Television is vital for sport. Not only is it useful for fans who are unable to make the matches/events, it is a huge source of income for the sports associations. The top soccer leagues, tennis and golf tournaments etc. sell TV rights for their competitions to networks across the world, and earn a great deal of money in the process.

The same can’t be said for the following!

Forget the big global sports, these are the weird, quirky, specialist sports played and watched by only a select few. These are the sports that you won’t see on your television…

Calcio Storico

Calcio Storico

Calcio Storico, or Calcio Fiorentino as it is also known, is an early form of soccer that originated in 16th century Italy, but was revived by Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini in the 1930s.

The game consists of two teams of 27 players, a pitch, 2 goals and a ball. Like soccer, the aim is to get the ball into the opposition net. Unlike soccer, teams are allowed to use all means necessary to do so! Head-butting, punching, elbowing and choking are all permitted. Unsurprisingly, games often descend into all-out brawls.

Even Popes, such as Clement VII, were known to play the sport.

Ferret Legging

Ferret legging

Ferret legging is an endurance sport. Players are put in a pair of over-sized trousers, and live ferrets are placed in them, with all escape routes blocked. The winner is the person last to release the animals. The world record currently stands at 5 hours 30 minutes.

The game originated among coal miners in Yorkshire, England, in the 1970s. It is not for the faint-hearted, either. The ferrets are said to bite participants legs and groins regularly once inside the trousers. Former world champion, Reg Mellor, introduced the practice of wearing white trousers so that spectators could easily see the blood from the wounds caused by the animals.