Cycleball combines cycling and soccer into one intense sport

Cycle ball is a niche sport that combines football and cycling in a unique way. It's been around for over a century, but it's still regarded as an unusual sport, especially in America. 

Also known as "Rad Ball," Cycle Ball was invented in 1863 by a German-American named Nick Kaufmann, and steadily gained popularity around Europe, according to Odd City Central.

Cycle Ball is played by two teams, made up of two players riding around a small court, trying to shoot the ball through their opponents' goal using their heads or the front wheels of their bikes. There are also five and six-player versions of the sport as well. A match consists of two 7-minute halves, in which players must keep their feet off the ground while trying to score more goals than their opponent. The team that scores the most goals wins the match.

See more of the sport:

18 PHOTOS
Cycle Ball, the sport you've never heard of
See Gallery
Cycle Ball, the sport you've never heard of
BOEBLINGEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 24: WM 2000, Boeblingen; OESTERREICH - BELGIEN (AUT - BEL) 5:2; TEAM AUT: Marco SCHALLERT, Dietmar SCHNEIDER/TEAM BEL: Cristophe BAUDU, Rik DEUVAERT (Photo by Sebastian Schupfner/Bongarts/Getty Images)
BOEBLINGEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 24: WM 2000, Boeblingen; SCHWEIZ - FRANKREICH (SUI - FRA) 2:0; TEAM SUI: Hanspeter FLACHSMANN, Peter JIRICEK/TEAM FRA: Michel MAILLAVIN, Michel TEIXEIRA (Photo by Sebastian Schupfner/Bongarts/Getty Images)
BOEBLINGEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 24: WM 2000, Boeblingen; DEUTSCHLAND - TSCHECHIEN (GER - CZE) 5:2; Michael LOMUSCIO/GER (Photo by Sebastian Schupfner/Bongarts/Getty Images)
(GERMANY OUT) Karl (links) und Oskar BucholzRadballsportler, Dauf FahrrädernSeptember 1961 (Photo by von der Becke/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
(GERMANY OUT) Karl (links) und Oskar BucholzRadballsportler, Dbei den Radball-Weltmeisterschaften in Wien; die Gebrüder wurden zum dritten Mal WeltmeisterOktober 1962 (Photo by Berlin-Bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
(GERMANY OUT) Karl (links) und Oskar BucholzRadballsportler, DPorträt in Trikots mit FahrradSeptember 1961 (Photo by Bruno Scholz/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
(Eingeschränkte Rechte für bestimmte redaktionelle Kunden in Deutschland. Limited rights for specific editorial clients in Germany.) Karl (links) und Oskar BucholzRadballsportler, DWeltmeisterschaft in Stuttgart: die Weltmeister nach dem Sieg1959 (Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
Chemnitz, GERMANY: Athletes of Japan and Hongkong compete in the men's cycle-ball event of the UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships 24 November 2006 in Chemnitz, eastern Germany. AFP PHOTO DDP/UWE MEINHOLD GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read UWE MEINHOLD/AFP/Getty Images)
Chemnitz, GERMANY: Athletes of Japan and Hongkong compete in the men's cycle-ball event of the UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships 24 November 2006 in Chemnitz, eastern Germany. AFP PHOTO DDP/UWE MEINHOLD GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read UWE MEINHOLD/AFP/Getty Images)
The ball is hit by a wheel as teams of Japan and Canada play during their cycle ball match on the first day of the UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships in Stuttgart, southwestern Germany, on December 2, 2016. / AFP / THOMAS KIENZLE (Photo credit should read THOMAS KIENZLE/AFP/Getty Images)
The ball is hit by a wheel as teams of Japan and Canada play during their cycle ball match on the first day of the UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships in Stuttgart, southwestern Germany, on December 2, 2016. / AFP / THOMAS KIENZLE (Photo credit should read THOMAS KIENZLE/AFP/Getty Images)
The ball is hit by a wheel as teams of Japan and Canada play during their cycle ball match on the first day of the UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships in Stuttgart, southwestern Germany, on December 2, 2016. / AFP / THOMAS KIENZLE (Photo credit should read THOMAS KIENZLE/AFP/Getty Images)
