Although we can’t definitively determine when sports began, we know that children have always included physical activity in their play. Prehistoric art shows hunter-gatherers pursuing their prey with a sense of glee. And as time went on, hunting became a way of life and an end in itself for ancient civilizations. Today, sports are played by all ages and are played for a variety of reasons. From athletic competition to casual recreational games, there’s something for everyone.
Many kinds of sports are governed by rules and customs that ensure fair competition and consistent adjudication of the winners. Some sports are judged by objective measures, while others are decided by subjective measures. Regardless of the method, sports provide fun for everyone. In colonial America, sports occupied a lot of attention. In England, hunting was only reserved for landowners, but the abundance of game meant that everyone – even slaves and servants – could hunt. As a result, sports were socially neutral, and it was possible to play sports with no distinctions between racehorses and savages.
While sports were not as popular in the ancient world, they continued to evolve. In the United States, for example, the first sport was wrestling, which was played in ancient Rome. In the Middle East, horse races and polo were very popular and even a popular sport. Throughout history, people have engaged in a variety of sports, from football to gymnastics. And as we move towards the modern age, motorised sports are also becoming popular.