We know, we know — it isn’t Ocho Day! It’s March and ocho means eight, aka Aug. 8, so why are we doing an Ocho Day schedule on March 22? Because we can, that’s why! There is never a bad time to celebrate creativity and athletes at the top of their sport, no matter how weird or obscure it might be. We at ESPN 8: The Ocho salute those who are blazing new trails with marbles and reaching new heights by stacking cups. As far as we are concerned, every day is the perfect day to test the boundaries of what is considered a “sport.”
Midnight: Johnsonville ACL Cornhole Championships: 2020 Kickoff Battle
Landing bags on the cornhole board and occasionally sinking one in the hole may be enough to steal a victory at your family cookout, but not in the American Cornhole League. There are more than 30,000 active players in the ACL and 122 professionals. The pros have mastered the ability to land “four baggers” (all four bags through the hole) on every turn.
2 a.m.: World Axe Throwing League: 2019 World Championship
Think darts, but with heavier, sharper objects and an ominously named “killshot.” Roughly 20,000 competitors a year hurl axes at a wooden target 12 feet away in this one-on-one game. There are five scoring rings, with six points awarded for a bull’s-eye. Killshots can only be declared on the fifth and 10th throw of a match.
4 a.m.: U.S. Open Ultimate Championships
No, not golf. Think championship major, but for another sport. Just don’t call it Frisbee. Ultimate is a 7-on-7 sport played with a flying disc and points are scored by catching the disc in the opponent’s end zone. Ultimate is unique in that it uses “self-officiating,” so dust up on your conflict resolution skills.
6 a.m.: 2019 Spikeball College Championship
If you’ve played volleyball, you know you can’t hit the ball more than three times before putting it over the net. The same rules apply in the sport known as roundnet, but the goal is to bounce the 12-inch ball off the net — not over it.
7 a.m.: 2019 Las Vegas Highland Games
There is hardly a greater way to measure one’s strength and athletic ability than the Highland Games. Think of all the common field events, but with a Celtic twist. Events such as the hammer throw and shot put transcend sports, but the Highland Games may be your first introduction to the caber toss, an event in which competitors hurl a full-size Scots pine with the goal of landing them in line with the original run.
7:30 a.m.: Putt Putt Championships
PGA tour cards are not needed to join the US ProMiniGolf Association, which hosts the US Open and Master’s tournaments annually. USPMGA Hall of Famer Greg Newport won last year’s Master’s for the second time since the 12-round tournament was established in 1998.
8 a.m.: 2019 IDEAL Electricians National Championship
There’s no dodging wrenches at the IDEAL Electricians National Championship in Orlando, where the best professional and apprentice electricians compete for the title of best electrician in America. In 2018, 37,000 electricians competed in regional competitions, but only 168 made it to Orlando. The relay and individual competitions showcase the finest tradespeople in the industry and are nothing short of … electric.
9 a.m.: E:60
Join host Jeremy Schaap as he shares some of the most unique stories from the E:60 vault, including some ugly dogs, a Sasquatch-calling competition and the most impressive facial hair in the world.
9:30 a.m.: 51st National Stone Skipping Competition
The best games are the free ones, so thank Mother Nature for stone skipping. Nearby lakes are usually a nice option to practice the art of skipping stones like the professionals, who compete each year for the Grand Hotel Goblets. In case you were wondering how you stack up to the best, the world record is 88 skips, set by Kurt “Mountain-Man” Steiner.
10:30 a.m.: 2007 World Sport Stacking Championships
Sport stacking involves arranging cups “up” into pyramids and “down” into nested columns. Hyeon Jong Choi holds the male record for the fastest 3-3-3 stack — three cups in three rows — with a time of 1.322 seconds. You can try this at home, but opt for plastic cups instead of the fine china.
11:30 a.m.: 2019 World Sign Spinning Championship
The sad Statue of Liberty directing traffic into the tax office can’t hold a torch to the world’s best sign spinners. Quick hands and incredible hand-eye coordination are the name of the game in this event.
Noon: 2006 Krystal World Hamburger Eating Championship
Burgers from this Southern fast-food chain are small, square sliders sized perfectly for copious consumption. Joey Chestnut holds the record of 103 burgers in 8 minutes. He’s the only competitor in the five-year history to cross the 100-burger threshold — known as the Double Tre Double Deuce.
1 p.m.: 2006 Johnsonville Brat Eating World Championship
No buns needed for this stomach-stretching challenge. As the brats are consumed “naked.” The brat contest has existed in various forms — with Carmen Cincotti demolishing 101 in 10 minutes at the Siegi’s World Championship Bratwurst Eating Contest At Linde Oktoberfest Tulsa.
