Top 10 Popular Sports Early Releases

Football as we know it with beautiful stadiums, Qataris at the head of the big clubs and lots and lots of money, has obviously not always been like this. Basically it was just guys playing with a sheep’s stomach ball (yes it’s deg). And it’s like that for many other sports, like rugby or tennis. I’ll take you back in time to explain how your favorite sports were played.

1. Football was played with a ball made of sheep’s stomach

At the same time you wanted to make a balloon out of what? The sheep’s stomach is the simplest, and then it’s not so shocking when you know that apparently the intestines or bladder of certain animals were used as a preservative in Ancient Rome.

All that to say that the ancestor of football, rugby, and even handball is called “la soule”. This sport was practiced in France from the Middle Ages and it opposed two teams whose aim was to bring the ball from one camp to another. The very imprecise rules of this sport are the cause of its disappearance, then finally of its reappearance in the 19th century, but with lots of variants which gave rise to rugby, football or even handball (normal, since we didn’t get it the rules, we invented a lot of stuff).

2. For rugby, it’s a bit the same story

Legend has it that rugby was born because a guy didn’t quite understand the rules of football and decided to grab the ball with his hands and run with it (not the most useful beaver in the barrage if you see what I mean).

Otherwise, the origins of rugby would come from haspartum, and no it’s not a drug name, but a game that is played with an animal skin filled with rags, straw or other. As for soule, the players were divided into two camps and had to bring the ball to the other camp, with their hands this time. The Roman legions would have brought this game to Great Britain, and that’s why for a very long time, the English were kicking our ass in this sport which finally came from their country.

Photo credits (Domaine Public) : Unknown authorUnknown author illustrator (based on a sketch by M.J.L. de Condé)

3. The game of the palm (or palm game) is at the origin of tennis

This origin is better known and less vague than that of rugby or football, because everyone agrees that tennis is the origin of tennis. The tennis game appeared in medieval France, the principle was like that of tennis: two players are separated by a net and return a leather ball with the palm of the hand.

Suddenly by dint of destroying their hands, they said to themselves that it would not be stupid to evolve towards rackets, and that is how modern tennis was born little by little.

4. Handball, cousin of football and rugby

As for football or rugby, handball would have the same common root which is soule, and would therefore come from medieval France. Thus, the game was played with animal intestines, on the same principle as rugby and football. Modern handball as we know it comes from Denmark and then spread to Eastern countries, especially Germany, which adapted it in an 11-man version.

5. Petanque is a derivative of the Provençal game

Pétanque is of course native to Provence, and the name pétanque comes from the association of the words “ped” meaning “feet” and “tanca” meaning “planted” in Provençal.

The Provençal game was played on the move, unlike petanque, and on a much larger field, so the rules were not at all the same. According to legend, we owe the appearance of petanque to a guy called Jules Le Noir, a resident of La Ciotat who was plagued by rheumatism and who could no longer move to play. Jules Le Noir decides to stay in the delimited circle to shoot, the “ped tancas”, and to throw the jack less far than usual. The others were amazed by such audacity, and that’s how pétanque was born.

6. The pole vault was originally a discipline of gymnastics and not athletics

The discipline comes from Ancient Greece: the pole initially used to cross obstacles (rivers, high bushes etc…) finally became a test. At the end of the 18th century, it was “reinvented” by a German educator to make it a gymnastic discipline.

The goal was to make an elegant leap, not to go as high as possible. Athletes were also judged on their performance based on aesthetic criteria. Then in the 19th century the English reinvented this sport again (the thing never stops), to make it “running pole leaping” which means “pole jump”. And this is where we find the discipline that we know today, ultimately being part of the disciplines of athletics and not gymnastics.

7. Billiards is a variant of croquet

Originally billiards was played on the floor, and it was a variety of croquet. Indeed, it was played with hoops, and the balls were bigger than those we know today. The first billiard tables appeared in France because of the weather (like rain and cold), because the nobles who loved croquet too much wanted to be able to play it even indoors, not stupid these rich people. That’s how the version with smaller tables and balls came about.

8. Boxing comes from Greek pugilism

Greek boxing is therefore the direct ancestor of English boxing, unlike wrestling sports it is done only with fists and at a distance. As you can imagine, this sport is then practiced without gloves and without all the rules that we know today, so even more violent (even though boxing is violent, we can’t even imagine the thing of before).

9. The dodgeball (or dodgeball if you want) would come from an ancient African game

So here we are still on an assumption, I warn you, it is to be taken with a grain of salt. Dodgeball would be inspired by an African game (but already we don’t really know where it comes from so it starts badly) more than 200 years old. The principle was the same as that of the dodgeball that we know, with the difference that the ball was a stone, which could therefore injure the players, or even kill them. According to legend, an English missionary, James H. Carlisle, discovered this game and adapted it with a leather ball. It was then a certain Philip Ferguson who would have established the real rules at the end of the 19th century and made the game popular in the United States.

10. How about curling?

You’re going to be shocked, maybe you won’t even be able to sleep tonight, the story is so crazy.

It starts with a guy named Peiter Brueghel. We owe him two paintings hunters in the snow et The Trebuchet where you see people curling. The tables date from 1565 and suggest that curling is a very old sport. In Scotland, it became a real popular sport before being exported to America thanks to Scottish immigrants, around the middle of the 18th century, where it became a drinking game (super).

Basically, with each point lost, the players drank a sip of whiskey, much more interesting than what we have now. The game continues to develop and to be exported everywhere where there is ice, so in Switzerland, in Canada, and in all the other countries where it is generally not hot.

And that’s how this drinking game has become over time a real Olympic discipline. When is the place for the Olympics for beerpong?

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