England are currently the only country that has won the Football, Cricket and Rugby World Cups which is quite an achievement for such a small country. If you widen the sporting base to Great Britain you can also include the Olympics, Baseball, Formula 1, Hockey, Rugby League along with many other smaller sports. England’s women have also won the Rugby (1994, 2014) and Cricket (1973, 1993, 2009,2017) World cups There are many different kinds of sport, but most can be grouped into four main categories: these are athletics, which includes swimming competitions, gymnastics, and a wide range of track and field events; racing sports, which involve the use of transportation, such as horse racing, cycling, and motor racing; combat-based sports, such as judo and wrestling; and ball games, such as rugby, tennis, and football. The origins of many sports can be traced to ancient Egyptian or Greek times. Combat sports particularly derived from battle training although other types of throwing and hitting sports may well have improved hand / eye coordination. The development of the majority of sports as competitions, rather than pastimes, took place in the 18th and 19th centuries, when sports such as cricket, football, rugby football, golf, and tennis became increasingly popular. Cricket first became popular in the late 18th century, while football clubs first began to be formed in the 1820s and the first football league was formed in 1888. Though most sports are now played professionally and earn major revenues, many - such as cricket, football, snooker, and hockey - are also played regularly at club and amateur levels, and in some cases are organized into competitive `Sunday leagues’. Although many sports can’t be proved as to when they were first played in terms of kicking something around or hitting something with a stick, most have a level of proof of when they were first properly organised as a game or sport with rules written down. Many of these sports were first codified by British public schools. Football or Soccer had a number of different codes such as the Cambridge rules, Charterhouse rules and Sheffield rules until the Football Association was formed and created the ‘Laws of the Game’ in 1863 Many other sports first had their rules written down by the British and the British have also looked at what others have been doing for years as a pastime or way of life and decided to make it competitive.

Association Football

Originating in the UK and now popular all over the world but particularly in Europe and Latin America. The modern game is played in the UK according to the rules laid down by the home countries' football associations. Slight amendments to the rules take effect in certain competitions and international matches as laid down by the sport's world governing body, Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA, 1904). FIFA organizes the competitions for the World Cup, held every four years since 1930.

Badminton

Racket game similar to lawn tennis but played on a smaller court and with a shuttlecock (a half sphere of cork or plastic with a feather or nylon skirt) instead of a ball. The object of the game is to prevent the opponent from being able to return the shuttlecock. Badminton is played by two or four players. The court measures 6.1 m/ 20 ft by 13.4 m/44 ft. A net, 0.8 m/ 2.5 ft deep, is stretched across the middle of the court and at a height of 1.52 m/5 ft above the ground to the top of the net. The shuttlecock must be volleyed. Only the server can win points. The sport is named after Badminton House, the seat of the duke of Beaufort, where the game was played in the 19th century. The major tournaments are held on indoor courts; they include the Thomas Cup , an international team championship for men, first held 1949, and the Uber Cup, a women's international team competition, first held 1957. The invention of a cheap and durable synthetic shuttlecock 1952 gave the game a wider appeal, though synthetic shuttlecocks are not accepted in top-level badminton games. In Britain there are an estimated 4 million badminton players. World championships have existed since 1977 in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles and are now held every two years.

Bobsleigh

Bobsleigh was invented by a group of Englishmen on holiday in Switzerland in 1890. Their aim was to create a sled that could carry two or more people down a snow covered road between St Moritz and Celerina. The new sport immediately caught on and a special track, complete with banked curves, made of ice, was constructed next to the road in 1902. The first races were for 5 and 6 people and a requirement of the competition was that each crew included at least one woman. This requirement was dropped in the 1930s and the disciplines altered to 2 and 4 man events.

