Boise Idaho is not widely known for a lot of things. Aside from potatoes, camping and the Boise State Broncos, not many people know what else there is here. Some of the more quirky aspects of Boise are its 'unorthodox' sports. There are many mainstream sports, and even more odd, and even off the wall sports here in the land of spuds. Here are three that you may or may not have heard of.
Basque Pelota is a sport that is a cross between racquetball and lacrosse. The players play in a court similar to a racquetball court and play with ball not unlike an American baseball. They wear eye protection and all the usual gear you would expect, but there is a unique piece of equipment that they use that sets them apart from other sports: the cesta. Cestas (or basket) is a large scoop that slips onto the players hand like a baseball glove and extends his/her reach by about a foot or two.
The game runs similar to racquetball, only it is usually with teams of two. The serving team throws the ball against the main wall, the ball then must bounce once and then the second team catches and returns the ball. If the ball bounces twice, then the team that served the ball gains a point.
Basque Pelota is an intense game of speed. It has been named the fastest game in the world. This title is quite accurate because a typical serve is clocked at around seventy five miles per hour with the fastest ever recorded speed being around 188 miles per hour.
If you have ever seen parkour practitioners, you have probably been amazed at what they can do. Parkour is a sport that involves, running, climbing up and over fences, and jumping from rooftops-- crazy, right? However, to understand what parkour is and why people do it, you must first know where it came from.
Parkour was originally a French military discipline. The focus was to get from point A to point B efficiently. So, let's say there is a soldier that needs help, or a bomb that needs disarming, and between you and your destination are buildings, fences, dumpsters, and a collapsed staircase. In order to get to the person or bomb in time, you don't have time to run all the way around these obstacles. So, they taught their soldiers to climb up walls and jump down from high ledges safely and quickly.
In Boise, there are a few amateur teams for parkour, but there are also many gymnastics gyms and martial arts gyms that offer lessons in parkour. This sport is fast, exciting and fun. Not to mention, parkour is the most affordable sport since jogging; all you need is a pair of shoes and you are good to go.
Boise State Quidditch
Another odd sport you can do in Boise comes straight from the pages of the acclaimed Harry Potter. In the books, wizards and witches attending the magical school of Hogwarts, play quidditch, which is a cross between soccer and basketball-- but on flying broomsticks. Teams face off by flying around the quidditch pitch on their brooms and try to throw a large soccerball sized ball (the quaffle) into one of the opponents three goal hoops. The game has many other parts to it, but that is the basic concept.
Now, since Boise State University doesn't have access to magical broomsticks, fans of the book play the game on the ground. However, to give it more authenticity, players play with shortened brooms between their legs.
The club at Boise State is still small, but still plays against other teams, including Idaho State.
These odd sports, are part of what makes Boise great. There are much more opportunities out there for fun sports-- mainstream or not.