There are a large number of recreational activities in the World of Avatar, created for both simple enjoyment and fierce competition. These range from physically demanding sports such as the Air Nomads' airball or the Southern Water Tribe's ice dodging to games like Pai Sho that challenge the mind.
Many games of a particular nation incorporate that nation's native bending element. For example, airbending is utilized for airball, and earthbending for earth soccer.
Played on a field of evenly spaced vertical poles, airball is a popular sport with the objective of scoring points by shooting a ball into a goal. The aforementioned goal is a circle that spins when hit. One scores a point by either leaping from pole to pole until one is able to simply toss the ball in or by airbending the ball and causing it to ricochet and eventually enter the goal. Being that the game is greatly dependent on one's airbending skills, if any of the players are non-airbenders, the sport becomes rather one-sided and gives the airbenders an unfair advantage.
Bison polo was a popular game played by the Air Nomads. The main objective of the game was to force a ball into an opponent's goal while flying on a sky bison. Championships for the game were held at the Northern Air Temple.
Ice dodging is a rite of passage for young men in the Southern Water Tribe. When a young boy reaches the age of fourteen, his father takes him along with two others in the tribe, and lets the boy captain the boat through a series of icebergs that are difficult to maneuver through. If the boy manages to steer through, he and the two others will be awarded a mark from the boy's father. The mark with a crescent moon is the Mark of the Brave, the mark with a curved line and a dot underneath is the Mark of the Wise, and the Mark of the Trusted is a curved mark.
Ice marbles is a game played by the citizens of the Northern Water Tribe, invovling tiny balls of crystaline ice.
Penguin sledding is a children's pastime in which one mounts the back of an otter penguin, and sleds down hills of snow and through natural channels carved through glaciers. It is thoroughly enjoyed by both the rider and the "sled".
Water Gun BoothEdit
The water gun booth is an attraction that was featured in the Southern Water Tribe during the Glacier Spirits Festival. It is played in groups of six people, and the objective is to accurately squirt water through an opening; squirting enough water through said opening will cause a bell to ring, and the player will win a prize.
This underground earthbending tournament is held in a giant earthen arena in Gaoling. The Earth Rumble competitions feature flamboyant fighters with theatrical stage names, each trying to verbally intimidate their opponent before knocking the other out of the ring with earthbending. The competition is a popular Earth Kingdom attraction; the stands at Earth Rumble VI are typically full except for the front rows, which are in danger of being pummeled by flying rocks and losing competitors.
Earth soccer is a game played just like soccer, but with earthbending to guide and move the ball. Earth soccer, being a somewhat gritty sport, is commonly played by the lower-class citizens in the Lower Ring of Ba Sing Se.
Elephant Koi RidingEdit
The elephant koi is a fish that resides around the areas of the Southern sea. These gigantic koi are very friendly and do not mind taking on a passenger. Being able to hold one's breath is a must, as is keeping an eye out for the unagi, a monstrous-sized eel; if the koi gets eaten by the unagi, the rider goes down with it.
Omashu Mail System SlideEdit
The mail delivery system in the Earth Kingdom city of Omashu contains miles of tubes and chutes. Though not an official city sport, old inhabitants of Omashu invented this game, as they perceived that the mail system could be used as a huge slide.
There are several popular types of gambling seen in the Fire Nation, including the shell game, where the dealer places a rock under one of three cups and shuffles them around, challenging the player to guess which cup contains the rock.
The "dice" game is similar to craps. Toph was able to use earthbending to ensure the dice landed in the combination on which she had bet. It should be noted that in many times of gambling, earthbending can be used to an unfair advantage to feel the vibrations of the rock and such.
Another game consists of a player using a hammer to hit a base that throws a puck upwards along a track. At the top is a bell. The game is won when the player strikes the base hard enough to ring the bell with the puck.
Hide and ExplodeEdit
Hide and explode is a children's game similar to hide and seek, but with a twist. It is the bane of parents, as it involves the seeker singing the clothes of those they find to mark them as found.
Kuai ball is a sport similar to volleyball, but played with both hands and feet, and it is played in a round field. It is usually played on the beach and is popular among vacationers on Ember Island. A background in martial arts is beneficial in order to be competent against opponents.
Street Bender is a fighting game originally featured in the Ember Island Arcade. Two players face each other using warrior dolls to simulate combat. A game costs one silver piece, and the players use two metal rods to maneuver their dolls. Pressing the button on the rods causes the dolls to attack, and firebending into the metal rods gives the player a super attack. Each hit costs the player one of his or her three life bars, and the player who loses all of his or her life bars loses the game.
Pro-bending is an popular underground sport in Imperial City, formed with influences from Earth Rumble. Gameplay involves two teams of three benders of individual styles, and the objective of the sport is to gain as much territory within the ring as possible within a set amount of time during each round, or, alternatively, to push the opposing team over the edge of the ring. As a result of their pacifist ways, Airbenders do not take part in Pro-Bending, though some have been know to observe matches.
This game seems similar to solitaire. The cards are the size of hanafuda cards. On each of the card faces is one of the elemental bending symbols: airbending, waterbending, firebending, or earthbending, and in the upper right corner is a different element symbol. The setup of the cards is similar to the forty-card kabufuda deck, which has four suits of ten cards each, numbered one through ten.
King of the HillEdit
King of the Hill involves any number of players in their attempt to "dethrone" the reigning king or queen, who is located on a pre-designated plot of land called the "throne" or "hill". Those who oppose the monarch may, depending on the rules decided by the players, use whatever skills they have to take the throne, but the game is not meant to be dangerous. And weapons, suck as a bender's respective element or another item, may be employed in the effort. To win the game, at least one player must find a way to remove the monarch from his or her throne and claim it by taking the place atop the "hill" or other pre-chosen destination. The reigning king or queen may retaliate however he or she feels is necessary to defend his or her royalty, but leaving the throne forfeits the monarch's title and leaves the throne up for grabs. While choosing that the destination of the throne is a different place from the predetermined location mid-game is considered cheating, if the king or queen literally moves the hill (changes the location of the hill by using a skill to relocate the plot of land chosen as the throne) is not.
Pai Sho is a two-player strategy game, bearing resemblance to both Chinese chess and checkers. A popular pastime enjoyed by people around the world, Pai Sho is also used by the secretive Order of the White Lotus in order to identify its members by constructing a lotus pattern on the board. The most famous Pai Sho tile is the white lotus.
Water, Earth, Fire, AirEdit
This game bears a great resemblance to rock, paper, scissors, except that it uses the four elements. The cycle of the Avatar is used to win, and as such, water beats earth, earth beats fire, fire beats air and air beats water.
Yoga is a type of exercise and a natural therapy used for meditation, relaxation, and medical benefits like stress reduction; it has many types of positions and respiration techniques.