ESPN2 is going to undergo a temporary rebrand as they will become ESPN8 “The Ocho.” Yes, on August 8 (8/8), “The Ocho” is coming back for a second consecutive year and is bringing back some of the offbeat and seldom seen sports and games that would be appropriate for an offbeat network.
Of course, the seeds for “The Ocho” were planted thanks to the movie Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, where Average Joe’s and Globo Gym faced off in a dodgeball tournament on “The Ocho.” This year, ESPN is showing Dodgeball to kick off and end their 24 hour block of Ocho related programming.
In between, ESPN2 is going to be showing a variety of sports including dodgeball, ultimate frisbee, darts, and chess boxing, among other sports. It also serves as a bit of a reminder of the early days of ESPN when they showed things like slow pitch softball and Australian Rules Football to fill out their programming.
ESPN’s list of events for “The Ocho” is as follows:
SkyZone Ultimate Dodgeball Championship: 32 teams compete for the ultimate title in trampoline dodgeball.
2018 Dodgeball World Cup: The best dodgeball teams from around the world will compete for the title at Madison Square Garden Saturday, August 4.
US Open Ultimate Championships: A self-officiating competition with two teams on a field similar to a football field, but the object used is a disc. The objective of the game is to catch a pass in the opponent’s end zone.
Spikeball East Tour Series: Spikeball is essentially volleyball around a small trampoline instead of a net. Two teams of two players pound a small ball off the trampoline and must avoid letting the ball hit the ground.
Cornhole: ACL Pro Invitational: The ACL Pro Invitational brings together the best cornhole players from around the United States to compete for over $70,000 in cash prizes.
Major League Eating: The 2006 Johnsonville Brat Eating World Championship and the 2006 Krystal World Hamburger Eating Championship highlight the world’s best iron stomachs.
World Championship of Ping Pong: In its eighth year, the World Championship of Ping Pong has played an important role in the resurgence of the sport and elevating it to the international television stage.
Fenway Hurling Classic: A series of hurling matches played at Fenway Park in Boston.
Amazing Games: Spain: Running of the Bulls, Human Castle and Grass Cutting.
Korea: War of the Wagons, Korean Wrestling and Blitz Chess.
England: Lawn Mower Racing, Cumberland Wrestling and Jousting.
Premier League Darts: The tournament, launched in 2005, features 10 of the best players from the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) circuit competing in a round-robin format.
Kabaddi: A contact team sport that originated in India involving two teams and a unique rule. The goal is for each team’s “raider” to tag as many of the opposing team’s players as possible and return to his/her home half all while taking just a single breath.
The Saber Legion 2018: Awakening: The world’s biggest custom dueling organization founded in 2015 highlighting the best in high-level light saber combat.
World SUMO Challenge: 24 World Class International SUMO wrestlers compete at Madison Square Garden.
Women’s Flat Track Derby: Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby is a fast-paced contact team sport spotlighting speed, strategy and athleticism. The flat track style of roller derby rolled onto the scene in 2001and has grown to more than 400 leagues worldwide per the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA).
Chess Boxing: Yes, you read that correctly. Chess boxing is a hybrid sport started in 2003 that is designed to test both the body and the mind with three minute rounds of each sport for a total of 11 rounds.
Moxie Games: A relatively new event that combines a variety of sports into one, such as dodgeball and juggling, martial arts and volleyball, and table tennis and soccer.
Quite honestly, some of these sports look rather entertaining and should get more coverage. I watch the darts and it’s incredibly entertaining with the fans reacting to every dart thrown as if it’s the final minute of the Super Bowl. Chess boxing is a great combination of the mind and the body where one must be skilled in both to be successful. I’d love to see more of this on ESPN channels during the dead of summer instead of constantly hearing the endless blabbering of Stephen A. Smith. ESPN does show cornhole and ultimate on occasion but we could use some eating competitions or hurling. At least we’ll get this for 24 hours.