Having penned potted histories of the individual sports that are shown below, I decided to write a shorter, general piece on the Emergence of Organised Sports in Britain. It covers: the earliest references; various snippets of information that can be found up to the 17th century; more detailed information from the 18th and early 19th century; a brief background to economic and social changes in Britain, resulting from the Industrial Revolution; and finally, the formation of organisations that would govern individual sports.
A Potted History of Association Football in England looks at the potential origins of the game, and summarises medieval forms such as “mob football”, before tracking it through public schools and universities, onto the establishment of the FA in 1863 and onward to the current day.
Rugby in the 19th Century. Soccer and Rugby both originally came from the same roots. The games in public schools started to diverge in the 19th century, a process which had been completed by the 1870s. This article focuses on the changes which resulted in the game of Rugby.
A Potted History of Cricket in England summarises the various speculations on the origins of the game and covers the game from its first definite reference in the middle of the 16th century all the way through to the current day.
A Potted History of Athletics (aka Track and Field) in England traces the origins of the sport back to ancient times; notes references to running, leaping and throwing from the 12th to the 17th century; covers the emergence of pedestrianism (professional) and amateur athletics; and continues the sport’s history through to recent times.