Just because we’re geeks and nerds doesn’t mean we should concede to a sedentary lifestyle. Physicality is good, not just for heart health and muscular well-being, but for the brain as well. A regular dose of heartrate-pumping activity can work wonders for mental health and outlook. And what better way to stay active than to get involved in sports?
But maybe you don’t care for the usual suspects: football, basketball, hockey, volleyball, etc. That’s OK, neither do I! The good news is, there are plenty of other sports that are somewhat unconventional but just as interesting and engaging in their own ways.
Here are some of the best weird sports to consider taking up if you’re a geek, nerd, or just have no interest in mainstream sports.
1. Racket: Nx
OK, hear me out on this one.
Racket: Nx is a virtual reality sport that combines racquetball-style gameplay with elements of pinball. It’s played with a racket and a ball, in a 360-degree dome, and the ball travels along the dome according to the direction you hit it and the amount of spin you put on it, then eventually returns to you when it runs out of kinetic energy.
The multiplayer functionality of Racket: Nx lets you play competitively against others in 1-on-1 matches, and the game itself is a perfect example of how virtual reality allows for sports that just aren’t possible in real-life. It’s not a question of money, but physics—the gameplay in Racket: Nx simply isn’t replicable in the real world! That alone makes it geeky and worth trying.
Check out our review of Racket: Nx for more details.
2. Archery Tag
As far as unconventional real-life sports go, archery tag is the best. It’s kind of like speed paintball, except instead of using messy and painful paintball guns, you use bows and arrows with soft marshmallow tips. It’s played in an arena—either indoor or outdoor—with obstacles to run around and hide behind, and dozens of game modes available: free for all, capture the flag, zombies, and much more. Tons of fun, great physical exercise, and who doesn’t love the coolness factor of archery?
Read more about why archery tag is the ideal sport for geeks.
3. Spikeball (Roundnet)
Spikeball is the trademarked name for roundnet, a sport that’s meant to be played in your backyard, at the park, or even at the beach. It’s played with a circular trampoline-like net on the ground and a soft miniature volleyball. In two teams, players stand around the net and alternate spiking the ball onto the net so that the other team can’t return it. It’s tougher than it sounds and a lot more fun than it sounds!
4. Disc Golf
Disc golf is basically golf, but played using flying discs (“Frisbees”). You’ll have to find a nearby disc golf course, which usually has 6, 12, or 18 holes that you can play through. Each hole is actually a chain-link basket mounted on a pole, and the goal is to land your flying disc in the basket using as few throws as you can. There’s a surprising amount of exercise here as you walk from hole to hole!
5. Table Tennis
Table tennis is quite leisurely when played in a casual setting, but gets intensely physical when played competitively. In addition to being an awesome cardio workout, table tennis will build your calves and thighs, as the footwork involved in competitive play is more demanding than you might think. Look for a local table tennis club to get started, preferably one with a coach!
While badminton appears like a dainty sport, it’s anything but. The lightweight rackets and unconventional shuttlecock demand a more finesse-oriented skillset than tennis, and there’s plenty of sprinting involved for getting that high-intensity cardio workout. The learning curve is much shallower than other racket sports, which makes it great for geeks and nerds who may not have a lot of hand-eye coordination to begin with.
If you want to be the ultimate geek, quidditch may be the sport for you—especially if you’re a Harry Potter fan!
That’s right, people went ahead and created a real-life version of the magical, broomstick-mounted sport played by wizards. Sometimes called “muggle quidditch,” this version is played on a grassy field with many of the same gameplay elements, except the Golden Snitch is a tennis ball tied to an impartial official who runs around. It’s played six-on-six, and quite physically demanding. To get started, you’ll want to look for a local club that’s affiliated with the International Quidditch Association (IQA).
Know of any other weird sports that are good for geeks and nerds? Share them with me in the comments below!
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