Strange Oddball sports

6 unconventional sports to play in Toronto

Unconventional and oddball sports in Toronto involve everything from hurling axes to exercising the unprecedented power of those opposable thumbs. These games are usually unique takes on the traditional, where skates are swapped for unicycles and golf balls for frisbees. While there are some unusual Toronto sports that require extensive tryouts or elusive memberships--the Toronto Lingerie Football team or the Quidditch teams at Ryerson or U of T, for example — the oddball sports on this list are open to most people who are willing to pick up some new skills. Because you never know when swinging a mallet on a bike will come in handy. Here are six oddball sports open to new players in Toronto.

Axe Throwing
The Backyard Axe Throwing League offers just what it sounds. Axe hurling, the act traditionally exercised by enraged lovers who catch their partners in bed with someone else, is performed competitively and recreationally at The Backyard Axe Throwing League in the Junction Triangle. Think of the game sort of like darts, except you could lose an arm, rather than an eye. Axes are thrown at four by four foot wooden targets from 15 feet away, and points are tallied to determine the winner. And yes, the league boasts playoffs and all. Not for children's birthday parties.

Bike Polo
This is polo without ostentatious floppy hats and cashmere sweaters. Bike Polo is sort of a mix of polo, hockey, and cycling, and it's played in teams on a hockey rink (minus the ice, of course). The Toronto club meets as many as four times per week, usually at either Dufferin Grove or Scadding Court shinny rinks. BPTO, as it calls itself, generally offers a beginner night once a week, with extra mallets on hand to lend out to new players.

Disc Golf
The object of disc golf is unsurprisingly similar to golf, in that you want to get your disc to the final target in the fewest number of throws possible. The Toronto Island Park has its own basket-adorned disc golf course, which is officially recognized by the Professional Disc Golf Association. Since anyone can play (after fronting the cost of the ferry), disc golf is a cheap take on golf that hasn't yet been tarnished by a major player's sex scandal.

Unicycle Hockey
The Toronto Unicycle Club meets regularly at a couple of high schools in Toronto (generally in the west end) to practice their peddling (a nice change from the political kind) or pick up a game of hockey. The game is usually played with five players on each team and an obvious lack of full body contact. It might be offensive to picture the game played to the soundtrack of circus music, but I can't help but do it anyway. Open to new players.

Pillow Fighting
What was the Pillow Fight League is now Bedlam Pillow Fighting. The all girl league held tryouts this past September, and is hosting them again near the end of January. In short, pillows are used to execute moves with the intention of winning my pinfall or surrender. Profession pillow fighting has an attitude akin to roller derby, so if you're expecting nighties and giggles, best to look elsewhere.

Table Hockey
Not just for kids whose moms think real hockey is too dangerous! (Or maybe it is, just for when they grow up.) The Toronto STIGA Table Hockey League (TSTHL) plays on STIGA hockey tables (think little plastic men who spin), which is the official table used for the table hockey world championships. The Toronto league meets at a downtown loft for 82 regular season games plus playoffs. Watch out for concussions, and by that I mean thumb sprains.

Know of an unconventional sport in Toronto that's worthy of note. Let's us know in the comments.


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