Bowls

Outdoor and indoor game popular in Commonwealth countries. It has been played in Britain since the 13th century and was popularized by Francis Drake, who is reputed to have played bowls on Plymouth Hoe as the Spanish Armada approached in 1588. The outdoor game is played on a finely cut grassed area called a rink, with biased bowls 13 cm / 5 in in diameter. It is played as either singles, pairs, triples, or fours. The object is to get one's bowl (or bowls) as near as possible to the jack (target). There are two popular forms: lawn bowls, played on a flat surface, and crown green bowls, played on a rink with undulations and a crown at the centre of the green. This latter version is more popular in the Midlands and N England. The major events include the World Outdoor Championship first held 1966 for men and 1969 for women, the World Indoor Championship first held 1979 for men and 1988 for women, and the Waterloo Handicap, Crown Green bowling's principal tournament, which was first held 1907 at the Waterloo Hotel, Blackpool, England.

Boxing

Fighting with gloved fists is known to date back to 1520 in Greece. The sport dates from the 18th century, when fights were fought with bare knuckles and untimed rounds. Each round ended with a knockdown. Fighting with gloves became the accepted form in the latter part of the 19th century after the formulation of the Queensberry Rules in 1867. Jack Broughton (1704-1789) was one of the early champions and in 1743 drew up the first set of boxing rules. The last bare-knuckle championship fight was between John L Sullivan and Jake Kilrain in 1899. Today all boxing follows the original Queensberry Rules, but with modifications. Contests take place in a roped ring 4.3-6.1 m/14-20 ft square. All rounds last three minutes. Amateur bouts last three rounds; professional championship bouts last as many as 12 or 15 rounds. Boxers are classified according to weight and may not fight in a division lighter than their own. The weight divisions in professional boxing range from straw -weight (also known as paperweight and mini-flyweight), under 49 kg/108 lb, to heavyweight , over 88 kg/195 lb.

Canoeing

Sport of propelling a lightweight, shallow boat, pointed at both ends, by paddles or sails. Present-day canoes are made from fibreglass, but original boats were of wooden construction covered in bark or skin. Canoeing was developed as a sport by John Macgregor, a British barrister, in 1865. Two types of canoe are used: the kayak and the Canadian-style canoe. The kayak, derived from the Inuit model, has a keel and the canoeist sits. The Canadian-style canoe has no keel and the canoeist kneels. In addition to straightforward racing, there are slalom courses, with up to 30 ‘gates’ to be negotiated through rapids and around artificial rock formations. Penalty seconds are added to course time for touching suspended gate poles or missing a gate. One to four canoeists are carried. The sport was introduced into the Olympic Games 1936. The Royal Canoe Club in Britain was founded on 26 July 1866.

Cricket

Bat-and-ball game between two teams of 11 players each. It is played with a small solid ball and long flat-sided wooden bats, on a round or oval field, at the centre of which is a finely mown pitch, 20 m / 22 yd long. At each end of the pitch is a wicket made up of three upright wooden sticks (stumps), surmounted by two smaller sticks (bails). The object of the game is to score more runs than the opposing team. A run is normally scored by the batsman striking the ball and exchanging ends with his or her partner until the ball is returned by a fielder, or by hitting the ball to the boundary line for an automatic four or six runs. The exact origins of cricket are unknown, but it certainly dates back to the 16th century. The name is thought to have originated from the Anglo-Saxon word cricc, meaning a shepherd's staff. The first players were the shepherds of south- east England, who used their crooks as bats and the wicket gate and movable bail of the sheep pens as a target for the bowlers. It became popular in southern England in the late 18th century. Rules were drawn up in 1774 and modified following the formation of the MCC in 1787. The game's amateur status was abolished in 1963. Sponsored one-day cricket was introduced in the same year. From 1967 two overseas players were allowed in British first-class teams. Cricket is closely associated with pubs and inns in England with many village inns hosting the local village pitch and many a pleasant afternoon can be spent supping some fine ale whilst watching the game go by.

