The World’s Weirdest Sports Get Some Serious Screen Time


Kurt Kaiser/Wikimedia Commons

Axe throwers stand at the end of the stall and throw at the bullseye and the two blue dots above the rings, the “kill” shots.

Jack Mezey, Reporter

An ESPN tradition since 2017, The Ocho has skyrocketed in popularity since its debut. The Ocho showcases the world’s weirdest and least known professional sports, and due to the pandemic, it moved up its premiere.

One day a year, for 24 hours, The Ocho takes over the popular sports channel, ESPN2. The Ocho typically takes place in late summer; however, with the entire sports world being shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ESPN decided to roll out The Ocho early this year. On March 22, The Ocho returned to the delight of sports fans who had been deprived of professional and collegiate baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer, and almost every other sport since early March. On the 22nd, at 12:00 a.m. the “Johnsonville ACL Cornhole Championships” kicked off the day, and the “Moxie Games” wrapped up the day at 10:30 p.m. 

In between those two programs were some glorious events that ought to get more coverage. My favorites included the “World Axe Throwing League: 2019 World Championship,” the “46th Annual Cherry Pit Spitting Championship,” the “2019 Death Diving World Championship,” and “America’s Dodgeball Continental Cup: USA vs. Canada.” Axe throwing is basically darts but with axes. Cherry pit spitting is exactly what it sounds like. Frankly, Death Diving is unexplainable; just go watch highlights on YouTube. And the Dodgeball Continental Cup between Canada and the U.S.A. was exhilarating. The U.S. mounted an inconceivable comeback and snagged the win in overtime. But that was not all folks. Here’s the full schedule:

  • 12:00 a.m. – Johnsonville ACL Cornhole Championships: 2020 Kickoff Battle
  • It’s just like backyard cornhole, but the players are actually good at it.
  • 2:00 a.m. – World Axe Throwing League: 2019 World Championship
  • Darts with axes
  • 4:00 a.m. – U.S. Open Ultimate Championships
  • A combination of golf, frisbee golf, and ultimate football
  • 6:00 a.m. – 2019 Spikeball College Championship
  • Texas A&M versus Georgia in collegiate Spikeball
  • 7:00 a.m. – 2019 Las Vegas Highland Games
  • Multiple events like hammer throwing, tug-o-war, etc.
  • 7:30 a.m. – Putt Putt Championships
  • Professional Putt Putt Golf
  • 8:00 a.m. – 2019 IDEAL Electricians National Championship
  • To find out the best electrician in America 
  • 9:00 a.m. – E:60 as part of ‘The Ocho’
  • Documentary
  • 9:30 a.m. – 51st National Stone Skipping Competition
  • 88 skips is the record
  • 10:30 a.m. – 2007 World Sport Stacking Championships
  • It’s just insanely fast cup stacking
  • 11:30 a.m. – 2019 World Sign Spinning Championship
  • The SportsCuts guy couldn’t make it one round
  • 12:00 p.m. – 2006 Krystal World Hamburger Eating Championship
  • The rise of world renowned professional eater Joey Chestnut begins
  • 1:00 p.m. – 2006 Johnsonville Brat Eating World Championship
  • The winner ate 58 bratwursts in 10 minutes
  • 2:00 p.m. – European TramDriver Championship
  • The best tram (subway/metro) drivers from Europe compete in categories such as “Precision Parking”
  • 3:00 p.m. – 2019 Stupid Robot Fighting League
  • Just look it up. I don’t have the energy to explain this one
  • 3:30 p.m. – 46th Annual Cherry Pit Spitting Championship
  • The winner spat a cherry pit over 53 feet
  • 4:00 p.m. – Professional Arm Wrestling Championships
  • It’s pretty wild
  • 4:30 p.m. –  2019 Golden Tee World Championship
  • An advanced golf arcade game
  • 5:00 p.m. – 2018 Classic Tetris World Championship
  • A teenager beat a 7-time Tetris World Champion
  • 5:30 p.m. – E:60 on ESPN8
  • Documentary
  • 6:30 p.m. – America’s Dodgeball Continental Cup: USA vs. Canada
  • America mounts an incredible comeback over Canada
  • 7:30 p.m. – 2019 Jelle’s Marble Runs
  • Yep. It’s competitive marble racing
  • 8:00 p.m. – Slippery Stairs: College Tour
  • It’s something you’d see at a toddler’s birthday party that cost the parents 5 grand 
  • 8:30 p.m. – 2019 Death Diving World Championship
  • Seriously, look at the highlights of this Norweigan “sport.” It’s insane!
  • 9:30 p.m. – Dodge Juggle 3
  • Weird, weird sport
  • 10:30 p.m. – Moxie Games 3
  • Includes Headis, which is like table tennis, but the paddle is the competitor’s head

We are not sure if The Ocho will return before its normally scheduled day on August 8, but we can still hope. Many of these events are still airing at other times on ESPN2. Check local times.