8 sports as unique as Austin — from ax-throwing to cornhole
When the city has a slogan like “Keep Austin Weird,” you know there’s going to be some pretty interesting options for extracurricular activities. If you’re looking to pick up a new sport or just become an enthusiastic fan of something a little different, consider one of these unique choices.
What if we told you there is a place in the city where you can throw axes — for fun — and BYOB while you're at it? Urban Axes is bringing the sport of ax throwing to urban settings with their group bookings and 8-week leagues. Participants throw hatchets at wooden targets and earn points based on where on the target they land (it's similar to darts).
What to know: There’s a coordinator/coach supervising the whole thing to ensure safety protocols are being followed. No experience is required, but only people 21 and over are allowed to join in on the fun.
Texas Roller Derby
Texas Roller Derby began back in 2001, and since then the league has been providing rowdy entertainment for participants and spectators alike. The action packed game takes place on a banked track between two teams. If you want to join one of the five teams in the league, tryouts begin on March 4. If you're not quite ready for that, they offer skate clinics, a Derby Academy, and a no-commitment Wreck League.
What to know: While men can practice with Texas Roller Derby, their teams are comprised only of people who identify as female or gender-neutral. All are welcome to take in the fast-paced fun as a fan though, and you can check out one of their games at the Palmer Event Center.
Austin Kayak Polo
Mix up water polo, basketball, hockey, and kayaking and you get Kayak Polo (called Canoe Polo internationally). Two teams compete by trying to get a water polo ball into a goal using their hands and a paddle. Austin's team is called the Aquabats, and they've been playing the game for over 20 years.
What to know: Monday evenings are dedicated to teaching new players, but let them know ahead of time so they can bring you the appropriate gear.
Austin Bubble Soccer
Put a little bounce in your match with Austin Bubble Soccer. In this unique spin on the game, each player dons a giant inflated bubble that protects his or her upper body and head, making for some pretty fun bumper car-like moments. Austin Bubble Soccer is a local, mobile business, so you can set up a game for your friends, family, or company at various places around the city (they're happy to provide their recommendations for choice spots).
What to know: Austin Bubble Soccer is full service, meaning they’ll take care of reserving the venue, setting up and taking down equipment, and training so you can focus on having a great time.
Archery Tag is a bit like dodgeball and a bit like paintball, but with arrows. Before you sound the alarms, don’t worry — the arrows are foam-tipped so you won't actually get hurt if you’re hit by one. In fact, the only protective gear you need to wear is a facemask. In this sport, two teams set out to tag their opponents or knock out the discs in their opponent's target.
What to know: Like Austin Bubble Soccer, getting in on the action is easy since Freedom Fun, a party equipment company, will deliver and set up everything you need to get a game going.
Texas Xtreme Football
Austin may be all Longhorns all the time, but we also have a semi-pro football team. Texas Xtreme takes on teams from other cities like San Antonio, San Marcos, and Killeen. Their 2018 season starts in February, and you can catch their home games at Westwood High School.
What to know: While it may be too late to get on the team this year, those who just graduated high school or college, go to a school without a football team, or are just plain passionate about football are welcome to try out.
Perhaps you know this beloved game as bean bag toss or sack toss, but cornhole is a true classic. For all of you who can’t resist a cornhole setup when you’re at the bar, consider taking your talents to a competitive league. Austin Sports & Social Club and ATX Sports & Adventures both host their own cornhole leagues. Here’s your chance to prove you really are the cornhole champion.
What to know: Whichever one you choose, you’ll have the pleasure of playing 10 matches and you’ll get in on some nice happy hour specials, too.
Missing those dodgeball days back in grade school? Just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean you have to give up the game. Austin Sports & Social Club has a coed dodgeball league where you’ll get to play a guaranteed 14 games. Eight players on each side start and games are best of seven.
What to know: Another nice bonus for participants is the fact that they have official happy hours with exclusive specials after every match.