Croquet

Outdoor game played with mallets and balls on a level hooped lawn measuring 27 m/90 ft by 18 m/60 ft. The present day game originated as a country house lawn game in Ireland in 1852. Two or more players can play, and the object is to drive the balls though the hoops (wickets) in rotation. A player's ball may be advanced or retarded by another ball. The headquarters of croquet is the Croquet Association (founded 1897), based at the Hurlingham Club, London.

Curling

Game played on ice with stones, sometimes described as ‘bowls on ice’. One of the national games of Scotland, it has spread to many countries. It can also be played on artificial (cement or tarmacadam) ponds. At the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, curling was included as a medal event for the first time. Two tees are erected about 35 m/38 yd apart. There are two teams of four players. The object of the game is to deliver the stones near the tee, those nearest scoring. Each player has two stones, of equal size, fitted with a handle. The usual weight of the stone (a thick, disc like object), is about 16-20 kg/36- 42 lb. In Canada, the weight is greater (about 27 kg/60 lb) and iron replaces stone. The stone is slid on one of its flat surfaces and it may be curled in one direction or another according to the twist given as it leaves the hand. The match is played for an agreed number of heads or shots, or by time. The first world championship for men was held in 1959 and in 1979 for women. The first club was formed at Kilsyth, Stirlingshire in 1510.

Darts

Indoor game played on a circular board. Darts (like small arrow shafts) about 13 cm/5 in long are thrown at segmented targets and score points according to their landing place. The game may have derived from target practice with broken arrow shafts in days when archery was a compulsory military exercise. The Pilgrim Fathers are believed to have played darts aboard the Mayflower 1620. The present-day numbering system was designed by Brian Gamlin of Bury, Lancashire, England, in 1896. The world championship was inaugurated in 1978 and is held annually.

Fives

Game of handball, where two or four players hit a hard ball against a wall or walls with padded gloves. In England there are three forms of the game, distinguished from one another by the names of the schools in which they were variously played: Eton, Rugby and Winchester Fives. Under the name of handball a similar game is played in the USA and Ireland. Although Eton Fives is known as the original game, dating back to 1825 when the game was played against the buttress of Eton College Chapel, a court existed at Lord Weymouth's School, Warminster as early as 1773 but the earliest known record of Fives being played is against the church wall at Babcary, Somerset in June 1765.

Golf

Outdoor game in which a small rubber-cored ball is hit with a wooden- or iron-faced club into a series of holes using the least number of shots. Most golf courses have 18 holes and are approximately 5,500 m / 6,000 yd in length. Golf developed in Scotland in the 15th century. Golf is played in two principal forms: stroke play (also known as medal play) and match play. In stroke play the lowest aggregate score for a round determines the winner. In match play, the object is to win holes by scoring less than one's opponent(s). Golf's handicap system allows for golfers of all levels to compete on equal terms. Players are handicapped according to the number of strokes they take for a round.

Hockey

Game played with hooked sticks and a small, solid ball, the object being to hit the ball into the goal. It is played between two teams, each of not more than 11 players. Hockey has been an Olympic sport since 1908 for men and since 1980 for women. The ground is 91.5 m/100 yd long and 54.9 m/60 yd wide. Goals, 2.13 m/7 ft high and 3.65 m/4 yd wide, are placed within a striking circle of a 14.64 m/16 yd radius, from which all shots at goal must be made. The white ball weighs about 155 grams/ 5.5 oz, circumference about 228 mm/9 in. Most sticks are about 91 cm/3 ft long and they must not exceed 50 mm/2 in diameter. The game is started by a ‘push-back’ (or ‘bully-off’). The ball may be stopped with the hand, but not held, picked up, thrown or kicked, except by the goalkeeper in his or her own striking circle. If the ball is sent into touch, it is returned to play by a ‘push-in’. The game is divided into two 35-minute periods; it is controlled by two umpires, one for each half of the field. It is believed that a game similar to hockey may date back to 2050 B.C. in Egypt. A game using hooked sticks, not unlike the contemporary ones, was played by the ancient Greeks, and under the names of ‘hurley’ and ‘shinty’ a primitive form of the game was played in Ireland and Scotland. There are references to the game in Lincolnshire in 1277 and the first country to form a National association was England when the Hockey association was founded at canon Street Hotel, London on 16 April 1875.

