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What is your favorite non-mainstream sport?
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The Cutter of Bish Offline
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Post: #41
RE: What is your favorite non-mainstream sport?
(03-24-2020 07:08 PM)BearcatJerry Wrote:  Bocce.

Heck yeah!
03-26-2020 06:07 PM
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bill dazzle Offline
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Post: #42
RE: What is your favorite non-mainstream sport?
(03-26-2020 02:48 PM)mturn017 Wrote:  
(03-24-2020 04:18 PM)bill dazzle Wrote:  To watch: volleyball and table tennis (ping pong)

To play: juggling (though I realize most folks don't consider that a "sport" in the conventional sense)

I continue to wonder if volleyball can become a fairly major team sport in the U.S. It "lends itself" to TV: a big ball that is easy to follow, a small playing surface that allows for a frenetic pace, and athletes that are not covered in padding and helmets (as such, you can see the sweat, the muscles and the expressions). Also, and this is hugely helpful in building popularity, volleyball is (like soccer and hoops) a sport that is played by both men and women all over the world. As the U.S. becomes more international, ... you never know.


I agree with both. Volleyball is super entertaining to watch when played at a high level. It's a shame it's seems to be mostly a women's sport in the US at least at high school and college level. Not that I don't find women's VB interesting but it might gain traction if both it were offered more for men as well.


If baseball (which I like) and volleyball simultaneously had been "invented" only 15 years ago, which would be more popular today? Volleyball — I would assume. Made for TV and women can play it extremely well. Played indoors so cold-weather parts of the country can play year-round.

Volleyball simply emerged in this nation too "late" as a team sport — following football, baseball, hockey and hoops.
(This post was last modified: 03-26-2020 07:37 PM by bill dazzle.)
03-26-2020 07:36 PM
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JRsec Offline
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Post: #43
RE: What is your favorite non-mainstream sport?
I liked playing tennis and enjoyed indoor badminton (it's a really fast game).

I like watching aquatic sports. Men's water polo and women's diving.

Other than that fishing for relaxation is great.

I miss Roller Derby. There was something fascinating about watching a gal on roller skates elbow another into the wall.
03-26-2020 08:23 PM
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_C2_ Offline
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Post: #44
RE: What is your favorite non-mainstream sport?
(03-24-2020 04:07 PM)Erictelevision Wrote:  My favorite obscure Summer Olympic sport is handball.

It could be a major sport in an alternate universe. Lots of scoring, contact and easy as well as inexpensive to play. Similar to hockey, basketball and soccer as well.
(This post was last modified: 03-26-2020 09:23 PM by _C2_.)
03-26-2020 09:23 PM
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IWokeUpLikeThis Offline
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Post: #45
RE: What is your favorite non-mainstream sport?
(03-26-2020 07:36 PM)bill dazzle Wrote:  
(03-26-2020 02:48 PM)mturn017 Wrote:  
(03-24-2020 04:18 PM)bill dazzle Wrote:  To watch: volleyball and table tennis (ping pong)

To play: juggling (though I realize most folks don't consider that a "sport" in the conventional sense)

I continue to wonder if volleyball can become a fairly major team sport in the U.S. It "lends itself" to TV: a big ball that is easy to follow, a small playing surface that allows for a frenetic pace, and athletes that are not covered in padding and helmets (as such, you can see the sweat, the muscles and the expressions). Also, and this is hugely helpful in building popularity, volleyball is (like soccer and hoops) a sport that is played by both men and women all over the world. As the U.S. becomes more international, ... you never know.


I agree with both. Volleyball is super entertaining to watch when played at a high level. It's a shame it's seems to be mostly a women's sport in the US at least at high school and college level. Not that I don't find women's VB interesting but it might gain traction if both it were offered more for men as well.


If baseball (which I like) and volleyball simultaneously had been "invented" only 15 years ago, which would be more popular today? Volleyball — I would assume. Made for TV and women can play it extremely well. Played indoors so cold-weather parts of the country can play year-round.

Volleyball simply emerged in this nation too "late" as a team sport — following football, baseball, hockey and hoops.

