It seems just about anything qualifies as a sport these days. Any fair worth its cotton candy offers the spectacle and thrills of porkers with names like Shakin Bacon, Sty Stallone and Jean Claude Van Spam burning up an oval track while the crowd squeals in delight.
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If pigs can't quite fly, they can dive -- gracefully, we might add -- and there are competitions to prove it, such as this one at the Royal Melbourne Show in Australia.
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Toilet Seat Toss
Think of it as the large print, or redneck, version of horseshoes. In fact, it's an integral part of the annual Summer Redneck Games in East Dublin, GA.
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According to its official website, "the latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well-pressed shirt" requires contestants to take an ironing board to a challenging location -- like the Antarctic, a mountain top or underwater -- and attempt to lay waste to unsightly wrinkles. Ironing can also be done while bungee jumping and snowboarding.
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A product of Finland and Estonia, this sport requires a man to carry his dearly betrothed over a grueling obstacle course. The annual North American Wife Carrying Championships are held on Columbus Day Weekend in Newry, ME.
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If NASCAR is unsatisfied with the Car of Tomorrow, it might consider switching to ostriches, which can reach speeds of up to 45 miles per hour while running on a cheaper fuel mix of bugs and plants. The feisty big birds are speedy staples of competitions the world over, and you can watch them go each year at the Ostrich Festival in Chandler, AZ.
7 of 22Neil Tingle/actionplus/Icon SMI
The Annual Cheese Rolling at Cooper's Hill is held on England's Spring Bank Holiday Monday, with contestants hurling (so to speak) themselves down a steep slope in pursuit an 8-pound Double Gloucester. The first contestant to reach the bottom wins the cheese and lasting admiration.
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Pack your trunk and head for Nepal as The World Elephant Polo Association will be celebrating its silver jubilee in November. It's a truly international sport with an annual world championship. Teams of three-four pachyderms (plus drivers and players) compete for more than peanuts in two 10-minute chukkas on a pitch that's about the size of a soccer field.
9 of 22Neil Tingle/Action Plus/Icon SMI
Tough Guy Racing
The twice-yearly Tough Guy Jungle Warrior vs. Genghis Khan race at South Perton, Staffordshire, England is an event for those who love their sports down and dirty. The event is held on a military-style assault course and contestants dress accordingly.
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Pantomime Horse Racing
If you're down on your luck betting the thoroughbreds, why not risk a wager on equines of the costumed variety? England's Grand National and Pantomime Horse Racing Championships are but two mane events you won't want to miss with contestants going all-out in anything from one-furlong sprints to steeplechase events.
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Lawn Mower Racing
On the cutting edge of alternative sports for motor enthusiasts, the U.S. Lawn Mower Racing Association offers competitions across the country in five classes: stock, international mowers of weeds, prepared (modified), FX (major modified) and JP (juniors/kids). No, the blades aren't spinning during a race -- they've been removed.
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Please be seated. An annual event for the past quarter of a century in Conconully, WA, outhouse racing can be found in many locations around the nation where enterprising teams convene to push contraptions with names like Butt Hut and Royal Flush down main streets as the local citizenry cheers them on to victory.
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A staple of college campuses everywhere, tossing ping pong balls into cups of beer is now serious business. The World Series of Beer Pong IV in Las Vegas offered up a $50,000 top prize and attracted more than 400 teams.
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Add A LOT of water to dirt and you'll get a bog, which is the ideal location for bog snorkeling competitions such as the World Competition at Llanwrtyd-Wells, Wales. Competitors make their way through two lengths of a 394-foot peat bog while navigating through weeds and bugs and muck.
15 of 22David E. Klutho/SI
If you take volleyball and add water and dirt, you get this sport. As you can imagine, there are many variations, including mud football, which is relished by old school NFL fans.
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The World Chess Boxing Organization has exquisitely combined the cerebral (a four-minute round of chess) with the sweet science of pounding the cerebellum (a three-minute round of boxing) until it sprouts chirping birdies. There's a limit of 11 total rounds and a winner can be declared by knockout, checkmate or referee's decision.
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If contests of raw intestinal fortitude are your cup of tea, you'll thrill to gutsy "athletes" chowing down on everything from asparagus to wings with a strict time limit. The most well-known event is the annual Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, NY. This year's repeat winner (so to speak) was Joey Chestnut, who ingested a gut-busting world record 68 dogs and buns in 10 minutes to beat archrival Kobayashi (64).
18 of 22Courtesy of It'sTruly! Random!
As seen on ESPN. TheWorld Sport Stacking Association sanctions an annual championship where just this year Steven Purugganan, an 11-year old from Longmeadow, MA busted his own world mark by forming a 3-6-3 stack in only 2.15 seconds.
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Halloween season would not be complete without big orange gourds being launched by a variety of catapults in distance competitions at the annual World Championship Punkin Chunkin in Bridgeville, DE.
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If they're big enough, gourds make excellent boats as the competitors in pumpkin regattas on such bodies of water as Lake Champlain (VT), Lake Mendota (WI) and Lake Pesaquid (Windsor, Nova Scotia) well know.
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Perhaps the ultimate road race, the annual Great Arcata to Ferndale World Championship Kinetic Sculpture Race in California offers three days of awesome pedal-powered creations competing over 41 miles of road (bad and otherwise) and water, thus its nickname "Triathlon of the Art World."
22 of 22STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images
World Series of Birding
For those who decry the violence of boxing while embracing the birdies, there is the annual World Series of Birding in Cape May, NJ, where intrepid contestants muck about the wild to see who can spot the widest variety of winged feathered species in a 24-hour period.
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