20 Sports Most Americans Have Never Heard Of

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11. Hurling
> Most popular in: Ireland

A sport with its origins in Ireland, hurling, believed to be over 800 years old, is similar to lacrosse, but played with a wooden stick with a flat, rounded head and no netting. While it is most popular in Ireland, hurling is played worldwide.

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12. Kabaddi
> Most popular in: South Asia

Kabaddi, the national game of Bangladesh and Nepal, is similar to the game of tag, popular on school playgrounds nationwide, except that participants are permitted to tackle one another. The game is growing in popularity in the United Kingdom.

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13. Netball
> Most popular in: Canada

Originated in England in the 1890s, netball is a variant on what was at the time the nascent sport of basketball. Compared to its cousin, netball is played with smaller hoops. It is generally more popular as a women’s sport, although men’s teams play as well.

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14. Onabashira
> Most popular in: Japan

Though it is a game, to many, onabashira may sound a lot like work. Popular in Japan, the dangerous game involves cutting down logs and transporting them, with the help of rope and gravity, over difficult terrain. The object of the ancient game is to build a nearby shrine with the logs that can weigh as much as 10 tons.

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15. Pacu Jawi
> Most popular in: Indonesia

Pacu Jawi, the Indonesian festival with origins on the Island of Sumatra, involves a competition in which a rider mounts behind two oxen with plows attached. The oxen run through thick mud at full speed, and contestants are judged based on their speed and the straightness of the pull. The event is held every year to celebrate the completion of the annual rice harvest.