Hurling or Hurley

Stick-and-ball game played between two teams of 15 players each, popular in Ireland. Its object is to hit the ball, by means of a curved stick, into the opposing team's goal. If the ball passes under the goal's crossbar three points are scored; if it passes above the crossbar one point is scored. First played over 3,000 years ago, the game was at one time outlawed. The rules were standardized 1884, and are now under the control of the Gaelic Athletic Association. The premier competition, the All-Ireland Championship, was first held 1887.

Ice Hockey

First seen on the frozen River Thames in December 1796, Skating with a curved stick and a bung developed into a sport with a group of English veterans from the Royal Canadian Rifle Regiment playing a game in Kingston, Ontario, utilising a sliced, flattened ball, a precursor to the modern puck in 1860. The first official game being played between Oxford and Cambridge Universities in 1885 with the first league set up in 1903

Ice Skating

Self-propulsion on ice by means of bladed skates, or on other surfaces by skates with small rollers (wheels of wood, metal, or plastic). The chief competitive ice-skating events are figure skating, for singles or pairs, ice-dancing, and simple speed skating. The first world ice-skating championships were held in 1896. Although Skating on frozen ponds is known to have taken place as a pastime in Denmark in 1134 and England in 1180 it wasn't until the first club was formed in Edinburgh in 1742 that the pastime started to become a sport. Ice-skating became possible as a world sport from the opening of the first artificial ice rink in London, England in 1876. Figure skating includes both compulsory figures and freestyle combinations to music; ice-dancing has developed into a choreographed combination of ballet and popular dance movements welded to an artistic whole, as exemplified by John Curry and the team of Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean.

Mountaineering

Art and practice of mountain climbing. For major peaks of the Himalayas it was formerly thought necessary to have elaborate support from Sherpas (local people), fixed ropes, and oxygen at high altitudes (siege-style climbing). In the 1980s the Alpine style was introduced. This dispenses with these aids, and relies on human ability to adapt, Sherpa- style, to high altitude. Although some mountains have been scaled since the Bronze Age, it wasn't until 1854 when the Wetterhorn in Switzerland was climbed by Alfred Wills, that it became regarded as a sport. There is still some debate as to whether an earlier British expedition, actually reached the summit of Mount Everest before Sir Edmund Hilary achieved the monumental feat on 29th May 1953.

Rackets or racquets

Indoor game played on an enclosed court. Although first played in the Middle Ages, rackets developed in the 18th century and was played against the walls of London buildings. There is a record of the sale of a Racket Court at Southernhay, Exeter, Devon dated 12th January 1798. It is considered the forerunner of many racket and ball games, particularly squash. The game is played on a court usually 18.3 m/60 ft long by 9.1 m/30 ft wide, by two or four persons each with a racket about 75 cm/2.5 ft long, weighing 255 g/9 oz. The ball is 25 mm/1 in in diameter and weighs 28 g/1 oz. Play begins from a service box - one is marked at each side of mid-court - and the ball must hit the end wall above a 2.75 m/9 ft line high. After service it may be played anywhere above a line 68.5 cm/27 in high on the end wall, the general rules of tennis applying thereafter.

Rowing

Propulsion of a boat by oars, either by one rower with two oars (sculling) or by crews (two, four, or eight persons) with one oar each, often with a coxswain. Major events include the world championship, first held 1962 for men and 1974 for women, and the Boat Race (between England's Oxford and Cambridge universities), first held 1829. Doggett's Coat and Badge in 1715, begun for Thames watermen and also the first English race, still survives. Rowing as a sport began with the English Leander Club 1817. The Boat Race is rowed by crews from Oxford and Cambridge rowing clubs between Putney and Mortlake on the river Thames. The events of Henley Royal Regatta, another major international event, also take place on the Thames. Sir Stephen Redgrave became probably the greatest Olympian ever when he won his fifth successive Gold medal at the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000.

