Most Ridiculous Surfaces in Sports

Eric NewmanCorrespondent IIIJuly 30, 2013

Most Ridiculous Surfaces in Sports

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    With the exceptions of Michael Jordan, Vince Carter, Blake Griffin and perhaps a few other dukes of dunk, gravity weighs athletes down. They spend the majority of their time making contact with terra firma. Or not-so-firma as in a few forthcoming instances. Or luna firma in another instance.

    Ah yes, the playing surface; it's always there but rarely regarded. Unless it is truly unique. And then the floor itself can upstage even the biggest sports stars.

    Click on to see what lies beneath.

The USS Yorktown

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    Sure, workers laid some quality polish maple flooring on top of the steel plating, but the players of No. 10 Florida and Georgetown were still balling on AN AIRCRAFT CARRIER.

    That is until the game was called on account of floor becoming a swimming pool.

    Condensation—the great bane of all sporting events played on instruments of war.

FIU Panthers: Beach Basketball

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    Vajazzling is out, bajazzling is in. That's right ladies and gents, using a little something something to spiff up a college ball court is all the rage right now. Let's see, Long Beach has sun-drenched palm trees, Towson has tiger stripes, George Washington has monuments.

    FIU takes the jazzle prize though, with its new beach towel court.

Tal's Hill

3 of 15 makes sense to put those on an incline. It's nice to watch the game, rather than the dude's mullet in front of you, right?

    Ski slopes, yeah makes sense to put those on an incline as well. Not much fun just poling your way across flat terrain, is it?

    But ball fields? Well, it's been done. Tal's Hill at Minute Maid Park is a 90-foot stretch of field at a 30 degree incline. And hey, while we're playing drunken ballpark architect, let's just throw a flagpole on that hill. What do you say?

Lava Fragments: Cerro Negro Volcano, Nicaragua

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    It's not just that you're boarding down what was all too recently burbling magma in the bowels of the Earth, it's also that the entire peak is a tremor-wracked, gas-emitting time bomb just waiting to shower you and the other unsuspecting sand boarders with a lovely fountain of lava.

Men's Room Floor in Any Stadium

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    Men, it's quite simply, really. Unzip, pee, zip, wash, dry, chuck the paper towel in the trash. Somehow though, game after game after game, we turn the men's room floor into a Class 5 health hazard zone within moments of the opening play.

Glass Floor Glow Court

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    Welcome to the ball court you always knew would be on the USS Enterprise (if it ever really came to exist). But it's not on the Enterprise. It's in a small Bavarian village. And with its uber cool, flip-a-switch-and-transmogrify-the-court technology, it may soon well be coming to a gym near you.

Nutty Olympic Volleyball Courts

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    A surprise invasion occurred during last summer's Olympic Games in London. The volleyball courts in London's Horse Guards Parade were hijacked.

    By squirrels.

    Yes, seems the fluffy little fellas found the sandy courts a sumptuous locale for stashing acorns that they collected from nearby St. James' Park.

    The stealth attack was discovered by some of the Olympic teams when they hit the courts for practice.

    Sand was raked. Nutty treats were removed. Invasion was foiled.

Southampton Hot Coal Training

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    You probably don't often consider surfaces when it comes to soccer training. But if you did, you'd think of turf, or hardwood floors. Tarmac, perhaps.

    Hot coals probably wouldn't leap to mind.

    Well Saint's manager Mauricio Pochettino figured what better way to kickoff the season and bring the players closer together than to scorch the soles of their feet off.


The Sonoran Desert Floor

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    The Baja 1000 is one of the deadliest, most thrilling off-road races on the planet.

    Buggies, motorcycles, ATVS, stock VW Beetles, trophy trucks, and custom-built-thingamajigs chance the rough terrain of this Mexican peninsula.

    Obstacles include deep sand, razor-sharp rocks, towering cacti, coyotes, iguanas, rattlesnakes, bandidos, and even spectator-built booby traps.

Munich's Tripped out 3D Basketball Court

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    Munich—the city that brought you urban surfing, now brings you otherworldly basketball. The soft orange-red tartan covering will cushion your numerous tumbles as you try to game on this drunken-yet-regulation-sized court.

Federer/Nadal Customized Court

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    Federer was the King of Grass. Nadal was the King of Clay. But who was the king of tennis?

    This court needed to be built to answer the question.

    Nadal was crowned monarch after winning the 2007 exhibition match on this oddest of courts.

Stairs Tennis Court

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    When you were a kid at some point and you probably put stickers in a sticker album. Am I right?  Remember how you were young and impatient and a lot of the stickers ended up wonky on the page?

    Well some people just never grow out of those bad habits.

    This unique court is actually an art installation by artist Laurent Perbos. The concept is pretty straight up: place tennis courts in bizarre locales. Click here to see some of the other installations.

Aluminum Ladders

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    The Khumbu Icefall region of Everest is a man-eater. Giant ice towers called seracs constantly topple, raining down trailer truck-sized chunks of ice. And the region is littered with chasms as deep as skyscrapers are high.

    To cross those chasms, Everest climbers walk (or crawl) across aluminum ladders. Looking down mid-ladder gives one a heaping taste of mortality.

Helipad of Burj Al Arab Sailboat Hotel in Dubai

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    Court rules:

    1. No lobs as the ball is apt to get sucked into the engine of a passing jet.

    2. Play the baseline at your own risk.

    3. Yield the right of way to landing choppers.

    4. All players must fetch their own out-of-bounds balls.

    5. The time limit for fetching your own out-of-bounds balls is 30 min (or 4 hour and 30 minutes if the elevator is out of service).

Lunar Soil

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    On February 6, 1971, Apollo 14 astronaut Alan Shepard hit two golf balls on the surface of the moon. Shepard took the shots one-handed with a six-iron head fitted to the shaft of a lunar scooping tool.

    Shepard shanked the first shot; the ball rolled into a crater about 40 yards away. "The next one I hit pretty flush," Shepard said in a 1991 interview. "Here it would have gone 30 yards, but because there’s no atmosphere there, it went about 200 yards."

    Not the best performance for the first off-world sporting endeavor, but hey it's been more than 40 years and Shepard still holds the course record.