Weird Sports and Wacky Games; From Buzkashi to Zorbing

By Dr. Victoria Williams (English, 2008)


Play is an essential part of the human experience that has existed since time immemorial and occurs in all cultures. Play also proves that what can seem frivolous is actually a source of joy, and, sometimes, of great commercial value. One of the main ways people play is through participating in sports and games. This single volume edition concentrates on sporting activities and pastimes enjoyed around the world that are either played by only a handful of participants (such as the Eton Wall Game) or enjoyed by many millions of people and have a huge cultural significance (such as cricket). Many of the activities detailed include elements of history, folklore, politics, art, literature and science and cover North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Oceania. Animal sports are also featured, including controversial so-called blood sports. Also included are a number of entries on traditional British pub games and other pastimes including British folk sports like the Haxey Hood Game and activities such as cheese rolling and pancake races, which, though often presumed to be uniquely English occasions, have parallel events in other countries. 



Dr Victoria Williams (MA in English: 19th-Century Studies, 2000 and PhD in English, 2008) is an independent scholar and freelance writer living in west London. Her research areas include fairytales and folklore, Victorian art and literature, British and American film 1930s-1960s, and the Gothic.


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