Weird Sports and Wacky Games around the World
From Buzkashi to Zorbing
by Victoria Williams
April 2015, 369pp, 7 x 10
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-61069-639-5
$108, £84, 94€, A148
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-1-61069-640-1
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The Central Asian game of buzkashi is similar to polo—but with a different “ball.”

With hundreds of books dedicated to conventional sports and activities, this encyclopedia on the weirdest and wackiest games offers a fresh and entertaining read for any audience.

Weird Sports and Wacky Games around the World: From Buzkashi to Zorbing focuses on what many would consider abnormal activities from across the globe. Spanning subjects that include individual games, team sports, games for men and women, and contests involving animal competitors, there is something for every reader. Whether researching a particular country or region’s traditions or wanting an interesting read for pleasure, this book offers an array of uses and benefits.

Though the book focuses on games and sporting activities, the examination of these topics gives readers insight into unfamiliar places and peoples through their recreation—an essential part of the human experience that occurs in all cultures. Such activities are not only embedded in everyday life but also indelibly interconnected with social customs, war, politics, commerce, education, and national identity, making the whimsical topic of the book an appealing gateway to insightful, highly relevant information.


  • Presents interesting information on a wide variety of culturally significant activities, from the ancient to the ultra-modern
  • Contains entries that are detailed yet accessible for general readers
  • Covers British pub games and similar activities in other countries seldom featured in reference books
  • Frames each entry within a global context
  • Features a list of Further Reading suggestions
Victoria Williams, PhD, is an independent writer and researcher. She has contributed to ABC-CLIO's Movies in American History: An Encyclopedia; Conflict in the Early Americas: An Encyclopedia of the Spanish Empire's Aztec, Incan, and Mayan Conquests; and They Do What? A Cultural Encyclopedia of Extraordinary and Exotic Customs from around the World. She worked as an editorial assistant on a number of digital humanities projects, including Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition, and was a long-term contributor to Routledge's Annotated Bibliography of English Studies. At King's College in London, Williams wrote her dissertation on fairytales in 19th-century British art and literature, and on film, with special reference to the Brothers Grimm.


2016 Outstanding Reference Source—Reference and User Services Association [RUSA], January 10, 2016

2016 IPPY Award Bronze Medal in Sports/Fitness/Recreation category —Independent Publisher, April 12, 2016


"The content is quite readable, and the book will find an audience among general readers, making this a good choice for circulating collections. This book is suitable for high-school and public libraries, especially those where there is an interest in sports."—Booklist, August 26, 2015
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