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World's Craziest Sports

Strange Sports Traditions

Spectators might not have done "the wave" during the earliest days of the Olympics, but just about every sport has its share of odd traditions and rituals. In many cases, we've gotten so used to these traditions that they don't even seem strange anymore—like celebrating a win by dumping a giant bucket of ice-cold Gatorade on the coach's head. If you didn't know what was happening, you'd think it was crazy! Today we'll dig into some of the stranger sports traditions from the past and present.


what you’ll need



        Ask About Today

        What's the weirdest sports tradition you learned about today?

        Dinner Discussion

        What sports or game traditions should we start and why?

        Skip the Ads

        Unfortunately, online videos often start with short advertisements. Remind your campers to click the "Skip" button as soon as they can to move ahead to the video.


        30 minutes


        When Did We Start Dumping Gatorade on People?

        Watch this video to learn the history of sports traditions like dumping gatorade on the coach (in football) or swapping jerseys at the end of a game (in soccer).


        Who Invented "The Wave"?

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        Well, there's still some disagreement about that. Watch this video to learn the history of this famous sports fan tradition.


        Quirky Rituals of Tennis Stars

        Did you know tennis star Serena Williams ties her shoes exactly the same way before each match? For many athletes, using the same specific pre-game rituals is incredibly important. Learn about hers and a few others in this article.


        Haka Before Rugby

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        The New Zealand All Blacks rugby team is famous for its embrace of Haka, an ancient Māori dance used to intimidate enemies and express pride. Watch them perform it in this video from the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

        Remember: Online videos often start with advertisements. (Annoying, we agree!) Click the "Skip" button as soon as you can to move ahead to the video.


        The Tradition of Kapa Haka

        Learn more about the tradition and cultural origins of Kapa Haka in this NPR video.

        Mild Violence


        30-45 minutes


        Designing New Sports Traditions

        Traditions bring people together and create a sense of belonging. Along with team colors, logos, and mascots, they are used in sports to excite and unite fans.

        Earlier this week, you made up your own crazy sport. What fan traditions would go along with it? If you were cheering your team on, would you paint your face in a certain way, or wear a specific kind of outfit? Is there a chant you would use when your team scores a point or wins the game?

        Give it a little thought and jot down some ideas, then create a chant or poster slogan for the team. Need some ideas? Click the button to get some inspiration from crazy football fans nationwide (focus on the first 20 or so slides).

        Share your work! We'd love to see it. Ask a parent to email a photo or video to us or share it on Instagram or Twitter by tagging @CampKinda.


        15-30 minutes


        Train with the NBA

        One of basketball all-star Lebron James' pre-game traditions is the chalk toss. That might have something to do with his success on the court—but discipline, practice, and training are the real reasons.

        Want to train like Lebron? Check out the Jr. NBA At-Home workout series for tons of training videos from NBA stars and coaches. Pick your favorite player or team and get started! Even if you don't like basketball, the workouts will help you boost your strength, flexibility, and endurance.