16. Bat and Trap is the drunken British cousin of baseball
England is world-famous for its pubs. An essential part of English life for centuries, the pub was once the social hub for communities, where competitive games were played. The amount of time people once spent in pubs thus led to the invention of some very unusual sports. Bat and Trap is one example, and involved someone hitting a spring mechanism with a bat to fire a ball in the air, which they then had to try to hit through two posts. If opponents standing between the posts caught the struck ball before it hit the ground, the batter was out.
Bat and Trap is first recorded as being played in 1671 in the West Country, but it is thought to be much older. The idea for the game possibly derived from games played by milkmaids and shepherds to pass the time during the agricultural day. Sadly, it died out in the 18th century, but was revived by Major Grantham of Balneath Manor, Sussex, in 1916. Grantham identified the sport as a suitable pastime for convalescing soldiers from the battlefields of World War I, and the sport has been played, chiefly by old people, under the radar ever since.