Sure, at the Olympics you can see sports like handball, trampoline and race walking, but even those sports don't compare to some of the fantastic and strange sports of the world. Here are ten sports that aren't a part of the Olympics that we kind of wish were featured.
Pickleball is a uniquely American sport: it's fun for all ages, can be played with minimal equipment, and is named after a dog. Invented in the 1960s outside of Seattle, Pickleball is a version of tennis (though it is commonly played on a badminton court with the net lowered) where the rackets are replaced with table tennis paddles and the ball is actually a specialty made wiffle ball.
Pickleball was designed to be a sport that would eliminate the problems that would occur when trying to play with groups of varying ages. Because of the slow speed of the sport it is popular among some elderly communities as a form of fun competitive exercise, but also as an activity they can do with their grandchildren. It was named after a dog, Pickles, who had a habit of running off with errant balls.
Korfball is a Dutch sport that was featured as a demonstration sport in the 1920 and 1928 Olympic Games. It was the sport that featured both men and women players on the court at the same time, which made it quite controversial. Journalists refused to take it seriously, and women wearing sportswear (which showed knees and ankles) was shocking and appalling to culture a the time. Still, Korfball thrived, and is now extremely popular in Taiwan and is played in over 50 countries.
The IKF Korfball World Championship is held around every four years, and has been dominated by the Netherlands and Belgium, with the two countries meeting in every single title game. While it's unlikely to join the Olympics anytime soon, as it remains a regional sport, it does have a growing international presence.
The Winter Olympics has a number of events that became popular as extreme sports or are winterized versions of summer sports. It's time for the Summer Games to get on this trend and add the Street Luge. Abandoned by attempts to make the X-Games more arena friendly, the street luge is one of the most dangerous sports in the world.
Street luge was invented in San Francisco when some skateboarders realized they could get higher speeds by laying down on their board. Eventually, specialized equipment was created and different styles of street luge became prominent. It was a featured sport at the X-Games until 2001, and has recently consolidated into one governing body to make international competition easier.
Jai alai is billed as the fastest ball sport in the world, though it no longer holds that world record. A combination of handball, lacrosse and racquetball Jai alai is a fast-paced, high speed sport that is popular among gamblers in Florida and New England. The nets players use to catch the ball were not always part of the game--you originally caught the ball with your hand. A child, who could not afford the leather gloves required of the game, developed the basket hands that are now a mainstay in the sport.
The ball in Jai alai has been clocked going at 188 miles per hour, which is faster than the pole speed of the 2011 Daytona 500. The high speeds necessitates the need for helmets, as five people have died playing the sport. It is also played in Cuba, Mexico, the Philippines and South America.