Top 10 Oldest Sports Of The World

Sports have been part of the human civilization since times immemorial. In fact depiction of numerous ritual games finds mention in scriptures from the Bronze Age. While some of these sports have got lost in the oblivion, the remaining evolved substantially to come out in the present form. Here, we will be discussing about some oldest sports that are still highly relevant in today’s world.

10. Hockey:

A game where players from two opponent teams try to maneuver the ball and push it into each other’s goal post with the help of long stock with curved hooked ending is called hockey. The first ever recorded use of word ‘hockey’ can be found in a proclamation by Edward III of England in 1363. The game also finds a mention in some of the paintings from Ancient Greece that dat back to 600 BC.


9. Horse Riding:

Equestrianism or horse riding is another ancient sport that has lived the tests of times and found itself a prominent place amongst modern sports. It was first to be included in the modern Olympic Games in 1900. The sport also holds its individual World Championships every year.

Horse Riding

8. Boxing:

Boxing is a combat sport that tests speed, stamina and strength of two fighters who throw punches with gloved hands against each other. The sport finds its origin in Greece and dates back to early 687 BC. Subsequently, it evolved in the Great Britain in the later 16th to 18th century. The game is played in bouts (on to three minute intervals) and a referee supervises the contest.


7. Gymnastics:

The game requires physical strength, agility, flexibility, coordination, balance and stamina. The game is known to evolve from Greeks who practiced similar kinds of acrobatics to mount or dismount from a horse. The game was included in the modern Olympics Games in 1896.


6. Polo:

Polo is considered to be one of the most majestic of all ancient games. Here the participants ride on horseback and score by pushing a small white wooden ball in the opponent’s goal using a long-handled mallet. Professionally played in 16 countries, the game is considered to have taken birth in Iran, China and India. There are some evidences of the game being played in the 4th century in the Sassanid dynasty. Since 1936, it’s not a part of Olympic Games.


5. Discuss Throw:

A popular track and field event, athlete throws a heavy disc (called discuss) to a father distance than his competitor.  The sport’s origin dates can be traced back to the fifth century BC. It was one of the events of the ancient pentathlon (708 BC). The game was prominently advertised in the fundraising events of the modern Olympic Games as well.

Discuss Throw

4. Javelin Throw:

Javelin throw is a track and field athletics event where a javelin (spear shaped) is thrown by a participant as far as possible, from the take off mark. Finland enjoys the record of holding the most number of medals in the sport since the beginning of modern Olympics. During the time of Mycenaean and Romans, much lighter javelins were used.

Javelin Throw

3. Long Jump:

Formerly known as broad jump, long jump is a sport in which athletes contest for supremacy by attempting to leap farther distances from the take off point. This highly popular game has been part of the Ancient Olympics and even the very first modern Olympics Games in 1896. This is the only known jumping event in the Ancient Greece’s original Olympics’ pentathlon events. The game also finds its faint mention in Ancient Olympics of 656 BC.

Long jump

2. Wrestling:

Wrestling involves grappling techniques such as clinch fighting, throws and takedowns to name a few, employed by one competitor on the other in order to gain supremacy. It is one of the oldest forms of combat that was included in the ancient Olympics as well. Its origins can be dated back to 15,000 years in the French cave paintings. It features in some popular literary references, among which the most famous is Homer’s Iliad (12th or 13th century BC).


1. Running:

One of the most popular sporting events in Athletics, running is considered to be a very old sport. During the Greek era there were four kinds of running events that were organized. The stadion was the oldest form of running. Runners sprinted for 1, 2 to 24 stades. A stade was equal to the length of the stadium. Records of competitive racing dates back to 776 BC, the first recorded Olympic Games.


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