Five Unusual Professional Sports

Professional bridge tournament Source: Wikimedia There are all sorts of ways to make a living from competitive pursuits like games and sports. You may have heard of professional gamblers who make their money from common casino games such as roulette, poker and blackjack but some people earn their living from betting on things like TV shows or even when celebrities will die. Of course, there is a big difference between playing a game to earn a crust and betting on the outcome of others. In many sports, professional sportspeople are not allowed to bet on themselves and rightly so! If you'd like to become a professional competitor but don't have the skills to make it as a top flight footballer, athlete or golfer, for example, then what are the other options left open to you? Read on to find out more about some of the world's odder professional sports


This card game has been around for centuries. Along with chess, the game is recognised as a sport by the International Olympic Committee, although it is not played in any Olympic tournaments. Contract bridge, to give it its proper name, really is a professional sport among the upper echelons of the game. In fact, bridge has faced its own scandals, just like other professional sports, including allegations of doping and cut-throat practices. Top tournaments will net winners tens of thousands of dollars.

Competitive Eating

Stuffing yourself with food really can lead to a professional competitive career! However, this pursuit is not for the faint hearted because the top competitors put an astonishing amount of food away. What's more, there are several professional bodies that govern the 'sport' offering ways to make money. Why not enter an event run by the International Federation of Competitive Eating or maybe one staged by All Pro Eating to see how much you can handle? Hot dog Source: Pixabay

Chess Boxing

Chess boxing is exactly what you think it would be from its name. Started in 2003, it involves two competitors who alternate between rounds of boxing an chess matches. Probably the strangest combination of two existing sporting pursuits ever put together, the game went professional in 2012 when several national chess boxing bodies got together. There are now multiple weight divisions and professional bouts between women as well as men.


In the United States, there is a Rock Paper Scissors League you could apply to join if you think you have what it takes. Some events at Las Vegas have seen prize funds of up to $50,000, so this is a professional sport you can make some big money doing well in. Originally a children's game, the professional version of rock-paper-scissors has now grown to such an extent that there is a global association to coordinate events around the world. The 2019 World Championships will be held in November in Finland.


Sometimes referred to as 'chase' or 'it', tag is another children's game that you can find being played in school playgrounds all over the Western world. However, some grown-ups take it very seriously indeed and, yes, you can make money from becoming a top competitor, too! The professional version of tag is highly competitive. You need to be a top class athlete with the skill-set of a parkour runner. This is a team game that you take part in with three other individuals on your side. Tag games are very rapid indeed. This is a fast-moving sport that is on the rise!

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