Non-traditional Sports Column

Dylan McManis

Instead of talking about football, volleyball, tennis, soccer and cross country, I want to talk about all the hard workers in “sports” that you may or may not have heard of.

Today’s column is about non-traditional sports, sparked by the fact that if you read last week’s paper, then you would notice that in our facts sidebar we have the ranks of the most popular sports in the world. And guess what? Table-tennis, otherwise known as ping-pong, beats out both Basketball and American Football in fans.

But I thought Football was the best sport in the world. If by football you mean what we American’s call soccer, then yes it is. But there are far more sports than simply what meet the eye, and today I’m going to open your eyes to them.

First, I’m going to talk about E-Sports, and most of you are going to want to stop reading here, but I promise you will be in for quite a surprise. League of Legends is the most popular and well received E-Sport in the world. The United States government recognizes it as a professional sport and its top players as professional athletes. Over 36 million people watched the World Championships last year, and Imagine Dragons actually played at the tournament and wrote a song specifically for League of Legends, the band being players of the game themselves.

Quidditch is also gaining ground as a sport. Washburn and many other colleges in the United States have already started their own teams, and while there isn’t a huge league yet, there is a US Quidditch league, and many local teams like Kansas University and Johnson County Community College often play together.

There is even an international league for the game. For those who don’t know, Quidditch is a co-ed contact sport made up of rules similar to rugby, dodgeball and tag. For more information, watch Harry Potter, because I assure you that if we could all fly around on broom sticks, this sport would beat out American Football any day.

Sadly, there isn’t enough time to talk about all the amazing sports. So I want touch on some of the notable ones that you might hear about over time.

These include professional card games like Magic: The Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh (yes, people get payed to play these games and they love it), drag racing, demolition derby, math competitions and marching band.

Yes, everything I have included on this list counts as a sport. People live and breathe for these activities because to them it is sometimes more than just a hobby, just like football or soccer. Sometimes, the most competitive people in the world aren’t the ones with strong biceps, they’re the ones who are passionate about what they love.