100%. I grew up loving baseball and knowing every player. I now realize I never actually loved baseball. I simply loved whatever was cool and following what everyone else liked. All the other kids liked baseball. My family were Southside long-time Sox STH’ers. Now that those influences are removed, I can’t bring myself to watch one inning. Even the games I attend, I’m eating, socializing, or walking around.

If all sports had the same “headstart”, baseball would drop tremendously in popularity.
03-26-2020 09:32 PM
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Captain Bearcat Offline
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Post: #46
RE: What is your favorite non-mainstream sport?
(03-26-2020 07:36 PM)bill dazzle Wrote:  
(03-26-2020 02:48 PM)mturn017 Wrote:  
(03-24-2020 04:18 PM)bill dazzle Wrote:  To watch: volleyball and table tennis (ping pong)

To play: juggling (though I realize most folks don't consider that a "sport" in the conventional sense)

I continue to wonder if volleyball can become a fairly major team sport in the U.S. It "lends itself" to TV: a big ball that is easy to follow, a small playing surface that allows for a frenetic pace, and athletes that are not covered in padding and helmets (as such, you can see the sweat, the muscles and the expressions). Also, and this is hugely helpful in building popularity, volleyball is (like soccer and hoops) a sport that is played by both men and women all over the world. As the U.S. becomes more international, ... you never know.


I agree with both. Volleyball is super entertaining to watch when played at a high level. It's a shame it's seems to be mostly a women's sport in the US at least at high school and college level. Not that I don't find women's VB interesting but it might gain traction if both it were offered more for men as well.


If baseball (which I like) and volleyball simultaneously had been "invented" only 15 years ago, which would be more popular today? Volleyball — I would assume. Made for TV and women can play it extremely well. Played indoors so cold-weather parts of the country can play year-round.

Volleyball simply emerged in this nation too "late" as a team sport — following football, baseball, hockey and hoops.

Professional men's volleyball is simply boring. Over 2/3 of serves are aces.

Maybe women's volleyball would be more popular if it had started earlier.
Women's volleyball (like women's tennis) is more entertaining than the men's game because they have a lot of long volleys. (ok, it also doesn't hurt that they're easy on the eyes)
03-26-2020 10:28 PM
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JRsec Offline
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Post: #47
RE: What is your favorite non-mainstream sport?
(03-26-2020 10:28 PM)Captain Bearcat Wrote:  
(03-26-2020 07:36 PM)bill dazzle Wrote:  
(03-26-2020 02:48 PM)mturn017 Wrote:  
(03-24-2020 04:18 PM)bill dazzle Wrote:  To watch: volleyball and table tennis (ping pong)

To play: juggling (though I realize most folks don't consider that a "sport" in the conventional sense)

I continue to wonder if volleyball can become a fairly major team sport in the U.S. It "lends itself" to TV: a big ball that is easy to follow, a small playing surface that allows for a frenetic pace, and athletes that are not covered in padding and helmets (as such, you can see the sweat, the muscles and the expressions). Also, and this is hugely helpful in building popularity, volleyball is (like soccer and hoops) a sport that is played by both men and women all over the world. As the U.S. becomes more international, ... you never know.


I agree with both. Volleyball is super entertaining to watch when played at a high level. It's a shame it's seems to be mostly a women's sport in the US at least at high school and college level. Not that I don't find women's VB interesting but it might gain traction if both it were offered more for men as well.


If baseball (which I like) and volleyball simultaneously had been "invented" only 15 years ago, which would be more popular today? Volleyball — I would assume. Made for TV and women can play it extremely well. Played indoors so cold-weather parts of the country can play year-round.

Volleyball simply emerged in this nation too "late" as a team sport — following football, baseball, hockey and hoops.

Professional men's volleyball is simply boring. Over 2/3 of serves are aces.

Maybe women's volleyball would be more popular if it had started earlier.
Women's volleyball (like women's tennis) is more entertaining than the men's game because they have a lot of long volleys. (ok, it also doesn't hurt that they're easy on the eyes)

Liar, you just like to see nice legs in short skirts and listen to them grunt!04-cheers
03-26-2020 11:17 PM
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BruceMcF Offline
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Post: #48
RE: What is your favorite non-mainstream sport?
(03-26-2020 09:23 PM)_C2_ Wrote:  
(03-24-2020 04:07 PM)Erictelevision Wrote:  My favorite obscure Summer Olympic sport is handball.