Rugby

Contact sport that originated at Rugby School, England, 1823 when a boy, William Webb Ellis, picked up the ball and ran with it while playing football. Rugby is played with an oval ball. It is now played in two forms: Rugby League and Rugby Union. Rugby League is predominantly played in Northern England along what is now know as the M62 corridor between Liverpool and Leeds. It was formed as the professional form of rugby football founded in England in 1895 as the Northern Union when a dispute about pay caused northern clubs to break away from the Rugby Football Union. The Rugby Football Union was formed 1871 and has its headquarters in England (Twickenham, Middlesex). At the start of each year, a competition is held, formally known as the Five Nations when England, France, Ireland, Scotland & Wales competed and now known as the Six Nations after Italy were invited to join.

Skiing

Even skiing is a British invented sport. Skiing generally means self-propulsion on snow by means of elongated runners (skis) for the feet, slightly bent upward at the tip. It is now a popular recreational sport, as cross-country ski touring or as downhill runs on mountain runs; events include downhill; slalom, in which a series of turns between flags have to be negotiated; cross-country racing; and ski jumping, when jumps of over 150 m / 490 ft are achieved from ramps up to 90 m / 295 ft high. Skiing was known as a means of transportation across snow in N Europe and Asia from about 3000 BC, but developed into a sport when innovations in ski design made it possible to manoeuvre more accurately. It wasn't until the 1820's that the Norwegians organised a few cross country 'races' on skis. In 1894, Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle wrote in 'Strand Magazine': "I am convinced that the day will come when hundreds of Englishmen will come to Switzerland for the 'ski'ing season." Soon after Sir Henry Lunn formed the 'Public Schools Alpine Sports Club' and started arranging Downhill races and then invented the 'Package Holiday' to gets Brits to the snow which could best be found in the European Alps.

Squash or squash rackets

Racket-and-ball game usually played by two people on an enclosed court, derived from rackets. Squash became a popular sport in the 1970s and later gained competitive status. There are two forms of squash: the American form, which is played in North and some South American countries, and the English, which is played mainly in Europe and Commonwealth countries such as Pakistan, Australia, and New Zealand. In English singles, the court is 10 m/32 ft long and 6.4 m/21 ft wide. The front wall is 5 m/15 ft high, and the back wall is 2.1 m/7 ft high. The side walls slant down from 15 ft at the front to 7 ft at the back. Doubles squash is played by two teams of two players each on a larger court. Players use rackets and a small rubber ball, the ball is hit against a wall (the front wall) and, when serving, must be above a line about 1.83 m/6 ft high. Thereafter the ball must be hit alternately against the front wall, within certain limitations, but rebounds off the other three walls are permitted. The object is to win points by playing shots the opponent cannot return to the wall. Squash was first played at Harrow public school in 1817. The Squash Rackets Association was formed in 1928. The World Open championship was first held in 1975.

Table Tennis or ping pong

Indoor game played on a rectangular table by two or four players. It was developed in Britain about 1880 and derived from lawn tennis. World championships were first held 1926. Play takes place on a table measuring 2.74 m/9 ft long by 1.52 m/5 ft wide. Across the middle is a 15.25-cm/6-in -high net over which the ball must be hit. The players use small, wooden paddles covered in sponge or rubber. A feature of the game is the amount of spin put on the small plastic ball. Volleying is not allowed. Points are scored by forcing the opponent(s) into an error. The first to score 21 wins the game. A match may consist of three or five games. In doubles play, the players must hit the ball in strict rotation.

