A Brief History of Sports

Here is a timeline of some of the significant events in the world of sports up until the 20th century.

Year Event
5000-300 B.C

The Chinese played a soccer type game named "Tsu Chu"

776 BC the first recorded ancient Olympic Games was held at Athens.
~100 The sport of sumo was developed around this time
~1200 Versions of football (soccer) were being played in various regions of Europe
1490 Leonardo da Vinci designed the world's first bicycle
1500s Golf originated from a game played on the coast of Scotland.
~1550 Early forms of tennis were being played in various regions of Europe
1600s The first mention of the game of cricket.
~1750 Cricket increases in popularity throughout England. The rules are codified and formal cricket clubs are established in London.
1834 The first modern Lacrosse games were played, though the original game was played by North American Indians.
1845 Alexander Cartwright wrote the first comprehensive set of rules for baseball
The rules of rugby were formalized in England
1839

The Grand National horse race was first run

1848 The Cambridge Rules, the first codefication of the rules of soccer, were created at Cambridge University, England.
1851 The first America's Cup yacht race was held
1855 The first modern game of ice hockey was played, in Kingston, Ontario
1858 The first match of Australian Rules Football was played
1860 The first ever British Open golf tournament for men was held
1861 the first Melbourne Cup horse race was run
1863 The Football Association was is founded in London, England
1873 John Trudgen introduces a swimming stroke to swimmers in England, the precursor to the modern front crawl technique.
1874 The first American football game was played between McGill University and Harvard.
1875 The Kentucky Derby was held for the first time.
1876 Baseball's National League in the US started
1877 The first Wimbledon tennis event was held
The first Test match was played, between Australia and England.
1881 The first year that the men's US National Tennis Championships was held (the precursor to the US Open)
FIG, the international governing body of gymnastics, is founded in Paris.
1882 Shihan Kano of Japan developed the sport of judo.
1887 The first year that the women's US National Tennis Championships was held (the precursor to the US Open)
The game of softball is invented by George Hancock in Chicago, Illinois.
1891 James Naismith invented the sport of basketball in Springfield, Massachussets.
1895 Volleyball was invented at the same US university as basketball, the new sport was called 'Mintonette'.
1895 The first ever US golf open was held
Physical education instructor William Morgan invented volleyball in Springfield, Massachussets.
1897 the first Boston marathon was run.
The world's first bobsled run is constructed at St. Moritz, Switzerland.
1896 the first Olympic Games were held in Athens, Greece.

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