Futuristic sports are often ultra-violent gladiatorial takes on American Football. For some reason no-one thinks a variant of crown green bowls is going to take the 23rd century by storm. Rollerball is the much-copied classic model. A cross between roller-derby and basketball, it involves skaters and motorcycle riders zooming around a circular ring trying to slam a metal ball into the opposing team's goal. The teams are made up of strikers, enforcers (who cripple the opposition) and bikers (the strikers hang onto their bikes to reach higher speeds). In the remake, there were more ramps, and sillier costumes, but it all felt so much less visceral and violent than in the original, like a piece of WWE theatre.
Who should represent the UK? Joey Barton
2 THE TRANS-CONTINENTAL DEATH RACE
Death Race 2000
The most tasteless sport ever devised, a combination of popular entertainment and population control. In the year 2000 the biggest sporting event in history is this no-holds-barred auto race across the United Provinces of America, starting in New York and finishing in New Los Angeles. Reaching the finish line first is incidental. The aim is to score points by mowing down as many innocent pedestrians as possible along the way : 10 extra points for women, 40 points for teenagers, 70 points for children under 12, and a massive 100 points for squishing the over 75s. 5000 points for splattering Neelix.
Who should represent the UK? Jeremy Clarkson
Battlestar Galactica (old and new)
In the original show, Triad was a more physical form of basketball, played between two teams of two in a four sided court. There's a hole in each wall, into which players have to throw the silver ball to score. The opposing team attempts to block them. You can only pass by bouncing the ball off the floor or the walls. After a goal is scored, all four players have to play ring-a-ring-o-roses in the centre of the court until the ball is spat out again. Very popular with female classic Battlestar Galactica fans, because the players wear skimpy silver lamé briefs that allow you to assess the size of Starbuck's packet.
In the original show there was also a Poker-style card game called Pyramid. This was not a sport, but the reason you need to know this fact will become clear in a moment.
In the Ronald D Moore version of Battlestar Galactica , Triad made a reappearance, but with a number of changes. It was played on a three-sided court, players had to get the ball into a hole at the top of the pyramid and the sparkly shorts had gone. Oh, and it was called Pyramid, not Triad. Why? Because Ronald D Moore got mixed up, as he himself has admitted… Yes, the reimagined series had a card game called Triad instead.
Who should represent the UK? Shane Williams
Star Trek Voyager "Tsunkatse"
LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE!!! Tsunkatse (pronounced soon-kot-see) is an extreme fighting sport that's big on Norcadia Prime. Two opponents beat the crap out of each other in a small arena. Each fighter wears "polaron disruptors" on their hands and feet. These zap their opponent with a "bio-plasmic charge" when they make contact with the sensor on the opponent's chest. Bouts vary in seriousness. A "blue" or "green" match is non-lethal, a "red" match is to the death. Oh, how we'd love to see Chris Eubank thrown in the arena with a pissed-off Hirogen!
Who should represent the UK? Lembit Opik
Salute of the Jugger
Rutger Hauer. Two words which are your guarantee of low quality straight-to-video dung. He stars in this 1990 film set in a post-apocalyptic world where nomadic "juggers" roam the wastelands challenging people to games of "jugging". It's sort of like gladiatorial rugby. Except instead of having to score a try, you have to jam a dog's skull onto a stake. Oh, and everyone except the "Skull Carrier" has big poles and mallets to pummel the opposition with.
Who should represent the UK? The UK Women’s Hockey Team
The Prisoner "Hammer into Anvil"
A barking mad combination of wrestling and trampolining, played wearing a long red gown, a crash helmet, and padded gloves. It takes place in a room surrounded by a narrow ledge, containing two trampolines separated by a tank of water. The two combatants bounce around trying to throw their opponent into the water. Did Patrick McGoohan do lots of acid in the ’60s?