Tennis or lawn tennis

Wimbledon Wimbledon Racket-and-ball game invented towards the end of the 19th century, derived from real tennis. Although played on different surfaces (grass, wood, shale, clay, concrete), it is also called ‘lawn tennis’. The aim of the two or four players is to strike the ball into the prescribed area of the court, with oval-headed rackets (strung with gut or nylon), in such a way that it cannot be returned. Until the mid-1970s, tennis rackets were made from wood or moulded from aluminium. In 1976, the Prince racket, made from sandwiched layers of aluminium and glass fibre, doubled the racket area to 130 sq in. Today, rackets are made from graphite and glass fibre. Major events include the Davis Cup first contested 1900 for international men's competition, and the annual All England Tennis Club championships (originating 1877), an open event for players of both sexes at Wimbledon. Although tennis was played in England as early as 1793, the first club wasn't formed until 1872 in Leamington by Major Harry Gem. Tennis was introduced by Major Walter Clopton Wingfield at a Christmas party at Nantclwyn, Wales, 1873 and is regarded as the first commercialised form of the sport. His game was then called ‘Sphairistike’. The game is won by those first winning four points (called 15, 30, 40, game), unless both sides reach 40 (deuce), when two consecutive points are needed to win. A set is won by winning six games with a margin of two over opponents, though a tie-break system operates, that is at six games to each side (or in some cases eight) except in the final set. A match lasts a maximum of five sets for men, three for women. Wimbledon is one of the four Grand Slam events; the others are the US Open, first held 1881 as the US Championships, becoming the US Open 1968; the French Championships; and the Australian Championships.

Tenpin Bowling

The object is to bowl a ball down an alley at pins (ten as opposed to nine). The game is usually between two players or teams. A game of tenpins is made up of ten ‘frames’. The frame is the bowler's turn to play and in each frame he or she may bowl twice. One point is scored for each pin knocked down, with bonus points for knocking all ten pins down in either one ball or two. The player or team making the greater score wins. The ancient German game of ninepins was introduced to America by Dutch immigrants in the 17th century. By the end of the 19th century it was very popular as a gambling game on the streets of New York. In about 1845 it was outlawed by the Connecticut and New Haven State Legislatures and the extra pin was added to get round the law. Although the modern game is derived from the German form, there is evidence that 10 pins were being used in Suffolk in the late 16th Century. Today's bowling lanes measure 18.3 m/60 ft to the nearest pin and have an extra 4.57 m/15 ft approach area; they are 1 m/3.5 ft wide. Balls weighing up to 7.25 kg/16 lb are made of rubber composition and drilled with holes for thumb and two fingers. Pins made of maple are 38.1 cm/1.25 ft high.

Trotting or harness racing

Form of horse racing, also known as trotting or pacing, in which the horses are harnessed, pull a light vehicle (sulky) and compete at either a trotting or pacing gait. If a horse breaks the pace and gallops, the driver must start it again. The trotting gait - the simultaneous use of diagonally opposed legs, was first recorded in England in 1750

Water Polo

Water sport developed in England 1869, originally called ‘soccer-in-water’. The aim is to score goals, as in soccer, at each end of a swimming pool. It is played by teams of seven on each side (from squads of 13). An inflated ball is passed among the players, who must swim around the pool without touching the bottom. A goal is scored when the ball is thrown past the goalkeeper and into a net. The Swimming Association of Great Britain recognized the game 1885. World championships were first held 1973; they are held during the world swimming championships.

Water Skiing

Water sport in which a person is towed across water on a ski or skis, wider than those used for skiing on snow, by means of a rope (23 m/75 ft long) attached to a speedboat. Competitions are held for overall performances, slalom, tricks, and jumping. Although the U.S.A. (1922) and France (1920) both claim to have invented the Sport, there is a photograph in existence of a contest during a regatta at Scarborough, Yorkshire on 15 July 1914 - won by local boy, Mr S. Storry. Its governing body, the Union Internationale de Ski Nautique, was founded 1946. World championships were first held 1949

Weightlifting

Sport of lifting the heaviest possible weight above one's head to the satisfaction of judges. In international competitions there are two standard lifts: snatch and jerk. In the snatch, the bar and weights are lifted from the floor to a position with the arms outstretched and above the head in one continuous movement. The arms must be locked for two seconds for the lift to be good. The jerk is a two-movement lift: from the floor to the chest, and from the chest to the outstretched position. The aggregate weight of the two lifts counts. The International Weightlifting Federation was formed in 1920, although a world championship was first held in London on 28 March 1891.

