Among major upcoming sporting events: One of the world's two sanctioned grueling Ultraman races takes place over five days in British Columbia, Canada, the Micronesian islands in Oceania host a multi-disciplinary contest that includes sports ancient and modern, and the World Orienteering Championships offer trials for top athletes and tasters for the inquisitive.
July 29 - August 1
Los Angeles, California, USA
Three days of extreme sports action at the biggest extreme sports event: BMX, skateboarding, motocross, and even rally car racing. Action starts at 5pm PST (2pm EST, 10pm BST, 6am Japan) and continues until around midnight each day. Tickets are between $9 and $40 per event.
Rugby Union Tri-Nations
Saturdays, July 10 - September 11
Australia /New Zealand - South Africa
A round-robin competition organized by the Australian, New Zealand, and South African Rugby Unions, the Tri Nations matches also play a part in deciding who wins three separate challenge trophies: Australia and New Zealand contest the Bledisloe Cup, Australia and South Africa tussle for the Mandela Challenge Plate, New Zealand and South Africa vie for ownership of the Freedom Cup.
F1 Hungarian Grand Prix
Mogyorod, Budapest, Hungary
Seventy laps of the Hungaroring await the Formula 1 drivers and teams. Practice laps are at 10am and 2pm local time (BST+1) on Friday 30 and 11am on Saturday 31. Qualifying starts at 2pm on the Saturday and the race itself at the same time on Sunday. Grandstand tickets are from €149 from the Hungaroring website, though most are between €220 and €450 for the whole weekend.
http://www.formula1.com or http://www.hungaroring.hu
July 30 - August 3
Penticton, British Columbia, Canada
This is what happens when Ironman endurance athletes need a new challenge. The Ultraman Canada comprises a 10km swim, 418.3km cycle, topped off with 84.3km of running (6, 260, and 52 miles). Entry is by invite only - there's a reason the grueling schedule stretches over five days.
Republic of Palau
Welcoming athletes from ten territories within the Micronesian island region, the Games mix local sports with more global activities such as volleyball, weightlifting, and track & field. The Micro All Around is a Micronesian-style quintathlon (Coconut climbing, coconut husking and grating, spear throwing, the run and swim, and diving). Fast Pitch is a softball variant and Spearfishing is self-evident.
7th Annual Wild West Relay
The Wild West Relay is a 200-mile (321 km) relay race for runners of all abilities. Starting at Fort Collins at the foot of the Rockies and finishing at the Steamboat Springs resort, it can get competitive, but with relay teams of up to 12 people, the emphasis is on fun and adventure.
Class 1 World Powerboat Championship
The WPC heads to Sweden for the second Scandinavian stop, after Norway's leg in July. Racing on Saturday, August 7 starts at 5pm local time (BST+1) and 3:30pm on the Sunday.
Red Bull Air Race
The last event in this year's Air Race calendar after cancellation of Budapest's stage.
Top of the series league is 2009 champion Paul Bonhomme of Great Britain, but both Hannes Arch and Nigel Lamb are chasing for first. Raceday tickets are between €40.20 and €51.40, €5 more for the weekend, nearly half-price for children.
World Orienteering & Trail Orienteering Championships
Though the WOC is part of the 12-event Orienteering World Cup, there is also a public participation event called the WOC Tour 2010 that runs over the course of the Championships so all can catch the orienteering buzz. Entry to any remaining places on Tour events is €15 on the day. Spectators to all events go free.
Haven, Wisconsin, USA
The last of the 2010 season's four majors, golfers from the PGA, European and Japanese tours congregate at the Whistling Straits course for a last shot at glory. Day passes are $95 on Thursday or Friday, $110 for Saturday or Sunday. A seven-day pass is $300. Each adult can bring up to four Under-17s with them.
PAPA 13 World Pinball Championships
Carnegie, Pennsylvania, USA
Six divisions, prizes between $50 and $10,000, charity mini-tournaments with a twist (one-handed, doubles teams, timed games), and basic registration costs of $5. The World Pinball Championships take place within the Professional & Amateur Pinball Association's headquarters, now fully restored after a flood in 2004. Spectators go free, and most unused pinball tables are set to 50-cent play.
World Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships
Now in its second year and poised to take advantage of a resurgent interest in bicycle polo, with 40 teams hailing from 14 countries. Free entry for spectators at Berlin's four-court Rennbahnstrasse sports center; drinks and snacks will be available.
ISGA World Cup: Kozakov Challenge
Kozakov hill, nr Turnov, Czech Republic
Riders will cling to longboards, street luges, dirtboards and buttboards as they plunge along a 3km course through forest and field, reaching speeds of up to 105kmh (65mph). Spectators go free - hay bales and netting line the course, refreshments are available on the hill peak and in the village itself.
Worthing International Birdman
Worthing, United Kingdom
West Sussex's seaside town of Worthing welcomes back budding international birdmen, launching themselves from the adjacent pier. Solo fliers and teams of two try to crack the magical 100 meter mark before an inevitable wet landing, though most take part for fun in increasingly ridiculous costumes and contraptions.
Youth Olympic Games
Marina Bay Floating Platform, Marina Bay, Singapore
Around five thousand young athletes between the ages of 14 and 18 represent their countries at the YOG, competing in 26 sports from swimming, basketball and handball to table tennis and taekwondo.
World Blind Football Championships
Hereford, United Kingdom
Ten of the world's best blind teams meet at the Royal National College for the Blind, including European champions France, Paralympic title holders Brazil, and reigning world Champions Argentina. Tickets are £5 (€6) for adults, £2 (€2.40) for children, students, and seniors.
Women's Rugby World Cup
August 20 - September 5
Guildford and Twickenham, United Kingdom
The top international tournament in women's rugby returns to the UK for its sixth outing: New Zealand, consecutive champions since 1998, will be defending their title against 11 other top teams. Day tickets are £13.90 (€17) for adults or £6.50 for juniors, rising to £27.90 (€33) and £11.90 on the final day. Tournament passes are £64.60 (€77).