Oldest Sports in the US

8 Oldest Sports in the US

Sports are the most popular form of entertainment for many people around the world. It’s one of the few occasions where people can experience a sense of community with other humans who share a common bond. The vibe is completely different at a sporting event than it is during ordinary everyday life; everyone is there to do something they love, be it watching a professional athlete perform or taking part in their own favorite sport.

The US is home to the most popular and successful sports franchises. As the world’s largest country, with more than 350 million people, the US has produced some of the biggest names in professional sports like soccer, basketball, golf, and more. This is why many consider that the US is one of the few sports powerhouses in the world.

If you are wondering what the oldest sport in the US is, then you are in the right place. This article will show you the list of not just the popular sports you are watching, but also the eight oldest sports in America.

8. Snowboarding

Year Invented: 1965
Inventor: Sherman Poppen
Type of Sport: Board (Individual)

Snowboardingphoto source: Tahoe Quarterly

Snowboarding was created in the US in the 1960s, when Americans started seeking new winter activities. The following ten years saw a significant volume of boards being produced by various businesses, and interest in the game began to grow internationally.

Snowboarding eventually attracted skateboarders and surfers, and by 1980 it had become a national trend. The logical next step was to host new competitions. In the United States, the first national championships took place in 1982, and the first global championships were held there in 1983.

Did You Know?

Snowboarding is a good cardiovascular activity that builds cardiac muscle. They strengthen your bones and tone your muscles at the same time because they are weight-bearing workouts.


7. Skateboarding

Year Invented: 1950s
Inventor: Bill Richards
Type of Sport: Board (Individual)

Skateboardingphoto source: pinimg.com

In California, skateboarding started to take off in the 1950s. While the exact origins of the skateboard are unknown, it is possible that surfers who were searching for something to do when the waves were small invented the sport. It peaked in US popularity in about 1963, just before the market collapsed in 1965.

The introduction of urethane skateboard wheels in the early 1970s altered this from the flimsy old metal or wooden wheels on the first boards. The contoured wheels suddenly made skating on less than perfect ground much simpler. After a while, skateboarding began to acquire popularity in the UK.

Skateboarding is an activity that is open to people of all ages, so you should evaluate your level of stability and fitness. With adult supervision and the proper skateboard safety equipment, such as helmets, knee and elbow guards, and skateboards, skateboarding is typically safe for kids ages 6 and up.

Skateboarding is not just for kids; it is also very popular among adults, many of whom make their own boards rather than purchasing fully assembled ones.

Did You know?

Considering how many people skate, skateboarding has earned this rating. California in the USA is one of the most well-liked places in the world to be a skater, as it is home to more than half of all American skaters.


6. Baseball

Year Invented: 1908
Inventor: Abner Doubleday
Type of Sport: Ball (Team)

photo source: collinsdictionary.com

Baseball is a unique game played by two teams, each consisting of nine players on the field at all times. In baseball, there are two types of strikes: called foul balls and foul tips. This can be very confusing to beginners because it takes a little bit for them to learn about the game.

The goal is to score runs by hitting a ball with a bat, while preventing the opponent from doing so. The players take turns batting and fielding, with the exception that no one may touch the ball with their hands or arms. At the end of every half-inning and play, individuals get credit for team hits, and teams get credit for individual hits; all of this is stored in the score book.

Did You Know?

The most recorded World Series games were played in Game 3 (1956), when Carl Yastrzemski hit a grand slam and Ted Williams had four hits.


5. Volleyball

Year Invented: 1895
Inventor: William G. Morgan
Type of Sport: Ball (Team)

Volleyballphoto source: betteratvolleyball.com

Since William G. Morgan’s innovative creation of volleyball in 1895 in the drab YMCA gymnasium in Holyoke, Massachusetts, in the United States, the sport has advanced significantly.

With 220 associated national federations, the FIVB is the largest international athletic organization in the world. Volleyball is currently one of the top five global sports. Due to volleyball’s participation in the schedule of the inaugural Far-Eastern Games, which were held in Manila that year, the sport had spread over the whole Asian continent by 1913.

