Not to rag on the World Cup or anything, but why run after a football when you can just drive towards it on a motorbike? Well that's the spirit of Motor-ball, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. All you need to play is 1) a huge inflatable ball, 2) a bike of some kind, and 3) the need for speed... and maybe 4) a death wish.

The jury's out on how it started. Some trace it to 1930s France, where they call it Moto-ball others say it was started by the Worcester Motor-ball Club in 1934. Regardless, at its peak in the mid-century there were teams all across Europe and even Russia. The sport's still out there today, but remains rather niche...

"You can dribble or kick with either foot, but you've got to keep your eyes peeled," reported British Pathé at a British game in 1964, "The veterans [have] 250cc racing bikes," and each team has two players on stand-bye because, well, getting punted in the face is not uncommon (hence the helmets). You can also spot a Motor-Baller by his or her knee-high boots, which protect from chaffing and high-speed contact as they try to nestle the 40 cm wide ball in front of their foot...

Check out this match at Hurst Farm, in Hampshire, England in 1959, when according to the reporter, there were sixteen teams competing regularly. 

A health & safety nightmare, the sport doesn't appear to have survived into the 21st century, but we did find something else worth a mention, because apparently there's no limit to how much fun you can have with a ball and two wheels. Ever heard of "Cycle ball"? No? Well you're missing out because it even have its own World Championship, and the ability to fill an arena.

So when you can't make up your mind whether you want to play football or cycle professionally, consider, Cycle Ball, the 21st century love child of Moto-ball...  

©Riding Vintage

©Riding Vintage

We're in. Fancy joining our fantasy moto-ball league...?