Good morning. It’s August 8, or 8/8, and for that reason alone, ESPN has found cause to celebrate. It comes from the 2004 Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn comedy “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story,” in which the climactic dodgeball tournament is televised on the fictional “ESPN the Ocho.”
Well, on this Wednesday, 8/8, the network will turn ESPN2 into “The Ocho” for a single day to broadcast what the company calls “the world’s most bizarre, innovative and entertaining” sports.
What are they? How do they work? Here’s a guide to everything on “The Ocho” today.
12 a.m. — “Dodgeball: A True Underdog story”
How else do you start this day?
2 a.m. — Skyzone Ultimate Dodgeball Championship
This one looks just like it sounds. Skyzone is the place you go to jump on trampolines. Dodgeball is, well, dodgeball. Put them together and you get dodgeball on trampolines.
3 a.m. — U.S. Open Ultimate Championships
Ultimate equals ultimate Frisbee. The U.S. Open Championships were held Aug. 3-6 in Blaine, Minn. It’s unclear which division’s championship — boys, girls, men’s, mixed or women’s — will be broadcast.
4 a.m. — Spikeball East Tour Series
Imagine two-on-two volleyball, but instead of a net there’s a small trampoline positioned between the teams and players can run anywhere they like. Players spike a small ball into the trampoline, and the other team has to return the volley by hitting it back into the trampoline before it hits the ground. ESPN has already broadcast a couple Spikeball events this summer: one in Lancaster, Pa., on May 5, and one in Coney Island, N.Y., on June 30.
5 a.m. — Cornhole: ACL Pro Tour Invitational
This is cornhole, the game of tailgate fame: toss a bag through a hole, score three points; land a bag on the platform (a “woody”), score one point. Games are to 21.
6 a.m. — 2006 Johnsonville Brat-Eating World Championship
This was apparently a historic eating competition. Read more here (warning: link contains spoilers).
6:30 a.m. — 2006 Krystal World Hamburger Eating Championship
The proper name is the “Krystal Square Off” and it took place annually in Chattanooga, Tenn., from 2004 to 2009. Do not read the Wikipedia page about this event.
7 a.m. — World Championship of Ping-Pong
The World Championship of Ping-Pong was held in January in London and featured a matchup of two Chinese competitors, Wang Shibo and Huang Jungang. The match came down to a dramatic and decisive fifth set. (Spoilers here.)
8 a.m. — Mardi Gras Open & WPH Race4Eight VI Stop Handball
Think about racketball, but without the racket. Slap a ball against a wall. Your opponent can play it on the fly or off one bounce. Two or more bounces give you a point. Watch Blake Griffin try to learn the game here:
9 a.m. — Amazing Games: Spain, Korea
These are a collection of popular or indigenous sports shown in brief including: the running of the bulls, human castle competitions, Korean wrestling and blitz (speed) chess.
10 a.m. — Premier League Darts
Expect a lot of bulls eyes. These are pros.
11 a.m. — E:60
Jeremy Schaap tells the story of some of the world’s unique sports, including frog jumping, catfish hunting, Japanese monster wrestling and cheese rolling.
12 p.m. — SportsCenter
Of course, it’s no ordinary SportsCenter. Kenny Mayne shares highlights from the day of nontraditional sports.
12:30 p.m. — Amazing Games: England
Including coverage of lawn mower racing, jousting and Cumberland wrestling.
1 p.m. — Kabaddi
This popular Indian sport is like a very physical version of capture the flag. A player, called a “raider,” from a team of seven crosses into the opponent’s side of the court (which looks like a small tennis court). His job is tag as many opponents as possible and make it back to his side of the court without getting tackled.
Here’s a great rules explainer:
And here’s what the action looks like:
2 p.m. — The Saber Legion 2018: Awakening
So, this is a sport of people who dress up in Star Wars gear and duel with lightsabers. Really.
3 p.m. — World Sumo Challenge
Wrestlers (rikishi) wearing loincloths (mawashi) explode toward each other and try to hurl the other out of a circular ring (dohyo). What’s not to love?
4 p.m. — Women’s Flat Track Derby
It’s roller derby! Here’s how it works: Each team of five skaters appoints one to be the “jammer.” Her job is to get past the opponent’s four “blockers.” She scores a point for each blocker she passes with her hips. Rounds last up to two minutes.
Another great explainer video:
5 p.m. — Best of Chess Boxing
Two individuals compete in alternating rounds of speed chess and boxing. The match ends with a checkmate or when time runs out during the chess rounds, or with a knockout in the ring. If neither is accomplished, the winner is the fighter with the most points boxing.
6 p.m. — Moxie Games
Called the “Olympics of viral sports,” the Moxie Games are an amalgamation of all sorts of unusual sports hybrids such as table tennis using only the head, a combination of dodgeball and juggling, pool trick shots and rock-paper-scissors.
8 p.m. — 2018 Dodgeball World Cup
No trampolines this time. The tournament was held Aug. 4 at Madison Square Garden. Austria faced Malaysia in the men’s final, England played Scotland in mixed competition, and England played Austria in the women’s championship. (Spoilers here.)
10 p.m. — “Dodgeball: A True Underdog story”
Only one way to end a day of TV like this: The movie that inspired it all.
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