Six NONTRADITIONAL TRENDING SPORTS FOR 2019 Gone are actually the days when nontraditional sports were regulated to the late night hours of cable sports networks. From cornhole? also referred to as bags? and disc golf to Spikeball and events such as Spartan Race and tough Mudder, millions of competitors and spectators have raised the profile of sports once considered obscure.

Whether you are adventurous, looking for a fun new sport to play socially with friends or perhaps simply want to check out unique athletic competition which goes beyond the 4 major professional sports leagues, these 6 trending nontraditional sports are actually the ones to look for in 2019.


Since 2011, Sarah Pozdol went from an obstacle course racing novice to reaching event podiums to training thousands who have become a part of the sport’s ever growing number of racers. I was interested in what I was hearing, Pozdol said of obstacle course racing. Crawling and jumping through mud, maneuvering through the woods, climbing cargo nets and swinging from things. All of it sounded exciting and I needed to be a part of it.

Spartan exploded from 500 racers at the first event of its in Burlington, Vermont, in 2010 to one million annual participants in approximately 200 events in almost 3 dozen countries around the globe. Based on Spartan CEO and Founder Joe DeSena, Spartan recently debuted in South Africa to build a presence in 6 of the world’s 7 continents.

You will find lots of factors in the growth of Spartan races over the years, but a big part is actually because of the demand for individuals to be human, DeSena said. Spartan provides folks the chance to be outside, push the limits of theirs and most importantly, have fun. We are not intended to sit behind desks all day. We are meant to move.

Spartan offers 6 types of races? Kids, Beast, Super, Sprint, Ultra and Endurance? which cover anywhere from as little as one half mile for youngsters up to thirty obstacle filled miles in the Ultra. The Endurance race length varies by event, but is actually touted as the one to shatter your limits. Similarly, Tough Mudder debuted the OCR event series of its in 2010 to challenge athletes’ physical and mental strength. Mudder’s half, full and 5K offer varying a number and course lengths of obstacles? including the Kiss of Mud (watch out for the barbed wire), Pyramid Scheme and Hero Walls that also encourage teamwork.

Tough Mudder officials estimated 3 million participants in 2018 at 150 competitive and non competitive races around the globe. Tough CBS and Mudder Sports also have partnered on a deal to air programming, such as World’s Toughest Mudder and Tough Mudder X, on the broadcast of its, cable and streaming/on demand platforms.



Cornhole is actually among the nontraditional sports that are actually taking the country by storm.

Once regarded as a backyard game, cornhole has come a long way in a very short time. Millions of viewers on social networking and a digital network dedicated to the sport help prove the point.

Frank Geers started the American Cornhole Organization (ACO) in 2005 to give cornhole a governing body. What is followed has been unprecedented growth that continued in 2018 with twenty regional tournaments across the country as well as the organization’s 13th World Championships which boasted nearly $70,000 in prizes and cash.

Cornhole’s humble roots at cookouts and among those tailgaters support the notion it is an accessible sport with simple rules which could be played anywhere by almost anyone. ACO officials believe those facts spur cornhole’s ongoing popularity which has seen its membership originate from a minimum of twenty five states and its number of Facebook followers swell to almost 34,000. ACO launched the digital network of its in July 2018 to capitalize on its place as the country’s fastest growing sport.

We would like to build around programming that invigorates viewers to want to play much more. We want backyard players to start following the favorite professional players of theirs, to get ideas of how you can make their cornhole experience even more enjoyable, Geers said.

  1. RUGBY



Kurt Weaver, director of USA Rugby, offers 2 explanations for the sport’s gains in popularity and participation in America. We’ve had a number of growth spurts along the way, but our largest surge to get us to the current number of ours has been in the last ten years.

The acceptance of rugby into the Olympics, along with a restructure and refocus on the grassroots youth development of ours, helped spark this growth, Weaver said.

USA Rugby reported nearly 132,000 members in 2017 ranging from coaches and referees to players at the high school and college levels? and beyond. Which presents a slice of around one million participants in the U.S., according to World Rugby officials.

