportunities are present for such sports. Well, to answer your questions in a simple way I would say hybrid sport is a combination of two or more similar looking sports which provides a meaningful competition between the participants of those individual sports. Hybrid sport is unusual, weird and sometimes wacky, but the innovativeness in its development is what that attracts the participants.

There are many hybrid sports which are being played with huge enthusiasm and high competitive spirit, which adds to the importance of such sports and makes them significant. As it is said, beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, and some of the sports listed below would only be loved by the beholder. Chess boxing, International Rules Football and Slamball are regarded as the most famous among all the known hybrid sports.

Here is the list which includes the top 10 most popular hybrid sports:



Chess boxing is the sport for anyone who believes that he can win a chess board game by beating up his opponent. Athletes face off in repetitive alternative rounds of chess and boxing, with matches ending either by knocking down, checkmate or the referee panel’s decision. So in order to succeed you have to be a skilled chess player as well as a skilled boxer. Chess Boxing was founded by a Dutch artist B.T. Rubingh in 2003 after drawing inspiration from Enki Bilal’s comic book Froid Equateur. Rubingh is the current president of the Berlin-based World Chess Boxing Organization which governs the sport and organizes championship bouts for various weight classes.



Developed in the 1960s to facilitate international athletic competition, International Rules Football is an amalgamation of two regional codes of football, Australian Rules football and Gaelic Football. The first tour, known as The Australian Football World Tour took place in 1967 with matches being played in Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States. The following year, games were played between Australia and a touring County Meath Gaelic football team. The International Rules Series between Ireland and Australia played annually since 1998 is one of the most-watched hybrid sporting events in the world.



Ever wanted to play basketball with the help of trampolines? If yes, then Slamball is the sport for you. An improvised form of basketball, with the use of trampolines for better bounce in front of each basket and increased level of excitement, is what is now known as Slamball. The name SlamBall is the trademark of SlamBall, LLC. The game is controlled by two referees and the table officials.



Commonly known as Futnet, it is a sport which can be described as playing tennis with soccer rules (i.e. no hands). Originated in the 1920s in Czechoslovakia, football tennis is highly popular in Central Europe. In German it is called Fußballtennis, Tennis-balloon in French, Lábtenisz in Hungary and Nohejbalin in Czech and Slovak. In 1987, the International Football Tennis Association (IFTA, later renamed to FIFTA, Federation International de Football Tennis Association) was founded. European championships have been held since 1991, and world championships since 1994 by FIFTA.


Started along with football tennis where instead of a tennis court, players played on a giant, inflatable trampoline which allowed the player to bounce high enough to spike the ball. It was invented in Spain by Filip Eyckmans who developed the concept in 2004. Bossaball is an amalgam of volleyball, gymnastics, soccer and samba music, which despite all its Brazilian overtones, originated in Belgium. Bossaball clubs exists in various countries, but the sport is widely played in Brazil, Germany, Netherlands and Spain. The most famous teams are the Selection of Spain and the Selection of Brazil. They go all over the world playing exhibition games and promoting the sport.


A sport with roots in German diving clubs’ training exercises, underwater rugby is much like water polo, but played under the surface instead of on it, and has very little in common with rugby football. The Champions Cup held in Berlin every year around November is one of the sport’s main international events, with their governing body called Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS) Underwater Rugby Commission.



A sport native to Southeast Asia, it is almost a kind of karate volleyball. Played with a ball made of dried palm leaves, sepak takraw is popular in Asia and even started to make inroads in North America in the late-1980s and 1990s. Sepak takraw even has a lot in common with similar team sports more familiar to Western audiences. Like soccer, players pass around a ball using anything but their arms. The game is played on a court about the same size as a badminton court. Two teams of three players gather on each side of a net, trying to keep the ball in play. The rules for scoring are similar to that of volleyball. In Malaysia, the game is called sepak raga or “takraw”, while in Thailand it is sometimes called takraw. In Myanmar it is known as chin lone. In the Philippines, besides “takraw” it is also known as sipa, meaning “kick”.




Also known as Octopush, it is a global non-contact sport. Hard hits and frequent fights so common in ice hockey, it’s difficult to believe that anyone could imagine a more potentially hazardous version of the sport. But with the added element of a potential drowning, underwater hockey makes frozen-water hockey look like child’s play. The rules of liquid-water hockey are similar to that of it solid-state counterpart. Players use wooden or plastic sticks about the size of a banana to push around a metal puck around the floor of a pool. The action is especially exciting for spectators, who can only really see ripples on the surface from the action below.



Founded in Netherlands in 1902 by Nico Broekhuysen, Korfball is a mix gender sport. Korfball comprises of 4 male and 4 female players in a team and the sport has the blend of netball and basketball. It is highly popular in Netherlands, Taiwan and Belgium. It was also featured as a demonstration sport in the Summer Olympics of 1920 and 1928. The International Korfball Federation, founded in 1933, has organized the IKF Korfball World Championship once every four years since 1978.



One of the newest sports to join the league of hybrid sports is Kronum. Founded by Bill Gibson in Villanova, Pennsylvania in 2008, Kronum is played as a professional league game in US and becoming highly popular in Europe. Being a perfect blend of soccer, basketball and handball, it provides a new gameplay experience to the world of sports. As a result of which it carries the slogan “join the revolution”.

Published 24 Sep 2012
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