It could be a major sport in an alternate universe. Lots of scoring, contact and easy as well as inexpensive to play. Similar to hockey, basketball and soccer as well.

Isn't that alternate universe known as Europe? There are professional handball players, professional handball leagues, with champions and (based on league strength) sometimes additional highly placed clubs going into the EHF Champions League and EHF Cup Winner's Cup. It's biggest in Germany. Spain, Hungary and France, according to the EFH coefficient ranking, and then there's steep drop down in the results of clubs in European play.

Well ... probably not. It's viable in those countries but I guess it's not a major sport in those countries.

"How niche is niche" is one of those "how long is a short piece of string" questions. Handball is like a third tier sport in the countries where it's popular at all. It's like Rugby League in the UK or France, where it has enough pockets of popularity for ticket sales to pay some players to be professional players and to pay to get it on TV, but not for the best players to get a massive paycheck.
(This post was last modified: 03-26-2020 11:46 PM by BruceMcF.)
03-26-2020 11:44 PM
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Frank the Tank Offline
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Post: #49
RE: What is your favorite non-mainstream sport?
(03-26-2020 11:44 PM)BruceMcF Wrote:  
(03-26-2020 09:23 PM)_C2_ Wrote:  
(03-24-2020 04:07 PM)Erictelevision Wrote:  My favorite obscure Summer Olympic sport is handball.

It could be a major sport in an alternate universe. Lots of scoring, contact and easy as well as inexpensive to play. Similar to hockey, basketball and soccer as well.

Isn't that alternate universe known as Europe? There are professional handball players, professional handball leagues, with champions and (based on league strength) sometimes additional highly placed clubs going into the EHF Champions League and EHF Cup Winner's Cup. It's biggest in Germany. Spain, Hungary and France, according to the EFH coefficient ranking, and then there's steep drop down in the results of clubs in European play.

Well ... probably not. It's viable in those countries but I guess it's not a major sport in those countries.

"How niche is niche" is one of those "how long is a short piece of string" questions. Handball is like a third tier sport in the countries where it's popular at all. It's like Rugby League in the UK or France, where it has enough pockets of popularity for ticket sales to pay some players to be professional players and to pay to get it on TV, but not for the best players to get a massive paycheck.

Yes, that's true.

For instance, I personally wouldn't call volleyball a "non-mainstream sport". It may not support a significantly lucrative pro sports league here in the US, but it's a very widely played sport (as pretty much every high school and college is going to have a women's volleyball team at a minimum and it's a staple of recreational leagues everywhere), the college level is actually fairly popular (e.g. BTN actually noted this past year that women's volleyball draws their highest TV ratings outside of football and men's basketball), and it's one of the largest draws for the Olympics.

I'd say the same thing for sports like gymnastics, ice skating and swimming. We may not really watch those sports week-to-week in the same way as football/basketball/baseball, but they're pretty ingrained in our sports culture here and they're certainly not niche sports in terms of participation. No one is going to talk to someone that played high school volleyball (like I did) and say, "Wow! That's a really unusual niche sport!"

Handball, on the other hand, is a great example. How many people do you know have played handball at all beyond a high school P.E. class unit, much less at a high level? As you've noted, handball is still a lower tier sport even in places where it's relatively more popular than the U.S.

To that end, I'd agree that handball is actually a pretty good sport to watch. I've always enjoyed it during the Olympics.

Sumo wrestling is a good one, too (although it's legitimately a top tier sport in places like Japan).

Regardless, it's a tough time as a sports fan since I really do legitimately watch pretty much every "mainstream" sport pretty intensely and this stretch where we go from the NCAA Tournament to the Masters and the start of the MLB season to the NBA and NHL playoffs to the Kentucky Derby and French Open to the NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Final is probably my favorite stretch of sports of the year besides maybe the September/October/November period when football starts, the MLB postseason is on, and we start up the basketball and hockey seasons.