Yachting

Pleasure cruising or racing a small and light vessel, whether sailing or power-driven. At the Olympic Games, seven sail- driven categories exist: Soling, Flying Dutchman, Star, Finn, Tornado, 470, and Windglider or windsurfing (boardsailing). The Finn and Windglider are solo events; the Soling class is for three-person crews; all other classes are for crews of two. Yachting dates back to a £100 stake race between Charles II and his brother James, Duke of York on the Thames in 1661. The English yacht club, the Royal Yacht Squadron, was established at Cowes on the Isle of Wight 1812, and the Yacht Racing Association was founded 1875 to regulate the sport. The Observer Single-Handed Transatlantic Race (1960) is held every four years.
Some important dates in British sporting history
Year
Sport
Event
1175
Shrove Tuesday football mentioned in William Fitzstephen's History of London
1272
Shinty
Evidence from the Book of Leinster Sinteag survived until the end of the 19th century
1314
Shrove Tuesday Games banned by Edward II
1424
Football
King James restricts the game by decree
1457
Golf
Earliest known reference to golf in Scotland
1541
Curling
Earliest written report of curling in Scotland Paisley Abbey
1612
Olympics
1st Cotswold Olimpick Games, forerunner to the Modern Olympics
1673
Archery
Yorkshire Society of Archers formed (Scorton Arrow Meeting)
1715
Rowing
Doggett's Coat and Badge contested for the first time River Thames
1752
Horse Racing
Jockey Club founded
1754
Golf
Royal and Ancient Golf Club founded St Andrews
1761
Curling
First curling club formed Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch
1776
Horse Racing
1st St Leger at Doncaster Founded by Col St Ledger
1780
Horse Racing
1st Oaks run at Epsom Downs
1788
Cricket
Marylebone Cricket Club move to Lord's cricket ground Dorset Square Marylebone & codifies rules of cricket
1796
Ice Hockey
Ice Hockey first played on the River Thames
1805
Cricket
1st Eton v Harrow Cricket Match
1807
Horse Racing
1st Ascot Gold Cup
1809
Horse Racing
2000 Guineas established at Newmarket
1814
Boxing
Pugilist Club founded
1814
Cricket
1st match at Lords cricket ground
1814
Horse Racing
1000 Guineas established at Newmarket
1823
Rugby Football
William Webb Ellis said to have invented rugby football
1824
Rowing
1st Eton v Westminster Boat Race River Thames
1829
Rowing
1st Oxford v Cambridge Boat Race Henley-on-Thames Oxford won
1838
Curling
Royal Caledonian Curling Club formed
1839
Horse Racing
Grand National staged at Aintree for the first time
1839
Rowing
1st Henley Royal Regatta
1855
Racquets
1st Oxford v Cambridge Racquets match
1857
Mountaineering
Alpine Club founded
1860
Golf
1st British Open Championship Prestwich Scotland
1860
Shooting
National Rifle Association founded
1863
Association football
Football Association Founded
1866
Athletics
Amateur Athletic Club founded J. G. Chambers
1866
Canoeing
First (Royal) Canoe Club founded at Richmond-on-Thames by James Macgregor
1867
Boxing
The Marquess of Queensbery codifies boxing rules
1869
Swimming
Amateur Swimming Association founded
1870
Water Polo
Water Polo founded by the London Swimming Association
1871
Association Football
The F.A. Cup established
1871
Rugby Union
Rugby Football Union founded Pall Mall
1871
Rugby Union
1st England v Scotland Rugby international match Raeburn Place Edinburgh
1872
Association Football
1st England v Scotland Football international
1873
Association Football
Scottish Football Association founded
1873
Association Football
1st Scottish Cup final Queen's Park win
1873
Rugby Union
Scottish Rugby Union founded
1874
Lawn Tennis
Major W.C. Wingfield invents lawn tennis Patented as Sphairistike
