Sports can be traced back to at least 3,000 years ago. Sports used to be about training for war or preparation as a hunter. This is why so many of the earliest games involved throwing spears, stakes, rocks, and sparring with your opponents.
In 776 BC, the Ancient Greeks brought formal sports to the rest of the world. They introduced the Olympic Games. This list is by no means complete and will give you a glimpse at some of the most popular sporting pastimes today.
Games with bats and balls: Cricket, Baseball, and softball
- Cricket: The late 16th-century saw the birth of cricket in South-east England. By the 18th Century, cricket was the nation's sport and it began to make inroads internationally in the 19th & 20th centuries. In 1853, the prototype was made for modern cricket bats. The handle consisted of a blade of willow and a cane handle. This was then covered in rubber strips. Twine was tied to secure the grip. (The longest known game of cricket lasted nine consecutive days and took place in 1939.
- Baseball: In 1845, Alexander Cartwright (1820-1892), New Yorker invented the baseball field we now know. Cartwright and members of the New York Knickerbocker Base Ball Club formulated the first rules and regulations for baseball that are now accepted as the norm.
- Softball: George Hancock was a Chicago Board of Trade reporter who invented softball. The first game of indoor softball was played at the Farragut Boat Club in the cold winter of 1887.
Other sports details:
1892 saw the creation of the first basketball rules. At first, players had to drag a soccer ball across a court of unknown dimensions. By landing the ball in a banana basket, you earned points. In 1893 iron hoops were invented and a hammock basket was created. It was a decade later that open-ended nets were created. Converse All-Stars, which were the first shoes made specifically for the game, was introduced on November 17, 1917. Chuck Taylor, a legendary player, became an early brand ambassador in 1925.
Rugby & American Football
- Rugby: Over 2000 years ago, a Roman game called “Rugby” was the first to give rise to rugby.Harpastum(from the Greek “seize” Contrary to soccer, where the ball was propelled with the feet, this game saw it being carried in the hands. The first modern version of the game was created in 1749 by a Rugby School, Warwickshire, England. This school had “every accommodation possible for the exercise and enjoyment of young gentlemen.” The eight-acre parcel on which the game was created was known as “The Close.” Between 1749 and 1823 rugby had very few rules. The ball was kicked, not carried, to get it forward. There were five days of games and sometimes more than 200 players. William Webb Ellis (player) was the first to take the ball and run. This was the first time the sport became modern.
- Football American football is a descendant of soccer and rugby. Princeton and Rutgers were the first colleges to play what was then called college football. December 6, 1869. However, the game didn't really take off until 1879, when Walter Camp, a Yale University student and coach, established rules. AAA player William (Pudge) Heffelfinger earned $500 for his participation in a game between the Allegheny Athletic Association and the Pittsburgh Athletic Club. He was the first-ever professional football player.
The game Golf was derived from a game originally played in Scotland's Kingdom, Fife. It originated on the east coast of Scotland during the 15th-century. There were also similar games in Europe at that time. They involved moving rock around a course with a stick. But the game we know, including the invention of the golf hole, was invented in Scotland.
- Golf and soccer experienced some setbacks in the mid-15th-century. As Scotland prepared for an invasion by the English, the growing popularity of the game was blamed on men neglecting other pursuits such as swordsmanship and archery. The ban on golf and soccer in Scotland was officially lifted in 1457. The Treaty of Glasgow was signed in 1502, lifting the ban.
- In 16th-century England, King Charles I promoted golf, and Mary Queen, a Frenchwoman introduced the game to her country. It's possible that the term “caddie”, as it is called, comes from the French cadets who were with Mary when she played.
- In 1552, St Andrews became the first place where golf was mentioned. The links were opened to the public by the clergy in the following year.
- Leith, a golf course near Edinburgh, was the first to publish rules. In 1682 it also hosted the first international tournament of golf in which two teams of Scotsmen played against each other.
- In 1754, the St Andrews Society of Golfers began to be formed. Its annual competition was based upon the rules laid down at Leith.
- In 1759, stroke play became available.
- The 18-hole standard course was first constructed in 1764.
- St Andrews was the first woman to start a golf club.