Origin Stories Behind The Famous Sports From Around The World

Sports are fun to play, and it’s good exercise too. But, believe it or not, many of the games you play have some very intriguing origin stories. Some go back thousands of years. On the other hand, some games were recently invented, but they became a hot commodity for people looking for something a little less traditional.

No matter what you think of these origin stories, you might want to give this sports a chance!

Skiing Is One Of The Oldest Sports In History

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Ski-like objects were discovered in Northern Russia from 6,000 BCE. It wasn’t until the 1700’s that skiing took a leap forward when the Norwegian military used them. They would hold downhill raves while shooting at the same time.

The first national rave took place in Oslo in 1860 with its first Olympic appearance in 1924.

Bowling Goes All The Way Back To Ancient Egypt

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A set of stones were used as pins, and a ball was found in a child’s tomb. However, the modern-day version started in Germany as a religious ceremony. From the 3rd to the 4th century BCE, church parishioners would put a kegel or club at the end of a rolling lane.

They would roll a ball at it as a symbolic act of cleansing themselves of skin.

Frisbee Golf Has A Blurry History

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Using discs with golf rules made the game a little more interesting. But, by 1965, George Sappenfield came up with the idea to contact Wham-O to make the idea official. It wasn’t until the late 70’s that Wham-O realized the business value of promoting the game.

In 1975, disc golf was included in the World Frisbee Championships.

The next sport ahead may or may not be invented by the Scots.

Polo Started In Persia Around The 6th Century BCE

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It didn’t start as a game, but rather a training exercise for military units on horsebacks. For soldiers, it was something like a miniature battle. The training would eventually become a favorite game that made its way to India.

British officers adopted the game, calling it polo, the Balti word for ball.

Billiards Was First A Lawn Game In Northern Europe

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Call it whatever you want, billiards or pool was first developed in the 1500’s. Eventually, the game evolved indoors and was placed on a table with green carpet to simulate grass. Later on, the cue stick was made in place of a mace.

After the industrial revolution, billiards became more popular.

Golf Was Not Created In Scotland

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Historians go back to the many different stick-and-ball games invented in the Middle Ages as the origin of golf. The Scottish adopted one of them and created one with their own rules. The first mention of golf on record was by King James II in 1457.

Two things the Scottish did to contribute to the game were digging a hole into the ground and getting the ball in the hole with as few strokes as possible.

Read ahead to see the game that was first played by African Tribes, and it became your favorite game in gym class.

Formula 1’s First Organized Race Was In 1887 By “Le Velocipede” In Paris

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Only one competitor showed up that day, and the race was canceled. Years later, when races were happening, winning speeds just reached 10.5 mph. Since technology improved, speed naturally increased. In 1928, formulas were developed on the weight and size of an engine for the Grand Prix.

Those were eventually abandoned for Formula Libre rules.

Badminton Was Originally Called Battledore

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With roots in ancient Western civilization, the game became a commodity in the 1600’s. It was a simple game of knocking the shuttlecock back and forth without letting it hit the ground.

The game would evolve in a British-occupied India. With a new net and set of rules added, the game eventually changed to badminton.

Dodgeball Started In Africa Over 200 Years Ago

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African tribes would throw large rocks. The object of the game was to knock out their opponent and hit them further by pelting them with the rocks. Teammates had to defend the fallen player by throwing their rock at the opponent.

But, Missionary Dr. James H. Carisle witnessed the game and took it with him to Britain where it became less violent.

Who combined rugby with frisbees? Joel Silver has the answer to that just ahead!

Boxing First Started With Sumerian Carvings Of People Boxing

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That goes all the way back to 3,000 BCE. But, the first recorded official boxing event dates to 688 BCE at the 23rd Olympiad. It’s believed that people in Minoan Crete used gloves and helmets during matches rather than traditional fist boxing.

The Greeks considered the sport to be their most dangerous one.

Cricket Started With People Bowling At A Tree Stump

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Going back as far as the 13th century, cricket was played with a tree stump or through the gate of a sheep pen. It would become a stone until the 17th century. The bat was nothing more than a large tree branch.

The game didn’t evolve until the late 19th century when new rules and techniques were introduced.

Joel Silver Brought Up The Idea Of Ultimate Frisbee

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Silver brought the idea to the student council at Columbia High School. Within a year, the first game was played between two groups of students using a Wham-O Master disc.

More rules were added to the game in 1970, and the first intercollegiate game was played two years later between Rutgers and Princeton.

One of Canada’s most beloved sports is still on the way.

The Origin Of Tennis Is Heavily Disputed

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The official game and rules were attributed to Major Walter Clopton Wingfield in 1783, but many claim tennis was played before him. The game was nothing more than a clear adaption of badminton.

It came to the United States and gained popularity with the first official U.S. Tennis Association starting in 1881.

Surfing Has Something In Common With Skiing

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Much like skiing, surfing is one of the oldest sports in the world. Riding on boards originated in Western Polynesia. It was used as a way for fishermen to get to shore after catching fish.

In the 15th century, people in the Sandwich Isles would participate in “he’enalu” or wave-sliding.

Many Believed Hockey Was Influenced By The Irish Game Of Hurling

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In the early 1800’s, Micmac Indians in Nova Scotia played a game using a stick and a wooden block. The popularity of the game spread throughout Canada and the French name hoquet, meaning Shepherd’s stick, became hockey.

In the earliest versions of the game, there were no rules about many players could be on the ice.

A sport that’s similar to hockey, but different in many ways, is coming up next.

Lacrosse Was Originally A Native American Game Known As Stickball

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Lacrosse was initially played by the Algonquian tribe near the Great Lakes. It was nothing more than a religious and athletic event for the tribe. At the time, the rules were pretty simple: don’t touch the ball with your hands.

Eventually, French missionaries witnessed the game and called it lacrosse.

Soccer Can Be Traced Back To Many Different Origins

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The first version goes back 100 years when it broke off from English rugby in 1863. But, evidence shows the exercise of kicking a ball around goes back to a Chinese military practice in third century BCE.

It was called “Tsu’ Chu,” and used a ball that was filled with feathers.

Handball Was First Mentioned Back To 600 BCE

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The game was used in Germany as a way to train soccer players during the offseason. It wasn’t until an official match was played in Berlin in 1917. Indoor handball was later developed in 1940.

But, it wasn’t until 1972 where it became an official sport for the Olympics.

Rugby Was Known As Folk Or Mob Football

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With the game starting in the middle ages, it would be played among the neighboring villages. With an unlimited amount of players, they would fight over a pigs bladder.

Rugby and its rules would eventually develop later on in the 19th century.