The 2018 World Cups Sevens, played at AT&T Park in San Francisco, drew around 100,000 fans to the three day tournament that also garnered large TV numbers? nearly ten million viewers? for 5 telecasts on NBC. Weaver said the explosion of interest has generated many new partnerships, interest and opportunities from the general sports fan. That Olympic exposure has opened doors for high schools and universities to start rugby programs. It extends further to the youth level. Weaver calls rugby the right game for children.

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The game’s fundamentals add to the appeal? all you need is actually a field and a ball, and every person on the field has the opportunity to run, pass, catch, score and kick, Weaver said.



Spikeball. Credit: David Tan

You know a sport is actually growing in notoriety when it makes ESPN SportsCenter’s Top ten plays. Spikeball, or perhaps roundnet, has done that and a lot more in recent years? even earning a coveted spot during the ESPN’s now annual ESPN eight The Ocho takeover which showcases probably the best of probably the best in sports you may not have heard of.

The point is actually there are actually a quarter million Spikeballers in the United States playing a growing number of national tournaments and local tournaments.

What is not to like? The sports offers action that is fast paced as solo players or perhaps teams of 2 swat and spike a ball into what is like a mini trampoline. Google Spikeball rally ESPN to find videos? with millions of total views? of probably the wildest Spikeball points captured on video.




On the other end of the spectrum is actually the uniquely named pickleball. You will not always see players diving and flailing around, but you are going to find a sport founded in social fun that had 2.8 million players in the United States in 2017? a twelve % bump over the prior year, based on the Sports & Fitness Industry Association.

USA Pickleball Association boasts other numbers to show undeniable growth and popularity in a sport developed by 3 Seattle area friends in 1965. It may look as tennis, but as soon as the sounds of a Wiffle like ball being volleyed across a short net on a 22-foot-by-40-foot court catches the attention of yours, you are able to see this’s something different.

Drew Wathey, USAPA’s director of media relations, said the increased participation has been apparent in the last 7 to ten years. In 2017, USAPA carried a membership of 22,120 and reported nearly 17,000 pickleball courts around the nation.

And, although the sport initially appealed to active older adults who did not need to run around a tennis court, youngsters are actually helping develop the next generation of players. That is partly because school physical education programs are actually incorporating pickleball into the curriculum of theirs, but Wathey also highlights the sport’s relatively the ability and low price to get a court almost anywhere.

Similar to other trending online, TV, and sports exposure helps fuel growth. Several matches from the 2017 USAPA Nationals aired live on Facebook reached 1.5 million viewers. The Nationals also appeared on the CBS Sports Network and, in 2018, the event took place at the famed Indian Wells Tennis Garden in California.

While the best players match up at the Nationals, pickleball is actually a sport for the masses in Wathey’s view.

You do not have to be an excellent tennis player to play pickleball, he explained. It is a really social activity. For most players it is a chance to get outsideit’s about camaraderie.


Disc Golf

Disc Golf

In a five year span from 2010 to 2015, the Professional Disc Golf Association watched as its active membership doubled?cracking the 30,000 mark for the very first time in its long history. By all accounts, things have not slowed down, particularly in burgeoning hotbeds for the sports such as West Central Illinois, which plays host to several of probably the biggest PDGA events.

The very first thing that comes to mind when we talk nontraditional sports is our PDGA 2018 Ledgestone Insurance Open, said Danielle Bensing of the Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Bensing points out the tournament is regarded as the lucrative disc golf event in the world and second largest held in the United States. Ledgestone has called Central Illinois home after 2011, using 9 courses across the region and featuring players from a minimum of forty states and 4 countries. The 2019 PDGA Pro World Championships is actually on the docket for the area next year.

You will find no lack of opportunities for the approximately one million players in the United States to find a 18-hole or nine- course to toss some flying discs. PDGA reports nearly 6,300 courses across the country and portions of Canada.

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