Throughout the past, the “Brown rules,” which called for the use of 16 players, were used to play volleyball in Asia (to enable greater participation in matches).

Did You Know?

The primary reason volleyball is so distinct from other sports is that players must rebound the ball. The player is permitted to hold or pause with the ball during game play in all other major American sports.


4. Basketball

Year Invented: 1891
Inventor: James Naismith
Type of Sport: Ball (Team)

Basketballphoto source: thoughtco.com

The sport of basketball was invented in the United States. The first known basketball court was built in 1891 by James Naismith, an instructor at Springfield College in Massachusetts. In the early 1900s, basketball became popular at American colleges and high schools across the country. Since then, it has become one of America’s most popular sports and has been played by millions of people worldwide.

The University of California and Miss Head’s School met in the first-ever women’s collegiate football game in 1891. Senda Berenson, professor of physical education at Smith College, was the first ever to play basketball in 1892.

Berenson modified the guidelines before to accommodate women. She visited Naismith when she initially started working at Smith to learn more about the sport. The new sport and the ethical lessons it might teach piqued her interest. On March 21, 1893, she arranged a game between her Smith freshmen, which became the first instance of women playing collegiate basketball.

Did You Know?

It might surprise you to learn that dribbling wasn’t used in the first basketball games. To keep the game going, you had to pass the ball to another player when you caught it.


3. Softball

Year Invented: 1887
Inventor: George Hancock
Type of Sport: Ball (Team)

photo source: sportsmatik.com

George Hancock, a Chicago Board of Trade reporter who also developed softball, introduced “indoor baseball” in 1887. The game had moved outside by the spring of 1888. Originally known as mushball, kitten ball, or indoor baseball, softball was given that name in the 1920s. The Amateur Softball Association of America was established in 1933, marking the beginning of the sport’s organization in the country (ASA).

Softball is a bat-and-ball game in which two teams of ten players each compete. The pitches are thrown underhand rather than overhand, and softballs are larger than baseballs. Despite these fundamental distinctions, it is a direct descendent of baseball. Compared to baseball, softball is played on a smaller diamond.

Did You Know?

A World Cup for girls under 16 years old started in 2001, while the first international competition for junior men and women was staged in 1981.


2. American Football

Year Invented: 1869
Inventor: Walter Camp
Type of Sport: Ball (Team)

American Footballphoto source: Wikimedia

The history of American football dates back to the late 19th century, when the sport was first played in universities. By the early 20th century, football was being played at the professional level by teams like the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers.

The most notable player in American football history is Walter Camp, who played for Yale University for three years as an All-American end known for his speed and agility on offense. He also invented many rules that are still used today, including the forward pass rule; tackle rule; delayed scrimmage kick rule; fair catch kick rule; and center jump snap.

Did You Know?

Given the vertical yard lines that delineate the field, the game we Americans know and love as football is actually better referred to as “gridiron football.”


1. Lacrosse

Year Invented: 1636
Inventor: William George Beers
Type of Sport: Ball (Team)

Lacrossephoto source: Wikimedia

Among all the sports started in the US, lacrosse is considered the oldest organized sport in the country. Lacrosse is a sport that combines the speed and agility of football with the five-man attack and defense of ice hockey.

This sport is a contact sport, played with a small rubber ball by two teams of nine players with sticks, which are used to defend and attack the goal. Later, deerskin balls replaced the original wooden balls.

The netting was made from deer sinew at the same time that the sticks developed into more sophisticated instruments. In preparation for a game, players painted and drew on their bodies and faces. Canada, Mexico, Japan, Trinidad and Tobago, and other countries all play lacrosse.

Did You Know?

According to Finn, the first Europeans to see Native Americans playing the game were French missionaries in Quebec in the 1600s. Because the missionaries believed the sticks resembled the bishop’s cross carried during religious rites, lacrosse was given its name.

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