Have you ever wondered who invented some of the most famous sports in the world? Well, you’ve come to the right place. And, believe it or not, many of the sports you know and love have some very strange origin stories. Some go back thousands of years, while others were only recently invented. And while the history of many of sports don’t have a clear-cut beginning, we still have various pieces of evidence of when they were popular in certain civilizations. Curious to hear about where your favorite sports come from? Here are 25 Crazy Origin Stories Of Famous Sports That Are Strange But True.
Polo started in Persia around the 6th century BCE. It didn’t actually start out as a game but rather a training exercise for military units on horseback. For the soldiers, it was more like a miniature battle. Eventually, the training became a popular game played by both men and women and spread across the world from Arabia to China. As time passed, it entered into India, and British officers adopted the game, calling it “Polo” which is the Balti word for “Ball.”
Bowling can be traced all the way back to ancient Egypt. A set of stones used for pins and a ball was found in a child’s tomb dating back to 3,200 BCE. But, the modern version probably started in Germany as a religious ceremony. From the 3rd to the 4th century CE, church parishioners would put a “kegel” or club at the end of a rolling lane. It represented a “heathen.” They would roll a ball at it as a symbolic act of cleansing themselves of sin. The game continued to evolve over time, becoming quite popular in many western countries.
In the 1950’s, Californian surfers wanted to take their boards to the streets and started inventing skateboards in the process. No one really knows who the first person to start it was, however. Over the course of five decades, the sport saw two crashes with many thinking it was a fad. It didn’t maintain its popularity until the 80’s and 90’s and eventually became what we know of it today.
Volleyball was originally called “mintonette,” and was invented by William G. Morgan in 1895. He wanted it to be a combination of basketball, baseball, tennis, and handball. The original net was only 6 feet, 6 inches and official rules weren’t set up until 1928.
In the early 1800’s, Micmac Indians in Nova Scotia played a game using a stick and a wooden block. Many believe it was influenced by the Irish game of hurling. Its popularity spread throughout Canada and the French name hoquet, meaning Shepherd’s Stick, became hockey. In the earliest versions of the game, thirty players could play on the ice and rocks were frozen into the ice to mark the goals.