Who should represent the UK? Tom Daley
In the year 2025, all sports have been overtaken by Futuresport. A dangerous game involving rollerblades and hover-boards, it was created as a means of settling gang disputes. When the world is threatened by terrorists, the game's inventor encourages them to settle their differences though a game. Now why did Bill Clinton never come up with a plan like that? Forget pain-staking diplomacy, lock the Palestinians and the Israeli government in a sports centre and get them to sort it all out over a friendly game of badminton.
Who should represent the UK? Diversity
Star Trek the Next Generation "The Icarus Factor"
A futuristic martial art practised by Will Riker and his dad, that resembles one of the games in Gladiators . The two players wallop each other with three metre long staffs whilst wearing body armour and blindfolds. A proximity detector at the end of the staff gives each player information about where their opponent is. Points are scored for hitting the other player, and for knocking him outside of the playing area. Extra points are awarded for whacking Riker in the goolies.
Who should represent the UK? Wolf from Gladiators
9 PARISSES SQUARES
Star Trek the Next Generation "11001001" and others
Mysterious 24th century sport mentioned many times in The Next Generation, but never actually seen being played. All we know is it involves "ion mallets" and two teams of four players, and it's pretty tough. Participants wear protective armour all down one arm, and in the Voyager episode "Real Life" (where the holographic Doctor creates a family) his daughter dies after hitting her head on the court during a game. To be honest, we'd like to see this in the Olympics simply so we can see it.
Who should represent the UK? Kevin Pietersen
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
The high-speed racing contest treasured throughout the galaxy as one of the few bits worth waking up for in The Phantom Menace . When it's over, set your alarm clock for the lightsaber battle with Darth Maul and go back to sleep.
Who should represent the UK? Lewis Hamilton
11 Flamingo Croquet
Alice in Wonderland
A game of unbelievable difficulty because not only does it require the skill necessary to crack a ball through a hoop, but also the skill necessary to train your Flamingo not to flinch away from having its head impaled on hedgehog spines. We’re not sure the RSPCA would allow this one to go ahead.
Who should represent the UK? Rory McIlroy
12 Monster Wrestling
Humans versus monsters in a wrestling ring. There’s not much more you can say about this, apart from, “Why hasn’t Michael Bay done a remake?” And then immediately regret saying it. Arena was an awesomely awful cheapie from 1989, mainly notable for the amount of future Babylon 5 and Deep Space 9 actors who appeared in it: Marc Alaimo, Armin Shimerman, Hamilton Camp, Claudia Christian and Shari Shattuck. It was obviously some form of training ground to get actors used to acting against unfeasible amounts of latex.
Who should represent the UK? Boris Johnson
The sport on this list with the most fully-formed set of rules, Quidditch, which is played on broomsticks, is like aerial basketball with three types of balls and a wildcard… you never know how long a match is going to be.
Chasers try to get the Quaffle through hoops and the Beaters try to stop the two Bludgers by hitting them with wooden sticks, while the two opposing Seekers try to be the first to catch the Golden Snitch. When one of them does, the game is over. Hoops score 10 points each while catching the Snitch is worth 150 points. So if a team is losing by more than 150 points, presumably their Seeker stops trying to catch the Snitch and just tries to stop the other Seeker getting it instead. So if a team has really crap Chasers and a brilliant Seeker, the game could go on for eternity, or as long as those camping scenes in Deathly Hallows Part 2 , whichever feels longer.
Who should represent the UK? One Direction
14 Zero Gravity Squash
Doctor Who "The Leisure Hive”
Squash in zero gravity. Genius. Is there a sport that couldn’t be improved with the extraction of gravity. Imagine trampolining. And the shot put.
Who should represent the UK? Andy Murray
15 Robot Boxing
In 2020, human boxers have been replaced by robot boxers controlled by humans. This means the bouts can be more violent but less bloody. This makes it a sport more akin to motor racing than boxing, where the skill of the human operator is possibly less important than power of the machine he’s driving. In fact, just like Robot Wars .
But having said that, of all the sports on this list, this is the one we’d truly like to see in real life. Because whatever else you think of this 2011 film, the spectacle of watching two giant robots clout the hydraulic fluid out of each other was just so damned cool.
Who should represent the UK? Sir Killalot