Still, it's all a bit irrelevant compared to some of my friends that have lost their jobs with the stalled economy and how I have other friends that are doctors and other health care workers coming face-to-face with this horrible pandemic and putting their own lives on the line. So, I'm grateful that so far that my family and I are safe during this lockdown.
03-27-2020 02:29 PM
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mturn017 Offline
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Post: #50
RE: What is your favorite non-mainstream sport?
(03-26-2020 11:17 PM)JRsec Wrote:  
(03-26-2020 10:28 PM)Captain Bearcat Wrote:  
(03-26-2020 07:36 PM)bill dazzle Wrote:  
(03-26-2020 02:48 PM)mturn017 Wrote:  
(03-24-2020 04:18 PM)bill dazzle Wrote:  To watch: volleyball and table tennis (ping pong)

To play: juggling (though I realize most folks don't consider that a "sport" in the conventional sense)

I continue to wonder if volleyball can become a fairly major team sport in the U.S. It "lends itself" to TV: a big ball that is easy to follow, a small playing surface that allows for a frenetic pace, and athletes that are not covered in padding and helmets (as such, you can see the sweat, the muscles and the expressions). Also, and this is hugely helpful in building popularity, volleyball is (like soccer and hoops) a sport that is played by both men and women all over the world. As the U.S. becomes more international, ... you never know.


I agree with both. Volleyball is super entertaining to watch when played at a high level. It's a shame it's seems to be mostly a women's sport in the US at least at high school and college level. Not that I don't find women's VB interesting but it might gain traction if both it were offered more for men as well.


If baseball (which I like) and volleyball simultaneously had been "invented" only 15 years ago, which would be more popular today? Volleyball — I would assume. Made for TV and women can play it extremely well. Played indoors so cold-weather parts of the country can play year-round.

Volleyball simply emerged in this nation too "late" as a team sport — following football, baseball, hockey and hoops.

Professional men's volleyball is simply boring. Over 2/3 of serves are aces.

Maybe women's volleyball would be more popular if it had started earlier.
Women's volleyball (like women's tennis) is more entertaining than the men's game because they have a lot of long volleys. (ok, it also doesn't hurt that they're easy on the eyes)

Liar, you just like to see nice legs in short skirts and listen to them grunt!04-cheers

Skirts? A short skirt is modest compared to what they wear.
03-27-2020 02:49 PM
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AllTideUp Offline
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Post: #51
RE: What is your favorite non-mainstream sport?
(03-26-2020 10:28 PM)Captain Bearcat Wrote:  
(03-26-2020 07:36 PM)bill dazzle Wrote:  
(03-26-2020 02:48 PM)mturn017 Wrote:  
(03-24-2020 04:18 PM)bill dazzle Wrote:  To watch: volleyball and table tennis (ping pong)

To play: juggling (though I realize most folks don't consider that a "sport" in the conventional sense)

I continue to wonder if volleyball can become a fairly major team sport in the U.S. It "lends itself" to TV: a big ball that is easy to follow, a small playing surface that allows for a frenetic pace, and athletes that are not covered in padding and helmets (as such, you can see the sweat, the muscles and the expressions). Also, and this is hugely helpful in building popularity, volleyball is (like soccer and hoops) a sport that is played by both men and women all over the world. As the U.S. becomes more international, ... you never know.


I agree with both. Volleyball is super entertaining to watch when played at a high level. It's a shame it's seems to be mostly a women's sport in the US at least at high school and college level. Not that I don't find women's VB interesting but it might gain traction if both it were offered more for men as well.


If baseball (which I like) and volleyball simultaneously had been "invented" only 15 years ago, which would be more popular today? Volleyball — I would assume. Made for TV and women can play it extremely well. Played indoors so cold-weather parts of the country can play year-round.

Volleyball simply emerged in this nation too "late" as a team sport — following football, baseball, hockey and hoops.

Professional men's volleyball is simply boring. Over 2/3 of serves are aces.

Maybe women's volleyball would be more popular if it had started earlier.
Women's volleyball (like women's tennis) is more entertaining than the men's game because they have a lot of long volleys. (ok, it also doesn't hurt that they're easy on the eyes)

I haven't watched enough of the sport to understand if this suggestion would work, but for the men's game...

