All Of Star Trek’s Weirdest Fake Sports, Including The One With Dwayne Johnson

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

Star Trek sports

In the world of Star Trek, our favorite characters enjoy some very familiar sports: Captain Sisko is a passionate lover of baseball, for instance, while Dr. Bashir and Chief O’Brien love to play competitive darts. However, as fun as it is to see our present-day sports in the 24th century, it’s always infinitely more entertaining when Star Trek busts out a crazy fake sport.

Some of these are truly insane, and we recommend you pour yourself a tall glass of Saurian brandy before you dive into our roundup of the weirdest fake sports in Star Trek history.


Commander Riker faces off against his father in an Ambo Jitsu match

In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “The Icarus Factor,” Commander Riker decided to take out his daddy issues on his actual dad by engaging in Ambo-jitsu, a Japanese combat game where opponents blindly fight each other with giant staffs. It was already fun enough to think that Starfleet officers like to beat the crap out of each other like American Gladiators in the peaceful hippie world of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but what makes this sport actually crazy is the combat outfit each opponent must wear. 

Honestly, Riker looks like a Power Ranger late to his FetLife date, and we can’t look away from the stupid fight scene with his dad because his armor is that much stupider. At least it’s a season two episode…if we were watching Star Trek: The Next Generation’s infamous first season, we’d probably have to borrow Riker’s visor so we couldn’t see anything (trust us…that would be a mercy).


Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) playing Velocity on Star Trek: Voyager
Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) playing Velocity on Star Trek: Voyager

The longer you watch Star Trek, the more you’ll see that the writers’ idea of coming up with a “new” sport usually involves taking something familiar and adding a slight sci-fi twist. This is certainly true of Velocity, a game that functions much like racquetball. But as we see in the Voyager episode “Hope and Fear,” this futuristic version of racquetball also involves phasers.

If the idea of adding a gun to racquetball sounds completely insane, then we’re sorry to say that you have too much common sense for the Star Trek writers’ room. When Captain Janeway and Seven of Nine face off against one another, the flying drones they are using nearly crash into Janeway, and she ends up shooting one of them directly at Seven of Nine. Maybe this is a sport that officers secretly play with fellow crewmen they just really, really hate?


Dwayne Johnson and Jeri Ryan playing Tsunkatse
Dwayne Johnson and Jeri Ryan playing Tsunkatse

“Tsunkatse” is the one Star Trek sport that has an entire episode named after it. That’s because this wasn’t just any episode: it was the episode featuring Dwayne Johnson, back when he was better known as a wrestler than an actor. In a truly original move, the Star Trek producers used this episode to have Seven of Nine fight “The Rock” onscreen, and Tsunkatse was the silly name given to the type of fighting they engaged in.

This Star Trek sport seems more phoned in than most because it’s really just kickboxing with a crazy twist: each fighter wears a harness, and if their opponent hits the right area on the front or back of the harness, it administers an electric shock. In some cases, these fights can be to the death. By the time you reach the end credits, you may wish you had received your own fatal shock so you didn’t have to watch such a shlocky episode of Star Trek.

Parrises Squares

Scenes from Star Trek referencing Parrises Squares

Parrises Squares is definitely the most mysterious Star Trek sport because it is the fictional game mentioned most often but never actually portrayed onscreen. In fact, we don’t even know the rules, so you might be wondering how we could declare this one of Star Trek’s weirdest sports. That’s simple: everything we do know about Parrises Squares demonstrates sounds completely bizarre.

For example, players have to wear padded uniforms (we see this in The Next Generation episode “11001001”) to protect themselves, presumably from the ion mallet that players use. There is also some kind of ramp, and it sounds like players might use it to attack each other judging from how Dr. Crusher chides Riker for injuries sustained via aggressive gameplay. The game is so dangerous that parents freak out about their kids playing it, and we even see a child (albeit a holographic child) die after sustaining fatal complications from her game wounds.

A sport so dangerous that people can easily die but that important officers like Riker and Worf play in their free time? We’re starting to think the Star Trek writers have taken one too many ion mallets to the head before writing these eps.