History of Sports

There is evidence that the history of sports is probably as old as the existence of man. Discoveries from the pre-historic era indicate that sports have long since been used as mans way to interact with his environment, it was only later that they developed into the recreational activities that they are today. Though sports have always been around, in certain times in our society they were actually frowned upon.

For example, the medieval period was not very significant in the history of sports. This era lasted from 1200 to 1485. During this time people had little time for recreational activities. However, there were feast days set aside for leisure activities. In addition, the government promoted archery activities and training.

The history of sports became more involved during the Tudor and Stuart periods, between 1485 and 1714. During this time folk games and traditionalists activities were popular. However, Puritanism frowned on many types of activities and reduced the amount of time that could be dedicated to leisure sports.

The Hanoverian period between 1714 and 1790 had less government or religious restrictions on sports. However, due to industrialism work days grew increasingly long, once again leaving little time for leisure sports. In addition, large gatherings for sporting events often led to upheaval, so there was push for activities with more regulations.

The worst time in the history of sports fell between the years 1790 and 1830. During this time sporting activities were under attack from all angles. Factory owners wanted regular work weeks with long hours and property owners shied away from sports as they feared large crowds would damage their property. In addition, churches frowned on sports. They thought the negative reputation would lead to moral slack, drinking, and worse.

From 1830 on the popularity of sports increased, and they were looked upon more favorably. With the exception of women there were little or no restrictions put on leisure sporting activities.