Sports History

The Origins and Roots of the Sports we Play


Badminton’s origins date back at least 2,000 years to a game that had been played in the nations of Greece, China, and India called “battledore” and “shuttlecock.” An interesting fact that you may not be aware of is that the Badminton House in Gloucestershire is where the game’s name is originally derived from.


Not much is known about the origins of America’s favorite pastime, but what we do know is that baseball’s origin more than likely is tied to a British game called “rounders.” “Town ball” is the name that was given to the game of rounders when we first started to play the game here in the States.


Basketball finds its origins in a local YMCA gymnasium in Springfield, Massachusetts. That first game was played with 18 men on the court. Today the game is played around the world by more than 300 million people.

Beach Volleyball

It is thought that the first ever game of beach volleyball was played in Hawaii back in 1915—the first game set up on the beautiful beaches of Waikiki by the Outrigger Beach and Canoe Club—while others claim that the first game was played in Santa Monica, California, back in the early 1920s.


It’s believed by many historians that the game of chess first originated in India in the fifth or sixth century AD. Since then, the biggest change centered around one piece—the queen, which became the most powerful of all the chess pieces.


Cricket’s origins are found in the sheep-raising country of the southeast. The short grasses found in that area of the country made it easy to use the made-up ball that was used back then for the game.

Field Hockey

One of the oldest team sports in the world, it traces its origins almost 3,000 years back in time to the ancient Greek classical era. Today the sport is the most widely played women’s sport here in the United States and also in Canada.


Played by striking a feather-stuffed ball, the game of golf was first played by the Romans. St Andrews, the oldest course in the country of Scotland, was first used for play back in the sixteenth century.


Gymnastics is among the most popular sports in the world today. The sport finds itself rooted to the earliest days of sports competition, when the Greeks first played the sport.

Hang Gliding

In hang gliding there are two variations of gliders. There is the flex wing, which offers better aerodynamics, and the rigid wing, which has better flight control for the student.

Ice Hockey

While it’s been generally thought that the game of ice hockey was originally derived from English field hockey and Indian lacrosse, there has been research that sheds a light on facts that it may have been played in the early 1800s in Nova Scotia.


Karate has not been recognized as a sport for very long. There is much debate as to where karate and many of the other martial arts originate from. Some date them to Japan, while there are others who say China, but its origins actually can be traced back to Okinawa.


Considered by many to be the most widely played team sport in North America, lacrosse has many variations of one or two sticks.

Sports M-Z
Here you can find other information about some of the other popular games that people enjoy playing.

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