Sports that Start with the Letter “O”

Sports that start with the letter “O”

Picture this if you will: it is game night, and you and your team are down to the penultimate round. It’s done or dies, and you are up to the plate; it’s your turn to face off against the brains behind the opposing team. The moderator pulls out the card with the question you are to answer, and you feel a thin bead of sweat make its way down the back of your shirt as he reads out the question. Can you name 3 sports that start with the letter “O”? Well, can you? Let us give you the unofficial cheat sheet. 

Sports that Start with the Letter “O”

Obstacle Course Racing

Most of us played some homemade version of this much-loved sport in our childhood years, whether at school or with our neighborhood chums. As the name suggests, competition is usually on foot, where the competitors must overcome mostly human-made challenges or obstacles. It is considered both an outdoor and an indoor sport as it can be played in either setting.

The challenges, varying in degrees of complexity, are designed to stretch not only the body but the mind as well. Most of the obstacles are similar to those used in military training, such as climbing up a rope or net walls, crawling through mud under barbed wire, carrying heavy objects, crossing varied water bodies, and jumping through fire. Some well-known variants include the Ninja Run, Tough Guy, Rugged Maniac, and Spartan Race, to name a few. 

Off-Road Racing

It’s as if motor racing weren’t adrenaline-filled enough! This form of racing is normally conducted on rough, unmarked terrain such as deserts, rocky hills, and snowy slopes. The vehicles have to be specially modified for driver safety and allow them to move in these tough areas, so don’t get any ideas about taking the family mini-van out for a race! Race tracks can run anywhere from 25 to 1000 miles to accommodate the drivers’ various experience levels and vehicle classes: cars, motorbikes, trucks, and buggies. 

Open Water Swimming

This one is familiar to triathletes the world over and is, simply put, swimming in outdoor water bodies such as dams, lakes, rivers, and the ocean. Most sport don wetsuits help reduce resistance and offer some protection to the body from cold and goggles to see in the often salty or murky waters found in nature. The sport has even been featured in the Olympic Games. The course length varies from 1500m to 10km, though some are characterized by the distance between two points, such as swimming the English Channel. This is definitely not for the faint of heart or the weak of will. 


Anyone a fan of team sports? Then this will definitely tickle your fancy. Orienteering is several sports requiring the participants to use a map and compass to navigate between predetermined points, usually in unfamiliar terrain and, of course, in a race against their competitors. Some variants of the sport even involve direction-finding over the radio. The competition can be carried out on foot, using mountain bikes, down ski slopes, canoes, cars, or even up (or down) mountains. 

Outrigger Canoeing

This is a water racing sport using special canoes fitted with lateral floats on their hull called outriggers. There can be single or double hulls on a canoe, different numbers of paddlers (1, 2, 3, 4, 6, or 12), and the canoe may or may not use a rudder. The course of the competition can range from 250m to 2000m, but also has long-distance races of 20-30km and marathon courses upwards of 42km. The competition is prevalent in the islands of Hawaii. Now that’s my idea of an extreme holiday!

Oil wrestling

This makes for one of the rather unusual sports starting with the letter “o,” all the way from the European nation of Turkey. It is, in fact, the national sport there! Oil wrestling is also commonly referred to as grease wrestling, as the wrestlers are doused in olive oil while combating one another. The participants fight each other shirtless, wearing hand-sewn leather trousers called kisbet (or kispet), which were initially made from water buffalo hide, but can also be made from calfskin (particularly in modern times). The match is won by either opponent achieving an effective hold of the kisbet, aiming to gain control over each other by putting their arm through the other’s kisbet.

Over the line

Over the line is a close relative of bat and ball games such as softball and baseball. It is an easy-going game that only requires three players per team: a batter, a pitcher, and a fielder, and is typically played on the beach. The playing field, marked either with rope or by drawing lines in the sand, comprises a triangle and an open-ended rectangle. The “line” is the base of the triangle, from where the parallel lines of the rectangle emerge, and the area between the line and the parallel lines is fair territory.

In contrast, everything other than the triangle is foul territory. The batter and pitcher are typically on the same team, and the batter stands at Home, which is at the apex of the triangle. The pitcher positions himself in front of the Line but not in the triangle. The fielders of the other team stand behind the Line within fair territory. The game aims for the batter to hit the ball into fair territory without the opposing team’s fielders catching it. Alternatively, a hit may also be made when the fielder who catches the ball crosses over the Line (or its extension) or drops it in either fair or foul territory. Perfect for a fun day at the beach, don’t you agree?

So, now that you’re familiar with several sports starting with the letter “o”, we wish you better luck in future trivia games. We are rooting for you!


Sports that Start with the Letter “O”

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