World's Strangest Sports
Buzkashi, Afghanistan and Central Asia
In many modern sports like American football, the ball’s resemblance to the animal from which it came is fairly abstract. Not so in the Central Asian sport of Buzkashi. This precursor to modern polo dates to the time of Gengis Khan; players on horseback battle over a headless, disemboweled calf or goat. The aim is simple: take possession of the ball/headless carcass in the center of the court, ride around two distant goal posts, and return it to the center while fending off opponents’ horses and the occasional (accidentally-on-purpose) blow with a horsewhip.