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Sport

Basketball is a fast-moving game for two teams. The players try to shoot the ball through the other team’s basket, a net mounted...Read More >>Basketball is a fast-moving game for two teams. The players try to shoot the ball through the other team’s basket, a net mounted 3 m (10 ft) above the court at each end. The game was invented in the USA in the 19th century, with the rules drawn up in 1891. A sport is a physical activity in which an individual or team takes part for fun or as part of a competition. In some sports, the person who runs fastest or throws furthest is the winner. In others, such as tennis or football, players win by scoring more points or goals. In sports such as diving, gymnastics or ice skating, judges decide who are the best performers. Professional sportspeople compete for their livelihoods on a regular basis. Other people play sports for fun or exercise.


A sumo wrestling bout at the Fukuoka Tournament in Japan, 2010. Sumo wrestling began in ancient Japan as a ceremony to please the...Read More >>A sumo wrestling bout at the Fukuoka Tournament in Japan, 2010. Sumo wrestling began in ancient Japan as a ceremony to please the gods.

Origins of sport

Many of the sports we know today have their origins in ancient history. Some began as religious rituals. Other were tests of strength or endurance. Many of the earliest sports, the "martial arts" such as wrestling, archery and fencing, were based on fighting. Young men had to be trained for battle by practising combat with their hands or with weapons. 

 

Sport in ancient Egypt

Fencing, wrestling and archery in ancient Egypt. We know a lot about ancient Egyptian sport because the Egyptians left records in...Read More >>Fencing, wrestling and archery in ancient Egypt. We know a lot about ancient Egyptian sport because the Egyptians left records in both words and pictures. We can still see paintings of young men wrestling or fencing, and read descriptions of swimming contests and rowing matches held on the River Nile.In ancient Egypt, the first sword-fighting matches were held about 3200 years ago. The swords had blunted points and the fencers wore narrow shields on their free arms, which they used to fend off a thrust from their opponent’s sword. Wrestling may have been the first organized sport of all. It grew up in many different cultures all over the world, but in ancient Egypt, the fight was over when one man had both shoulders pressed to the ground—just as in modern forms of wrestling. Archery was also a popular sport, closely linked to hunting. A scene carved in stone in an Egyptian temple about 3500 years ago shows King Amenhotep II firing an arrow while riding in a chariot.

One of the oldest team games may have been polo, a game similar to hockey but played on horseback. It was played in Persia (modern-day Iran) at least 2500 years ago, and is still played today.

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