When we hear the word Sport, first thing we associate it with is an official periodic competition where people engage in physical (sometimes intellectual) activities and compete to find out who is the most skilled in order to obtain the victory.
As the Sports evolved, as a natural consequence, numerous debates around different aspects arose, for example:
== Should boys and girls be allowed to play on same sex teams???
== Does soccer need an implemented instant replay???
== How should MLB handle the situation with the steroid users when it comes to the Hall of Fame???
== Is the NBA draft lottery rigged???
== Should MLB get rid of the designated hitter???
== Who is the best coach right now???
== Should we measure greatness by championships???
== What’s the best team ever???
and many more……………………………..
The History of Sports though may extend as far back as the initiation of military training, with competition utilized as a mean to establish whether individuals were fit and useful for service. Team Sports may have developed to train and to prove the ability to fight as well as to work together as a team (military unit). The physical activity that appeared in Sports had early attribution with ritual, warfare and entertainment.
Sports in prehistory
Cave paintings found in the Lascaux caves in France that implied to depict sprinting and wrestling in the Upper Paleolithic around 15,300 years ago. Cave paintings in the Bayankhongor Province of Mongolia dating back up to Neolithic age of 7,000 BCE display a wrestling match surrounded by crowds.
Neolithic Rock art that was found at the cave of swimmers in Wadi Sura, near Gilf Kebir in Libya showed evidence of swimming and archery being practiced roughly around 6,000 BCE. Prehistoric cave paintings were also found in Japan, depicting a Sport very similar to sumo wrestling.
Different representations of wrestlers were found on stone slabs retrieved from the Sumerian civilization. One depicting 3 pairs of wrestlers was in general dated to around 3,000 BCE. A cast Bronze figurine (probably the base of a vase), was found at Khafaji in Iraq that displays 2 figures in a wrestling hold that dates to approximately 2,600 BCE.
Monuments to the Pharaohs that are found at Beni Hasan dating to roughly 2,000 BCE show that a number of Sports, involving wrestling, weightlifting, long jump, swimming, rowing, archery, fishing and athletics, as well as numerous kinds of ball games, had been well-developed and regulated in ancient Egypt.
Other Egyptian Sports also involved javelin throwing and high jumping. Also, an earlier portrayal of figures wrestling had been found in the tomb of Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum in Saqqara dating to approximately 2,400 BCE.
The Minoan art of Bronze Age Crete displays ritual Sporting events – thereby a fresco dating to 1,500 BCE records gymnastics in the form of religious bull-leaping and potentially bullfighting.
The origins of Greek Sporting festivals and celebrations may date to funeral games of the Mycenean times, between 1,600 BCE and c. 1,100 BCE.
Ancient sports elsewhere
Sports that are at least 2,500 years old involve hurling in Ancient Ireland, shinty in Scotland, harpastum (similar to rugby) in Rome, cuju (similar to association football) in China and polo in Persia.
The Mesoamerican ballgame emerged over 3,000 years ago. The Mayan ballgame of Pitz is thought to be the first ball sport, as it had been first played around 2,500 BCE.
For at least 100 years, whole villages competed with each other in rough, and often times violent, ballgames in England (Shrovetide football) and Ireland (caid).
In contrast, the game of calcio Fiorentino, in Florence, Italy, had been initially reserved for combat sports such as fencing and jousting being popular.
Development of modern Sports
Several Historians – most notably Bernard Lewis – assert that team Sports, as we know them Today, are primarily a creation of Western culture. British Prime Minister John Major had been more explicit in 1995:
“We created the majority of the world’s great sports…. 19th century Britain was the cradle of a leisure revolution every bit as important as the agricultural and industrial revolutions we launched in the century before.”
The traditional teams Sports are deemed as springing primarily from Britain and then exported across the vast British Empire.
European colonialism indeed helped spreading particular games around the globe, especially cricket (not directly linked to baseball), football of various types, bowling in a number of forms, cue sports (like snooker, carom billiards, and pool), hockey and its specific derivatives, equestrian, tennis and also many winter Sports.
The originally Europe-dominated modern Olympic Games in general likewise ensured standardization in particularly European, especially British, trends when rules for alike games around the planet were merged.
In our days, Sports had infiltrated deeply in our society and became very ubiquitous, especially in our entertainment and healthcare. The History shows us that our civilization pretty much always had found a need for some Sport or another, therefore at every stage in its evolution — Sports always had a dedicated place.
Images’ source — Google.com