Excerpt from the book Sports the Olympics Forgot This book describes 40 sports that ought to be played but aren’t, because I made them up.


The Brazilians and the Cubans contested the first final in 1964 with the Cubans winning 21-17 in the fifth set, largely because one of the Brazilian players suffered a puncture when reaching for an easy smash at 17 – 17 in the final set. The player, Alvares, fell into the net and was penalized a point and the Cubans received the serve. Alvares asked for a bucket of water to fix his inner tube and while the other players were distracted, the Cubans scored two aces to be serving for the match at 20 – 17. Alvares left the court protesting at the injustice of it all, but forgot the bucket. When the Cubans served, one of the Brazilians cycled into the bucket spilling water everywhere, causing them to slip and slide all over the place. When the Cubans returned the ball all the Brazilians were at the back of the court remounting. When the ball landed Cuba won 21 – 17. Alvares was inconsolable afterwards and said: “God deserted us today; instead of baptizing us as the first winners of this tournament, he decided to baptize the court. I will not go to church this weekend for this betrayal.”

After this strange ending another rule was introduced whereby players weren’t allowed to fix punctures on court, but were substituted instead and couldn’t play any further part in the game. The idea behind this rather draconian rule was that players should be responsible and look after their equipment in a professional manner. The Brazilians have won the championships the most times with seven victories and Cuba come second with five wins.