2 p.m.: European TramDriver Championship
Experienced public transportation operators from all over Europe compete in five disciplines — speed and brake, lateral distance, the exact stop, overrun test and tram bowling.
3 p.m.: 2019 Stupid Robot Fighting League
Don’t ever let anybody disparage your junk drawer and the things you hoard in it. You never know what could be the clobbering arm for your next Stupid Robot! Fighters try to pound their opponents into extinction from wooden rods attached to the robot’s arms and legs. There are no weight or height restrictions, so they can use whatever they want to make their robot come to life.
3:30 p.m.: 46th Annual Cherry Pit Spitting Championship
Why throw out the pits of your cherries when you can save them for spitting at your annual family barbecue? Professionals gather every year to compete at the Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm in Eau Claire, Michigan, with the simple goal of spitting a pit as far as they can. The only rules are you can’t step over the line or use your hands to pop extra force into your cheeks.
4 p.m.: Professional Arm Wrestling Championships
It’s a strength test as old as any. The World Arm Wrestling League, operating out of Chicago, hosts a number of events and tournaments around the country. Don’t be fooled, though. There’s strategy involved, too, and the champions have mastered it.
4:30 p.m.: 2019 Golden Tee World Championship
No golf etiquette required for this arcade classic. Funky dressed avatars rule the leaderboard and 450-yard aces rule the links. Anything’s possible with a flick of the wrist and an unmatched ability to smash the backspin button.
5 p.m.: 2018 Classic Tetris World Championship
While you watch this tile-matching puzzle classic, study the habits of the master, Jonas Neubauer. The seven-time Classic Tetris champion holds the record for fastest player ever to hit the maximum score of 999,999, reaching it in 25.22 levels.
5:30 p.m.: E:60 on ESPN8 Presented by Liberty Mutual 6:30 p.m.: America’s Dodgeball Continental Cup: USA vs. Canada 7:30 p.m.: 2019 Jelle’s Marble Runs 8 p.m.: Slippery Stairs: College Tour 8:30 p.m.: 2019 Death Diving World Championship 9:30 p.m.: Dodge Juggle 3 10:30 p.m.: Moxie Games 3 Illustrations by Rafa Alvarez
This special Ocho episode includes frog jumping, catfish hunting, Japanese monster wrestling and cheese rolling, to name a few.
Everyone’s favorite gym class sport has gone global, and we’re not talking about Globo Gym. The World Dodgeball Federation holds nearly 30 worldwide events annually, varying across age ranges. The weight of an official dodgeball is 4.9 ounces.
Think of Olympic sports, but replace athletes with marbles. Created by Jelle and Dion Bakker, brothers from The Netherlands, the sport of executing marble disciplines is broadcasted on their YouTube channel that satirically mocks the actual Olympics, complete with play-by-play from American commentator Greg Woods. Perhaps most riveting is the Sand Rally, where eight marbles race toward the finish line down a twisting, turning beach track.
Slippery stairs is exactly what it sounds like — a bunch of people trying to climb up steps covered in slippery stuff. The event that first begin making the rounds on Japanese game shows around 2016 went viral on social media in late 2017 for its built-in slapstick hilarity.
If “death” is in the name of your competitive sport of choice, be ready to bring the intensity. This Norwegian contest is extreme pool diving. Competitors jump off a platform approximately 33 feet — or 10 meters — high, and hold their arms and legs in the shape of an X, for as long as possible before crashing the water’s surface. In freestyle, divers mix tricks into their falls.
Sure, you can juggle, but can you do it while an opponent is hurling a rubber ball at you? That’s the name of the game in Dodge Juggle. In a 1-on-5 format, the dodgeball thrower has one minute to take out the jugglers by destroying their juggling patterns. In isolated one-on-one, a three-club juggler and a dodgeball wielder are separated by 50 feet. The dodgeball chucker also has a minute and unlimited balls to attempt to take out the juggler.
Think outside the box, like playing table tennis with your head, and you’ll arrive at the Moxie Games, held annually as part of SkillCon in Las Vegas.
5:30 p.m.: E:60 on ESPN8 Presented by Liberty Mutual
6:30 p.m.: America’s Dodgeball Continental Cup: USA vs. Canada
7:30 p.m.: 2019 Jelle’s Marble Runs
8 p.m.: Slippery Stairs: College Tour
8:30 p.m.: 2019 Death Diving World Championship
9:30 p.m.: Dodge Juggle 3
10:30 p.m.: Moxie Games 3
Illustrations by Rafa Alvarez