— Swamp Soccer
Ísafjörður, the largest town in Iceland’s remote Westfjords region, hosts the European Swamp Soccer Championships in August every year. Known as Mýrarbolti in Icelandic, and said to originate from Finland, the sport was designed as a training exercise for athletes and soldiers, due to the physical endurance that playing on soft bog demands. With six players a side and two 12-minute halves, it’s the odd cousin of association football.

The rules are a little unconventional. If a player (accidentally or on-purpose) inflicts an injury on another player, they receive a pink card, signifying that they must kiss the injury better; a flash of a black-card means that a player must play with a black head-bag for two minutes. Minor pushing and pulling is allowed, meaning that most players end up splashing face-first into the sodden dirt. Many teams put in serious effort to design their uniforms, all which become pretty unidentifiable after a few rounds of competition. Players are recommended to duct tape their shoes to their feet so that they don’t lose their shoes in the mud.

Mýrarbolti is not just a major sporting event; it’s also a summer festivity which brings Ísafjörður's couple of thousand inhabitants together in the stunning Tungudalur valley. The future of the championships is however unclear, as the local council recently issued a construction permit for a beach volleyball court in the same valley. Perhaps swamp volleyball will be on the cards for next year.