Everyone has heard of the World Series of Baseball, but if you are like many others out there today, the MLB just doesn’t hold your intention. Perhaps you have some different tastes and, fortunately for you, there are quite a few other World Series out there that have absolutely nothing to do with baseball. Here are 6 such events that are still around today.
Previously called World Series by Nissan, this event started in 1998, but changed pace when it changed name in 2005. Originally, the contestants used a 2.0 liter Nissan engine, then a 3.5L V6, and now a 3.4L V8. Recently, Renault announced that they are going to stop backing the series, which likely means there will be another change to the standard vehicle chassis. Their co-organizer, RPM, will take over operations in the 2016 series and who knows what sort of changes might occur going forward from there?
Everyone is familar with boxing and oftentimes you either love it or you hate it. With the World Series of boxing introduced in 2010, teams of boxers from different weight classes work together to make their way through the tournament. As a professional international boxing competition, contendors cannot use head protection and must compete bare-chested to qualify. This tournament allows Olympic boxers to maintain eligibility and has continued gaining some popularity since its introduction.
Another recent World Series event, the Fast5 Netball tournament, premiered in October of 2009. Right now, the tournament is limited to just 6 of the best netball teams from around the world. The International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA) is working on refining the sport; but as it stands now, it can be compared to Twenty20 cricket and rugby sevens.
Established in 2006, the World Series of Beer Pong called for all late-night, drunk warriors to prepare for a competition like never seen before. This initial year saw about 80 teams compete from both the United States and Canada; the winner received a $10,000 prize. As the tournament popularity has grown, the process has evolved and the most recent tournament used Satellite Tournaments around the US and Canada to help narrow down competitors. Ultimately, the preliminary round took two days and on day three, the 128 highest-ranked teams from the preliminary rounds competed for the title. At this point, the grand prize stands at $50,000.
Probably the second tournament that came to your mind when you heard “World Series,” no list would be complete without talking about the World Series of Poker. Founded back in 1970, this is one of the longest-running events outside of professional sporting leagues. During its many years, the series has consisted of over 65 different events; but with the popularity of Texas hold ’em, over half of the modern events take place in one of these categories. Today, thousands of poker players from around the world attend the World Series and all of them compete to get the coveted bracelet (the multi-million dollar cash prize probably helps, too). Of all the non-baseball World Series, this is definitely the most popular.
In 2004, someone got the bright idea based on poker’s success that blackjack might make for a good World Series candidate. Of course, they failed to account for how monotonous blackjack can be and by its 4th season, it pretty much faded away into oblivion. Similarly, 2006 brought about a new World Series of Darts; but after an embarrassing showing by America, no one wanted to see a second season. Though darts might be fun to play, is it really that hard to imagine why no one would want to watch?