• Tue. Mar 28th, 2023

The Ocho Is Back!

ByCollin Fewkes

Aug 7, 2022

Photo via ESPN

The Ocho is back baby!

One of the most exciting and unique days on ESPN is returning to your television for the sixth year in a row, starting on August 5th, 2022. After finding a surprising amount of success in 2016, ESPN has decided to name August 8th “The Ocho”. This day is dedicated to all the bizarre and obscure sports that you may have never heard of. This year’s lineup includes Corgi Races, Air Hockey Championships, Axe Throwing, Omegaball, etc. While this may be an entertaining use of the day to show a classic Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller comedy along with abnormal sports, it is so much more than that.

As someone who currently works for a sport not many have heard about, the Ocho is a great way for avid sports watchers to learn something new, let alone get the representation on television for it.

Everyday games that we may find as a hobby have progressed into competitive action and allow for people to win titles and trophies. When you were young, did you ever think that you could win a trophy for air hockey or bouncing on a pogo stick? Well, the Ocho is a great way to show that you could have. But more than the Ocho being good for ESPN, it is great for the representation of the dedication these athletes, coaches, and fans give to these sports.

As I mentioned previously, I currently work for the National Lacrosse League. Now, people know lacrosse but with my league, people do not even know it is for indoor lacrosse. People do not know the rules, the scoring or even how long a game can take. The same can be said for all sports shown on the Ocho.

In a culture today that is attempting to show representation and diversity, sports are growing just the same. In the last decade, we have seen video games become one of the highest-paying sports competitions in the world. Cornhole is no longer a drinking game at a tailgate, but is an exciting sport of skill and strategy. The diversity of sports continues to grow which makes things more exciting and possible for kids who might have a height challenge or may not be as skilled as in traditional sports.

The main importance of the Ocho is this: for the longest time in athletic history, we have had to become used to seeing a “typical athlete.”

Nice muscles, taller, fast, agile, good hand-eye coordination. Things of that nature. But showing the growth of different sports is not just a great way to show that sports are changing, but that the idea of an athlete is changing. No longer do people have to think they are not tall enough or fast enough to play something. Or maybe they just do not have a natural talent. Plenty of sports that the Ocho has to offer take training but not a lot of money to practice. This exposure allows kids to see a future of them in sports that one may not have been possible just a few years ago.

Ultimately, what started off as just a silly idea to show some obscure sports all over the world turned into something so much more. People in countries everywhere are now being exposed to the unusual and are loving it. There is a reason ESPN looks to do this tradition every year and it is for the representation. I only hope that moving forward, more of these sports are discovered and those that have been discovered, eventually make it to the primetime slots.

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