The ball is hit by a wheel as teams of Japan and Canada play during their cycle ball match on the first day of the UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships in Stuttgart, southwestern Germany, on December 2, 2016. / AFP / THOMAS KIENZLE (Photo credit should read THOMAS KIENZLE/AFP/Getty Images)
The ball is hit by a wheel as teams of Japan and Canada play during their cycle ball match on the first day of the UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships in Stuttgart, southwestern Germany, on December 2, 2016. / AFP / THOMAS KIENZLE (Photo credit should read THOMAS KIENZLE/AFP/Getty Images)
Die Deutschen mit Christian Hess, hinten, und Thomas Abel, nicht auf dem Bild, im Spiel gegen Oesterreich mit Martin Lingg, vorne, und Markus Broell, nicht auf dem Bild, aufgenommen am Sonntag, 11. November 2007, beim Radball Final an der Hallenradsport-WM in Winterthur. (KEYSTONE/Eddy Risch) Austria's Markus Broell, not pictured, and Martin Lingg, left, play against Germany's Thomas Abel, not pictured, and Christian Hess, right, during the men's cycling soccer final game at the artistic cycling world championships in Winterthur, Switzerland, Sunday, November 11, 2007. (KEYSTONE/Eddy Risch)
Die Deutschen mit Christian Hess, links, und Thomas Abel, rechts, im Spiel gegen Oesterreich mit Martin Lingg, 2.v.l., und Markus Broell, 2.v.r., aufgenommen am Sonntag, 11. November 2007, beim Radball Final an der Hallenradsport-WM in Winterthur. (AP Photo/Keystone/Eddy Risch) Austria's Markus Broell, 2nd from right, and Martin Lingg, 2nd from left, play against Germany's Thomas Abel, right, and Christian Hess, left, during the men's cycling soccer final game at the artistic cycling world championships in Winterthur, Switzerland, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2007. (AP Photo/Keystone/Eddy Risch)
Die Deutschen mit Christian Hess, links, und Thomas Abel, rechts, im Spiel gegen Oesterreich mit Martin Lingg, nicht auf dem Bild, und Markus Broell, Mitte, aufgenommen am Sonntag, 11. November 2007, bei der Qualifikation fuer das Finale beim Radball in der Gruppe A zur Hallenradsport-WM in Winterthur. (KEYSTONE/Eddy Risch) Austria's Markus Broell, center, and Martin Lingg, not pictured, play against Germany's Thomas Abel, right, and Christian Hess, left, during the men's cycling soccer groupe A final qualification game at the artistic cycling world championships in Winterthur, Switzerland, Sunday, November 11, 2007. (KEYSTONE/Eddy Risch)
Die Schweizer mit Timo Reichen, nicht auf dem Bild, und Peter Jiricek, rechts, im Spiel gegen Oesterreich mit Martin Lingg, links, und Markus Broell, nicht auf dem Bild, aufgenommen am Sonntag, 11. November 2007, bei der Qualifikation fuer das Finale beim Radball in der Gruppe A zur Hallenradsport-WM in Winterthur. (KEYSTONE/Eddy Risch) Switzerlnd's Timo Reichen, not pictured, and Peter Jiricek, right, play against Austria's Martin Lingg, left, and Markus Broell, not pictured, during the men's cycling soccer groupe A final qualification game at the artistic cycling world championships in Winterthur, Switzerland, Sunday, November 11, 2007. (KEYSTONE/Eddy Risch)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

The game was initially played with normal bicycles, but today, they are specifically designed without breaks or gears, making it even harder for the players to score a goal while keeping their feet off the ground. This also makes it extremely difficult to maintain control and stability of the bike, which can result in a number of nasty wipeouts. The bikes also have handlebars that point up, allowing athletes to sit up straight instead of having to hunch over while playing. 

Although there is isn't any money to be made through Cycle Ball and dealing with the fact that it may never become an Olympic sport, it still continues to remain popular throughout Europe. Each year, the best teams from all over the world come together to compete in the UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships where fans can watch and cheer on these extremely talented athletes. 

RELATED: Special winter shoes combine skating and skiing into one sport

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.