10 Non-English Sports You Should Know and How to Bet Them
The World is full of sports, some more bizarre than others. The English speaking countries have a fair share of these, with water polo and cricket being prime examples, but there are also many sports with no English equivalent. Here we list 10 sports that don't translate to English and how to bet on them!
Pesäpallo ("Nest ball")
The national sport of Finland, Pesäpallo, is not to be confused with baseball. In this bat-and-ball game there is also an inner and outer team but there is no pitcher, instead the players in the home team throw the ball up in the air on their turn before hitting it with the bat.
Each batter has three chances to hit the ball and make the run to the bases. Throwing the ball themselves make it easier for the players to control the power and direction, a tactical aspect not found in the American version.
The main league in Finnish baseball is called Superpesis and lasts from April to end of September. Odds can be found on Mr Green and various other sites.
Kubb ("Wooden block")
The popular Swedish outdoor team sport Kubb is played on grass with wooden blocks and sticks. The objective of the game is to knock over your opponent's blocks by throwing sticks at them until no blocks remain and you can start aiming for the King block located in the middle. The first team to knock down the king wins.
The lawn game has got some international following in recent years. The World Championship is held annually on the Swedish island Gotland, where the game is believed to be originated from, attracting teams from all around the world. There is also an US Championship taking place every summer in Wisconsin, a state famous for its Nordic settlements.
Odds for The Kubb Championships are most likely to be found on Scandinavian betting sites, such as Unibet.
Pétanque ("Grounded feet")
Petanque can be played both as a single and a team sport and the objective of the game is to get your metallic balls (boules) as close to the little target ball (cochonnet) as possible, either with a good throw or by knocking your opponents balls further away.
The French boules sport has achieved quite a following around the world, but has yet to receive a place in the Summer Olympics and thus interest from bookmakers have been minimal. The largest International championship is called Mondial la Marseillaise à Pétanque and attracts more than 10 000 players each year.
Banei ("Pull play")
In this hardcore Japanese version of harness racing, draft horses are racing on a 200-meter-long sand course with heavy steel sleds on their back, with the jockey standing on the sled increasing the weight further. No wheels, combined with the soft sand, makes this a slow-paced and dusty sport to watch.
Banei-Keiba was born around the year of 1900, when farmers would compete against each other on who has the strongest horse. The horses usually weight more than a ton, making them twice as heavy as the average trotting horse.
Ban'ei horse racing reached its peak in the 50's but the interesting has been fading and currently only the Hokkaido Obihiro racecourse offers races regularly. No online betting is available, but you can bet on the horses at the track. English instructions for filling the betting slip can be found on their homepage.
Taekwondo ("Foot hand art")
The Korean martial art Tae Kwon Do has become a commonly used term in English, but did you know the literal translation is "foot hand art"? Not maybe the best description of the sport that mostly focuses on different kick techniques.
The International bookmaker William Hill has a page for Taekwondo betting, offering odds on the biggest competitions worldwide. Since the 2000, Taekwondo is an official sport in the Olympic games.
Quidditch ("Mud ditch")
Little did J.K. Rowling know that the word Quidditch already existed in Old English when she came up with the name for the beloved Hogwarts sport for her Harry Potter books. This fictional team sport is so far from mud ditches you can come and revolves around wizards flying on broomsticks.
The objective is to score more points than the opponent team by making goals with the Quaffle ball, avoiding attacks from the Bludgers and catch the Golden Snitch. Quidditch is quite complex and makes the rules of American Football seem easy peasy.
Unfortunately jetpack and drone technology is not there yet to make Quidditch reality, but the sport has been adapted to fit our Muggle world. Quidditch is becoming a big sport among US college students and UK has its Quidditch Premier League. We have seen weirder things on Paddy Power to bet on than this!
Buzkashi ("Goat pulling")
Buzkashi, Kupkari, Kökbörü…a dear child has many names. This horse sport and its various variations is played in many countries in Central Asia, including Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Turkey.
Depending on the version, teams consisting of 40-50 horse-mounted players try to score points by pulling a dead goat or calf to the goal marked as a circle on the ground. With so many players and so little rules the sport can become pretty chaotic and does not offer much betting value.
Speckbrett ("Bacon board")
Speck means bacon in German, but unfortunately this sport has nothing to do with the deliciously greasy pork meat. The name of this tennis-like sport comes from the flat shape of the racket, which resembles that of a wooden cutting board.
Originally the rackets were actual cutting boards, which the Münster boys that invented the sport back in 1929 stole from their kitchens unbeknownst to their mothers. Nowadays the Speckbrett rackets come with many drilled holes on them to improve their specs.
Speckbrett is mostly played in the western parts of Germany. The Speckbrett Weltmeisterschaften is held in the city of Münster every August- September, so we will keep our fingers crossed that the German sportbook Bet-at-home will offer odds on it next year.
Fingerhakeln ("Finger hook")
Talking about crossing fingers, Fingerhakeln is another sport mostly practiced in Germany, especially in Bavaria. Here two contestants sit on opposite ends of a table and try to pull their opponent across the table with the help of one finger hooked to a leather strap.
This type of finger wrestling is often played in conjunction with beer festivals such as Oktoberfest. International competitions are held but they mostly attract Austrians from the other side of the border. For the best experience we recommend you to travel there and participate in some real-life live betting.
Juego del pato ("Duck game")
Sure, Argentina may have produced some of the best football players in the world, but the national sport in the land of Lionel Messi is actually not football but a bizarre sport known as Pato.
Pato is Spanish for duck and the sport is basically a combination of polo and basketball, with each team consisting of four players. It is played on horseback, with hoops similar to those in basketball and a ball resembling the planet of Jupiter with its multiple handles.
You may wonder what the game has to do with ducks? Well, in the beginning Pato was played with a living duck in a cage instead of a ball. As the game is only played Argentina there has not been any World Championships, but competitions are held weekly across the country, so it is only a question of time until betting sites pick up this sport.
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