A sports and entertainment company, co-founded by a former NBA player, has recently raised $5 million to stream more alternative sports online and even air content on real-time TV channels. While the company focuses on unconventional sports competitions such as three on three basketball tournaments, this new investment highlights the growing popularity of alternative sports, often evolved from long-established, traditional games. Golf and tennis have both given rise to competitive and modern versions of the games, while the technology of virtual reality has even led to the creation of a new Olympic sport.
Raising the Game of Disc Golf
First invented in 1900, modern disc golf began in the 1960s and is now regarded as one of the fastest growing global sports. New courses are regularly being developed, and there are currently around 7,000 throughout the US. Like traditional golf, disc golf is played in rounds of 9 or 18 but instead of hitting balls into holes, players throw discs at a target, or basket. While estimating the range of a throw can be difficult, by accurately judging the correct distance to the basket players have a higher chance of making a quality shot and attaining a better overall score. Playing a better game will result in higher ratings received at any disc golf tournaments sanctioned by the Professional Disc Golf Association.
Increasing Audiences for Kick Volleyball
While the traditional Malaysian game of SepakTakraw has a centuries old history in Asia, it has only more recently come to the attention of American audiences and potential players, through being aired for the first time on the All Sports Television Network. The modern version of the sport, also known as kick volleyball, was standardized in the 1960s and its international play, including several world cup championships and superseries, is governed by the International Sepaktakraw Federation. The game has similarities to vraisiolleyball but, because no use of the hands is permitted, it also makes use of traditional soccer skills as the ball can only be touched by the head, body and feet. This makes it a great spectator sport as advanced players use acrobatic techniques to jump and twist their bodies in order to kick the ball.
Officially Recognizing New Racquet Games
The traditional racquet games of tennis, table tennis and badminton have also inspired an alternative sport. Pickleball has rapidly grown in popularity since it was first invented just 8 years ago and it is now being mooted as a future Olympic sport. The Olympic Committee has already been approached to consider another new racquet game as an official international sport, but one that is only played in virtual reality. Based on Racquetball, Racket: NX has now become the first electronic game to be recognized as a legitimate global sport. With over 300,000 players around the world, the International Racquetball Association will participate in E-Gaming at the World Games and potentially at the Olympic Virtual Series.
Alternative sports have often been adapted from traditional games and are growing in popularity as they reach a wider audience.