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Spain is famous for its strong soccer traditions, particularly after its national team clinched the coveted world cup title in 2010. But fútbol isn’t the country’s only sport; Pau Gasol has slam dunked his way to Spanish basketball greatness, Rafa Nadal has brought great attention to Spain via the tennis court, Ogruu is the father of jugger in Spain, and the Barcelona Eagles competed in the 2013 European Quidditch tournament the “Brussels Muscles Invitational”. Indeed, the European Quidditch tournament. Spain’s also got athletes passionately competing in many decidedly off beat and obscure sports, some of which we’ll take a candid look at below.
So without further ado, don thy bubbles, hop aboard thy nimbus 2000s, and grab thy q-tip staffs: game on!
Also known in Spain as futbol burbuja, this new sport born just a few years ago in Norway is alive and “kicking” strong in the Iberian Peninsula. Intense on-pitch action here would seem little different than your everyday soccer game were it not that each player competes enshrouded in a giant plastic bubble. Many observers describe it as a safer variety of the traditional game, where slide tackles are virtually impossible (as is any kind of serious ball control).
We all know that Harry Potter loves playing quidditch. What fewer people know however is that muggles from many countries have adapted their own fun variety of the magical sport (in which players don’t fly). According to the Spanish journal El Mundo, Spain has 140 players who represent 11 from teams around the country with names like Dementors de A Coruña and Bizkaia Boggars. Madrid Lynx, formed in March 2012 is Spain’s oldest team. It’s an exciting game in which players dodge bludgers, pass quaffles and race to capture the golden snitch in an attempt to prove that they’re wizards on the quidditch pitch.
This sport that dates back to 1954 is surprisingly well established around the world. The down side for spectators is that very few pools have underwater viewing ports, so watching live subaqueous action may involve making use of a scuba mask and snorkel. The Spanish national championship was held in Castellón last year and it looks like it will be held there again this September. For more info you can check out the website of the Asociación Española de Hockey Subacuático. Their Facebook page shows Team Spain heading off to compete in the 18th World Underwater Hockey Championship held in Hungary.
Armed with q-tip staffs, swords, shields and chains, jugger players prepare to “get medieval” on opponents in this eccentric sport that recalls intense middle age combat. The sport is played in Europe, Australia, the US, and Costa Rica. The first national jugger tournament in Spain took place in Zaragoza in 2010. Spain currently has over 500 players and 60 teams who play across the country. For more info, take a look at the Spanish Jugger Association’s website.
This modern sport played in 15 countries looks like volleyball but with the striking presence of a large trampoline and highflying competitors executing spectacular bicycle kicks. Marbella has just become the home to Spain’s first Bossaball club.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this round up of lesser-known sports in Spain.