You think they would have fewer or more aces if they lengthened the court? Or maybe if they raised the net a little bit?
03-27-2020 03:49 PM
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AllTideUp Offline
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Post: #52
RE: What is your favorite non-mainstream sport?
(03-27-2020 02:29 PM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  
(03-26-2020 11:44 PM)BruceMcF Wrote:  
(03-26-2020 09:23 PM)_C2_ Wrote:  
(03-24-2020 04:07 PM)Erictelevision Wrote:  My favorite obscure Summer Olympic sport is handball.

It could be a major sport in an alternate universe. Lots of scoring, contact and easy as well as inexpensive to play. Similar to hockey, basketball and soccer as well.

Isn't that alternate universe known as Europe? There are professional handball players, professional handball leagues, with champions and (based on league strength) sometimes additional highly placed clubs going into the EHF Champions League and EHF Cup Winner's Cup. It's biggest in Germany. Spain, Hungary and France, according to the EFH coefficient ranking, and then there's steep drop down in the results of clubs in European play.

Well ... probably not. It's viable in those countries but I guess it's not a major sport in those countries.

"How niche is niche" is one of those "how long is a short piece of string" questions. Handball is like a third tier sport in the countries where it's popular at all. It's like Rugby League in the UK or France, where it has enough pockets of popularity for ticket sales to pay some players to be professional players and to pay to get it on TV, but not for the best players to get a massive paycheck.

Yes, that's true.

For instance, I personally wouldn't call volleyball a "non-mainstream sport". It may not support a significantly lucrative pro sports league here in the US, but it's a very widely played sport (as pretty much every high school and college is going to have a women's volleyball team at a minimum and it's a staple of recreational leagues everywhere), the college level is actually fairly popular (e.g. BTN actually noted this past year that women's volleyball draws their highest TV ratings outside of football and men's basketball), and it's one of the largest draws for the Olympics.

I'd say the same thing for sports like gymnastics, ice skating and swimming. We may not really watch those sports week-to-week in the same way as football/basketball/baseball, but they're pretty ingrained in our sports culture here and they're certainly not niche sports in terms of participation. No one is going to talk to someone that played high school volleyball (like I did) and say, "Wow! That's a really unusual niche sport!"

Handball, on the other hand, is a great example. How many people do you know have played handball at all beyond a high school P.E. class unit, much less at a high level? As you've noted, handball is still a lower tier sport even in places where it's relatively more popular than the U.S.

To that end, I'd agree that handball is actually a pretty good sport to watch. I've always enjoyed it during the Olympics.

Sumo wrestling is a good one, too (although it's legitimately a top tier sport in places like Japan).

Regardless, it's a tough time as a sports fan since I really do legitimately watch pretty much every "mainstream" sport pretty intensely and this stretch where we go from the NCAA Tournament to the Masters and the start of the MLB season to the NBA and NHL playoffs to the Kentucky Derby and French Open to the NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Final is probably my favorite stretch of sports of the year besides maybe the September/October/November period when football starts, the MLB postseason is on, and we start up the basketball and hockey seasons.

Still, it's all a bit irrelevant compared to some of my friends that have lost their jobs with the stalled economy and how I have other friends that are doctors and other health care workers coming face-to-face with this horrible pandemic and putting their own lives on the line. So, I'm grateful that so far that my family and I are safe during this lockdown.

For the purpose of this discussion, I was thinking of the term "mainstream" as an indicator of how interested the casual sports fan might be in a certain competition.

The sort of idea where people get around the water cooler and ask; "Hey, did you watch the game last night? So and so was on fire. I wonder who's going to win the title this year?"

That conversation changes depending on what country you're in, but the casual sports fan is probably interested in whatever is prominently on TV or making a ton of money so as to undergird an existence that catches a lot of attention.

Perhaps that's a clearer definition than what I offered earlier. With that said, we all seem to catch a sport every now and then that entertains us, but doesn't seem to engage the general population. I thought it might be a nice conversation in lieu of a lack of real sports news.
03-27-2020 04:00 PM
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