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World’s Top 10 Oldest Sports


Ever wondered which sport is the oldest in whole human history ? We dig deep and managed to the top 10 sports which are officially the oldest sports in the world.

#1. Wrestling

Just like prostitution is the oldest profession, Wrestling is widely considered as the oldest sport in the world. Wrestling infect as the documented evidence unlike some of the other oldest sports listed on this page. Here are some details about the history of Wrestling.

  • A “fragment of papyrus” which reportedly date back between 100 and 200 A.D which has the instructions about how to wrestle. The text is in greek language and the word “pleckson” us used several times which is translated to “fight it out” in english. The document was discovered back in 1800s in Egypt.
  • That is not the only document evidence, there have been many dates back to different times but the one mentioned above is certainly the oldest ever found. So there is little doubt that Wresting is certainly the oldest sport known to man.
  • It has evolved over the centuries ofcourse and it was was part of olympics as first set of sports in era between 800 to 1200 BC. P
  • While Professional wrestling circuits were first introduce in Paris, France in 1830s.
  • Today Wrestling is not only an olympic sport but a full fledge professional career and widely regarded as one of the most popular and top sport in the world.

#2. Running & Long Jump


Running is the World’s most accessable sport and it always has been even now. Running universal human physical expression and it should not come as surprise that along with wrestling Running is the oldest sport. Here are some points about running as a sport.
Oldest Sports recorded

  • Running was the only sport in the first ever recorded Olympics held in Athens back in 776 BCE.
  • While competitive running was in modern times is recorded back to 1829 BCE.
  • Running as a sport as many disciplines in the Olympics, with slightly different requirements such as marathon, sprint, long jumping and hurdling etc

#3. Javelin & Discuss Throw


Very interesting sport which is still very popular in the modern olympics, Javelin Throwing is a track and field sport and it dates back to ancient olympics in 708 bc. Here are details about historic transition of the sport to moden Javelin throwing.

  • Couple of disciplines likes distance and target throw were part of the sport in the artifactions found which dates back to ancient olympics in the era of 708s.
  • In the 1870’s Poles used as Javelin now were introduce in Germany and Sweden and by next decade it became yearly national event in Sweden and Finland. no wonder 50% of the medals awarded in in modern olympics to date went to athletes from Scandinavian countries like Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway.
  • In 1890s some rule changes were introduce like limited run-ups before throwing instead of standing throws.
  • It was introduce in modren olympics in 1906 while for women it was introduce in 1932 olympics.

#4. Polo


Polo is a team game which is played on horses. Its bit like Hockey the different of course being played on horses back where both teams try to outscore each other by putting “small wooden ball” in the goal.

Polo origans dates back to peak of persian empire in central Asia it is believed that Persian emperors used to learn horse riding at very early age and used to play a sport which would later go onto be be knows as Polo.

316 AD is the documented evidence about sport like Polo in Persian empire. While the modern game with rules and rgulations was developed in India during the time of British empire and the first Polo club dates back to 1833 in India.

#5. Boxing


Boxing is a combat sport and one of the most popular comat sport in the world. It has a long and illustrious history in modern times. While historicly speaking “fist fightïng” as a sport has evidence from 2nd and 3rd millenium BC but the fist fighting with hand protection is believe to be in existence from 900 bc to 1500 bc. Romans also had Boxing like sport with leather thong wrapped around the hands but in Roman era boxing was more of a fight till death so strange to call it sport.

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While fist fighting as a sport with rules and regulations can be found in England with “bare-knuckle fighting” in 1681. Boxing’s first rules dates back to 1743 with introduction of 30 second count, no hitting while opponent is down etc.

But from 17th to 18th century fist fighting or boxing sort sport were widely considered illegitimate and there werent many rulings. Amature boxing was introduce in Olympics in 1908, that kind gave new life to boxing with weigh-division rules coming into play at the same time.

So with young boxers fighting in amature events and olympics they would go down to become professional fighters later in their careers ultimately developing better skills of boxing helping to improve the standard. Now boxing is one of the most popular sport in the world.

#6. Gymnastic


Gymnastic is originated from ancient greek and at the beginning it was set of training methods deployed for military training but as a sport its history is not much known from the ancient times.

As far as the modern Gymnastics is concerned it dates back to late 18th century when two physical educators from Germany developed and exercise from boys using “apparatus” it would later go on to become a sporting event quickly spread across europe and than world.

The international federation for Gymnastic was established in 1891 while it was introduced as a sport with several events for both men and women in 1896.

#7. Football/Soccer


Football sort sports has been played since early centuries from 200 to 300 bc according to FIFA FIFA (The world governing body of football). In the medieval time loads of games involving “Ball” were played around Europe and some of the them were pretty much like football. A game called “mob football” was played in England in 10th century but the number of players included were unlimited. Football sort sport were continued to be played around Europe and specially and England and that is where the modern rules/codes were formed when football was played in the schools in England.

The Sheffield FC is the oldest professional football club which was formed in 1857 and soon after that football modern rules were introduced and the first professional cup competition now known as FA Cup started.

#9. Hurling


Hurling has been played in Ireland for over 3000 years making it one of the most oldest sport in the world. It is a team game which is played with stick called “Hurley” and the ball “sliotar”. The objective is to score goals into the opposing goalposts with the use of stick. Unlike some of the other sport listed here Hurling has a documented history and it is very popular in Ireland.

#10. Field Hockey


A game pretty similar to field hockey can be traced back to ancient greek where some of the graphics discovered shows paintings people playing some sport with a curved stick/horne and ball. The modern hockey rules were invented in England by middlesex circket club in last 19th century and it spread to british colonies In Australia, Africa and sub-continent. International hockey federations was established and hockey was included in the olympics in 1908.

Worlds Oldest Sports 
NO# SPORT ORIGIN TURNED PROFESSIONAL
1 Wrestling  100-200 BC 1830s
2 Running / Long Jump 200 BC Part of Olympics since the ancient greek times
3 Javelin Throwing  706 BC Olympics sport (not played professionally)
4 Polo  1100 BC played on a small Semi-professional scale
5 Boxing  16th Century In 1891 National sporting club held pro fights.
6 Gymnastic  18th Century Olympic Sport (not played professionally)
7 Hurling  18th Century
8 Field Hockey 20th Century Late 1900s it became a professional sport played around the world.
9 Rugby  19th Century Openly professional in 1995 after restrictions were removed for payments to players
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Written by PH

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