Crazy, General, Strange, Travel

The Manliest Sports in the World

These sports are for real men only. Competitive figure skaters need not apply.

Human beings have played athletic games for as long as there is recorded history. In modern times they’ve become heavily commercialized and regulated.

However, there are a few sports played today that have preserved a sense of the savage manliness that characterized earlier sports (think: Gladiators. Real men.) These 8 sports were chosen for their man-factor. Physical contact, body hair, and common injury level were all taken into account.

Calcio Fiorentino

This Italian sport originated in 16th century Florence. Called Bareknuckle Football, it’s a manlier version of, well, everything. Punching, head-butting, and choking are all legal. In 50 minutes each team tries to score as many points (cacce) as possible. In simpler terms this means that whichever team beats up the other more effectively will win. The closest thing we have to modern day gladiatorial combat. Seriously, they used to release prisoners to perform. Manly.


A game played primarily in Britain and its former colonies, rugby is a ball-sport played with a prolate spheroid. Or a fat football, whichever you prefer.

It’s a game with no pads and huge hairy dudes, the ’scrum’ is where most of the violence occurs. Punching, kicking, stomping are all common.

And click on the title to see some of the biggest hits in recent years–makes American Football look like a sport for pansies.


Essentially lacrosse for real guys. Hurling comes from Ireland, and is also played without protective padding.

Players attempt to score goals with wooden axe-shaped sticks; it’s widely known as being the world’s fastest field team sport in terms of game play. Tackling is permitted, as is two handed strikes and jabs with the stick. No need for a helmet here, unlike lacrosse players these guys have already been hit in the head enough times for it not to matter. Honestly, they hit a hard wooden ball at each other’s heads at close to a hundred miles an hour.

The Manliest Sports at Super Tight Stuff.