The History of Sports


Sports are activities that include physical activity and competition. In addition to physical benefits, these activities can help people develop social relationships and achieve a sense of wellbeing. Games can be played by individuals or as a team and involve a range of rules and structures. For example, a soccer game may involve two teams that have different rules and structures.

There is no clear evidence of when sports began, but there is evidence of them among ancient peoples, including the ancient Chinese and the Aztecs. Although most of these games were rituals, ball games were common. Ancient Greeks and Romans played ball games, although they were not contests. The Greek physician Galen even recommended them as a means of promoting health.

The development of modern sports dates back to the late seventeenth century, when England’s Puritans prohibited many of the traditional pastimes. During this period, the concept of keeping a record of a sports contest first came about. By the beginning of the 20th century, the public became so thirsty for news about sports that daily newspapers began to emerge. The most notable example is L’Equipe (Paris), which was founded in 1787 and has its roots in this period.

Today, sports have a global impact. In many countries, they are popular for a variety of reasons. Some are purely recreational while others serve a commercial purpose. As a result, the media influence these events, often with commercial interests as the primary motivation. Athletes and spectators may resent this influence.