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Sports Straight From the Swamp

Photo of alligator wrestling in Florida.
Courtesy of Gatorland
Photo of the annual Swamp Soccer World Championships.
Swamp Soccer
Picture of the World Bog Snokeling Championships in Wales.
Bog Snorkeling

Swamps and bogs are deep, dark and disgusting places, filled with bugs, birds and other wild creatures. But besides being dark, damp and dangerous, the world of the swamp is also home to various different sporting events. From swamp buggy races to alligator wrestling, Kidzworld looks at wild sports from the world's swampiest places.

Swamp Sports - Swamp Buggy Races

The Florida Everglades are home to one of the world's most unique ecosystems, which includes tropical plants, wild birds and alligators. The region is also home to swamp buggy racing - a sport involving unusual looking vehicles, with massive balloon tires and powerful engines. These buggies were invented in Florida during the 1930s and 1940s by hunters as a way of getting around the wet and muddy swamplands of the Everglades. Hunters eventually began to challenge each other to races in their buggies and the sport was born. Races through the muddy and boggy swamps of the Everglades are now held every January, March and October.

Swamp Sports - Alligator Wrestling

Alligator wrestling is a "sport" that started out of necessity by the Seminole Indians of Florida, who used to capture the reptiles from the swamps for food. Alligator wrestling is now used as more of a tourist attraction than a food-finding method - and a few locations in Florida feature alligator-wrestling matches. Some places even offer alligator-wrestling classes for those of you who are particularly brave - a failing grade, however, has far more serious consequences than a poor report card to your parents!

Swamp Sports - Swamp Soccer

Swamp soccer originated in Finland, where cross-country skiers used to kick a ball through wet bogs and marshes as a training exercise. The game is played with five players on each team, there are no offsides and players are not allowed to [kwlink]change shoes[/kwlink] during a match. The annual World Swamp Soccer Championships are held every summer in Finland, with matches taking place in a wet, mosquito-infested swamp with knee-high deep mud. Sound like fun?

Swamp Sports - Bog Snorkeling

Perhaps the most disgusting of the swamp sports is the the World Bog Snorkeling Championships, which are held every summer in Llanwrtyd Wells, Powys, Wales. Competitors put on a wet suit and snorkel and plunge into a dirty, wet, slimy, dark bog filled with peat moss, sludge, scorpions, newts and who knows what else. The snorkeler who completes two laps of the 60 yard (55 meter) channel of filth first, wins the title. This event also includes a mountain bike bog snorkelling competition in which competitors cycle two lengths of the bog underwater using snorkels. The tires of the specially designed mountain bikes are filled with lead and water so they'll stay on the bottom of the bog.

Related Stories:

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  • More Wild and Wacky Sports!
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    Coolest Swamp Sport? Vote!

    • Swamp Buggy Racing.
    • Alligator Wrestling.
    • Swamp Soccer.
    • Bog Snorkeling.

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