5 Great Sports Worth an Overseas Trip
Unless otherwise noted, all photos via Wikimedia
Americans love the thrill of competition and sport. The enthusiasm runs so deep, some would sit in front of a TV and watch competitive basket weaving, given the chance. But, of course there are legendary competitions and sporting events happening all over the world that are compelling enough to warrant an overseas visit just to bask in the thrill firsthand. This list isn't comprehensive, so some of the old (pricey) standbys like Wimbledon, The Open, Tour de France, or Olympics will have to wait for another day, but these happenings have plenty to offer:
Originating in the 14th century and held each July during the festival of Sanfermines, the running of the bulls was started as a way for men to hurry their cattle to market. Eventually, this turned into a competition and has been held ever since.
Six bulls are released into the streets of Pamplona, guided along by fences blocking off side roads. The hulking bovines are hurried along amongst almost 20,000 people each year. Make a mad dash away from the horns of the animals at your own risk, but the injured/killed statistics aren't as bad as you would think. Only 15 people have been killed during the running of the bulls since 1910, and roughly 1 percent have been injured or killed across the entire history of the event.
Staged every four years, the Cricket World Cup was first held in 1975 and the next one is slated for 2019. The format is currently two groups of seven teams that play in a round robin format with the top four teams advancing to a knockout round. If you are planning to go, you have more than three years to learn the sport and book your trip to the U.K. Remember, this game is very different from baseball and has a complex jargon all its own that can sound like complete gibberish to newcomers. If you plan on going, you want to be thinking well in advance, as over 600,000 people are expected to attend.
Rugby World Cup – England
First held in 1987, the Rugby World Cup also occurs every four years and if you want to go this year, there is still time to make the needed travel reservations. In September, England will host the 2015 competition and present the Web Ellis Cup to the best of the 20 participating teams. New Zealand possesses the cup right now and for the most part, the Southern Hemisphere countries have dominated the title.
The Formula One (F1) series is the highest class of single seat performance racing in the world and has been sanctioning competitions since 1950. Not only are they the highest class, requiring all participating crews and drivers to hold super licenses, but they are also the fastest, with cars racing upwards of 220 mph. The main difference between this type of open wheeled racing and IndyCar Series is that F1 vehicles are constructed from scratch as opposed to IndyCar where they are pre-manufactured chassis.
Although there are up to 20 races every season, the Grand Prix, Monaco is one of the most popular, held every year since 1929. Official dates have not been released for next year's race yet, but the Monaco GP is normally in May.
Photo courtesy of the Ryder Cup
Every two years Europeans and the Americans get together and play a little game called golf in a tournament called the Ryder Cup. The location bounces back and forth between the two continents and next year the cup will be held in Minnesota in the U.S. The next cup is going to Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France in 2018. Europe has been on a roll lately, winning the cup last year, and eight out of the last 10.
The format has changed a little since its inception in 1927, but essentially is conducted through various match play events between two teams of twelve. This time around, the captain of the team is perennial PGA winner Davis Love III.
This is just a smattering of what is out there in the realm of worldwide sporting events. What did we miss? Let me know in the comments below!
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