POLL RESULTS: Curling is the king of non-traditional sports

More than half the voters in this week’s Seattle Sidelines poll chose curling as the sport to try.

This week’s Seattle Sidelines poll was an interesting jaunt through my 16 months as the Herald’s community sports reporter. During that time I’ve written about all manners of unusual sports, some I never knew existed before I began writing the stories about them.

Therefore, I wanted to get a sense of what readers thought about those sports. This week’s question asked which unusual sport they were most interested in trying for themselves. Here’s the results:

Add the two together and curling was the runaway winner with 53 percent of the vote. Of the other options available on the Twitter poll, boomerang throwing and flowboarding tied for second with 18 percent, while roller derby came in at 4 percent. On the blog poll, which contained additional options, beach handball, drone racing and orienteering each received one vote.

First off, there was considerably less participation in this week’s poll than in normal weeks. That was not a surprise. These are sports that have small participation levels to begin with, indicating where they stand in the traditional American sports hierarchy. If I included a “none of the above” option, I wouldn’t be surprised if that ended up being the winner. However, I deliberately did not have that as an option because I wanted the poll to attract people who were generally interested in non-mainstream sports.

I’m also not surprised that curling ended up getting the most votes. I almost didn’t include curling for two reasons: first, it’s been 16 months since the curling national championships took place in Everett and second, the Olympics have brought the sport closer to the mainstream. Not only had I heard of curling long before writing about it, I actually tried curling out a couple times. Frankly, I highly encourage everyone to give it a try.

And maybe that’s what this poll really was, a reflection of my own inclination to try these sports out when I learn about them. I gave flowboarding a whirl after finding out it existed. I intend to try out orienteering when the Cascade Orienteering Club holds its event at Forest Park in Everett on July 18. And who knows, I may have some other first-person, off-the-beaten-path sports columns coming in the near future.

So if you have an unusual sport you participate in, hit me up at npatterson@heraldnet.com. Maybe I’ll write about it, and maybe I’ll give it a try myself, too.

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