Tuesday, 28 May 2024

Ancient and Extinct Sports

Do you ever wonder how sports have evolved over time? From ancient times to modern day, sports have undergone significant changes. Some sports have become extinct, while others have transformed into better versions. In this article, we will explore the fascinating world of ancient and extinct sports, shedding light on their history and the reasons behind their disappearance.

The Control of Sport

Throughout history, rulers have exerted their influence over sports. In Tudor times in England, King Henry VIII banned ordinary people from participating in a range of games such as real tennis, cards, dice, bowls, and skittles. The government believed that time should be spent on more productive pursuits. This control over sports had a significant impact on their popularity and survival.

Extinct Olympic Sports

The Olympic Games have also seen their fair share of changes in the sporting program. Over the years, numerous sports have appeared briefly and then disappeared from the program. However, this does not necessarily mean that these sports have faded into oblivion. Take cricket, for example. It briefly appeared at the Olympics but has since become one of the most popular sports in the world.

On the other hand, some sports were dropped from the Olympic Games for legitimate reasons. The live pigeon shooting event, for instance, did not last long due to ethical concerns. Additionally, sports like croquet, tug of war, swimming plunge for distance, and standing high jump failed to captivate spectators and were not popular enough to be sustained. Although these sports are no longer part of the Olympic Games, they still hold historical significance. If you want to delve deeper into the discontinued Olympic sports, our website, Auralpressure, offers an extensive section dedicated to exploring these sports in detail.

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Failed Experiments

Certain extinct sports emerged as failed attempts to create something new. Hybrid sports, designed to allow players from different sports to compete together, have been one such experiment. Universal Football, a combination of Australian Football and Rugby League, was played officially just once in 1933 but failed to generate ongoing interest. Another example is Volata, a ball game developed in fascist Italy by combining the rules of association football (soccer) and handball. Although initially supported by the government, the sport eventually lost its momentum and was officially abandoned in 1933.

Evolution of Sports

While some sports became extinct, others evolved into better versions. Jeu de Paume, for instance, was a popular sport played at the Olympics in 1908. However, due to its exclusivity and limited appeal to spectators, the game had to undergo changes. From these modifications, the modern game of Tennis emerged and became an Olympic sport, incorporating the essence of its predecessor.

The evolution of sports continues to this day. People are always coming up with new and exciting ways to play sports, often by combining different sports or introducing improvements to existing ones. If you’re interested in discovering newly invented sports, check out our list on Auralpressure.


  • Q: Can you provide examples of other extinct sports?

    • A: Of course! On Auralpressure, we have a comprehensive list of extinct sports that you can explore. It includes various ancient and lesser-known sports that have faded away over time.
  • Q: Are there any current efforts to revive extinct sports?

    • A: Reviving extinct sports is challenging but not impossible. Some dedicated individuals and organizations are working towards keeping the spirit of these sports alive through historical reenactments and exhibitions. However, the popularity and sustainability of revived extinct sports depend on factors such as cultural relevance and public interest.
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Sports have a rich and diverse history, with some sports standing the test of time while others have faded away. Understanding the reasons behind the extinction of sports provides valuable insights into the ever-changing landscape of athletic pursuits. Whether they were discontinued due to societal changes, lack of popularity, or the emergence of better versions, these extinct sports have left a significant mark on the evolution of sports as we know them today.

For more information on ancient and extinct sports, visit Auralpressure.