Non World Sports

Non World Games.


The thought crossed my mind when reading about the so called World Game, what are some of the sports that are played only in small corners of the world? So just for the hell of it how about these?


Trugo.  An amazing game dreamt up in the Newport Workshops (Melbourne’s western suburbs on the way to Williamstown) in the 1920’s, a bit like Croquet played backwards. It’s only played in Newport, Coburg, Yarraville, Brunswick, South Melbourne and Footscray, and no where else in the world.


Pelota. Many years ago while wandering in the Basque region of Spain and France I saw this incredible court, that looked like ¾ of a squash court. I was told the game was “Basque Ball” the fastest ball game in the world. I watched a couple playing and they had this racket made of willow, which was attached to the hand. They caught the ball and instantly belt it at incredible speed against the court wall. Played mainly in the Basque region.


Shinty. Invented in the Highlands of Scotland. A bit like Hurling the National Sport of Ireland but with less rules. It’s like a cross between Field Hockey and Lacrosse, but much more dangerous. Players now wear full protective gear.


Bandy. A game played on ice, so only popular where winters are long and very cold, like Scandinavia and the Baltic States. A bit like Ice Hockey and Soccer, Instead of a puck they play with a small ball which is hit with a light weight wooden stick.


Gaelic Football. An exclusively amateur game played mainly in Ireland. It has a  fanatical following among the Irish. Fast moving and physically punishing it’s a cross between soccer and rugby union. I would love to see a game played on the Emerald Isle.


Real Tennis.  A game of the 16th Century, but a few still play it today. The court has walls and sloping ceilings and if you watch you do so behind a net. The ball which is hand made is hit over a central net to the opponent. I watched a game at Melbourne’s one and only court many years ago. Hobart has a court as does Ballarat and there are about half a dozen in the UK.


I reckon it would be great to get a good list of “Non World Sports” There are probably dozens more.


[Add you suggestions in the comments – Ed]




  1. Bob Speechley says

    CURLING – An Olympic sport which hasn’t taken off in Australia and given our climate I doubt it ever will!

  2. ELECTRIC LIGHT CRICKET – Was a uniquely South Australian sport played from WW2 into the 1970’s on a tennis court with a tennis ball; teams of 10-18 players and significant lubrication. Alas it is no more. Swish or Crio could enlighten us on the finer points of the game. I saw it but never played.
    FARNARKLING – Was also popular in the 80’s. A brief description:

  3. Dennis Gedling says

    Is Hand Tennis/Four Square a strictly Australian thing?

  4. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says
  5. Firewalking ?


  6. Corrugated iron canoe racing in swamps,paddled only by hand.
    Big in 1970 in the wetlands that are now the northern suburbs of Perth

  7. David Zampatti says

    Sumo (mighty)

    Sepak Raga (spectacular)

    The Eton Wall Game (muddy)

    Soccer (wishful thinking)

  8. Rugby League. Only played competitively in two more nations than Aussie Rules.

  9. Arden Street Rules – a game of pool for two or more people.
    There are no bigs or smalls – each ball aside from the black is treated equally.
    The objective is to sink the black, but it can’t be sunk until every other ball has been sunk.
    Whoever sinks the black wins. It matters not how many balls a player sinks.
    A player can go through a game without sinking a ball, then sink the black and win.
    If a player makes a mistake by sinking the white, missing the balls or hitting a ball off the table, he is out.
    This game was invented by my mate Adam – it is played at just one address – my house…
    Adam and I want to educate the world about this great game…

  10. I have just been told Trugo is also played in Port Melbourne. I guess that almost makes it a world game.

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