4 sports that ditch other sports’ most famous rules

What happens when you take a famous sport and abandon its most famous rule? Sometimes, you get a whole new ingenious game (and sometimes you get something pretty weird). Like the muggles who play Quidditch without magic, these four sports flip the script on the most well-known things about other sports—but somehow they all still work.

1. Team handball is like soccer with hands instead of feet

Imagine if soccer were played with hands instead of feet, and you have a good idea what Team Handball is like.

Of course, there are lots of other differences between team handball and soccer—you can take only three steps, you get just three seconds of possession, and there are penalties like in hockey. Scores are also much higher. But there are also a lot of similarities to the beautiful game, including yellow and red cards and, of course, the goals.

Because soccer is the world’s most popular sport, there are a number of spin-offs that riff on soccer’s style. If you want, you can play Kronum, too, a sport that mashes up just about every competition out there, but with an eye on that soccer feel.

2. Sepak takraw is volleyball with feet instead of hands

If you’ve never seen sepak takraw, watch the video above. You’ll be looking for more highlights all day.

The unique kick volleyball game is popular in Southeast Asia, especially Malaysia and Thailand. The concept is pretty similar to volleyball, with the exceptions including the rattan ball and the obvious fact that players kick the ball instead of hitting it with their hands. The game isn’t a modern volleyball rip-off, however: there’s evidence it goes back to the fifteenth century.

3. Cycle polo is polo without the horses

There are countless derivatives of polo that ditch the horses for almost anything else.

Bicycle polo may be the most established, but you can also find elephant polo, motocross polo, snow polo, Segway polo, car polo, yak polo and many other varieties. Basically, anything you can ride on, you can use to play polo.

4. The Henley-On-Todd Regata is a boat race without water

There are many novelty competitions that invert sports rules. But the Henley-On-Todd Regata is one of the best—it’s a boat race without water.

Taking place in Alice Springs, Australia, the race has been going for half a century (it was canceled once because there was too much water in the normally dry river). The event is a day for the whole town to celebrate boating, despite the fact that they’re many miles from water.

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Which of these sports would you most like to see in person?