1875
Polo
Hurlingham Polo Association founded
1875
Sailing
Royal Yachting Association founded Later Yacht Racing Association 1953
1875
Swimming
1st person to swim the English Channel Captain Matthew Webb
1877
Lawn Tennis
1st Wimbledon All England Lawn Tennis Championships - won by Englishman Spencer Gore
1878
Association Football
1st match played under floodlights Bramall Lane Sheffield
1878
Cycling
Bicycle Touring Club (later Cyclist's Touring Club) founded
1878
Rugby Union
1st Calcutta Cup match England v Scotland
1880
Athletics
Amateur Athletic Association founded
1880
Boxing
Amateur Boxing Association founded
1880
Cricket
1st England v Australia Test Match
1882
Rowing
Amateur Rowing Association founded
1882
Rugby Union
Neutral umpires introduced
1882
Rugby Union
1st seven-a-side match Melrose
1883
Athletics
National Cross-Country Union founded Renamed English Cross Country Union in 1937
1883
Olympism
National Olympian Association founded
1883
Rugby Union
1st Wales v Scotland international Edinburgh Scotland won
1884
Cricket
1st Test Match - Old Trafford
1884
Cricket
1st Test Match at Lord's Cricket Ground
1884
Lawn Tennis
Maud Watson becomes first Wimbledon ladies winner
1884
Boxing
Amateur Boxing Association founded
1884
Hurling
Established as the official Irish Game by the GAA
1885
Ice Hockey
1st European game of Ice Hockey between Oxford University and Cambridge University
1885
Billiards
The Billiards Association founded
1886
Field Hockey
Hockey Association founded
1888
Lawn Tennis
Lawn Tennis Association founded
1888
Association Football
Football League founded
1888
Gymnastics
Amateur Gymnastics Association founded Changed to British Amateur Gymantics Association in 1962
1893
Badminton
The Badminton Association of England founded Changed name to the Badminton Association in 1934
1893
Golf
The Ladies' Golf Union founded
1893
Rugby League
Northern Union (later Rugby League 1895) founded
1893
Shinty
Camanachd Association founded
1895
Badminton
Badminton Association founded
1895
Field Hockey
All England Women's Hockey Association founded
1896
Croquet
Croquet Association founded
1896
Motor Cycle Racing
1st organised competition
1900
Lawn Tennis
Lawn Tennis Association founded
1900
Lawn Tennis
1st Davis Cup competition Presented by D. F. Davis for International competition
1901
Golf
Professional Golfers' Association founded
1902
Fencing
Amateur Fencing Association founded
1902
Gymnastics
Welsh Amateur Gymanstics Association founded
1902
Horse Racing
Report of the Select Committee on Betting published
1902
Wrestling
Amateur Wrestling association founded Later to become the English Olympic Wrestling Association 1974
1903
Bowling
English Bowling Association founded
1903
Ice Hockey
1st Ice Hockey League formed
1904
Speedway
1st race Portman Road Ipswich
1905
Olympic
British Olympic Association founded
1906
Rugby Union
1st Wales v South Africa international Swansea South Africa won
1906
Shooting
National Small-Bore Rifle Association founded
1907
Bowling
British Crown Green Bowling Association founded
1907
Show Jumping
1st International Horse Show Olympia London
1907
Tennis
Tennis and Rackets Association founded
1908
Association Football
1st International Match England v Austria in Vienna England won 6-1
1908
Billiards
Billiards Control Council formed Merged with the Billiards Association to form Billiards and Snooker Control Board
1908
Ice Hockey
British Ice Hockey Association founded
1908
Olympic Games
4th Olympic Games - London
1909
Angling
National Federation of Sea Anglers founded
1909
Rugby Union
1st rugby international at Twickenham
1911
Weight Lifting
British Amateur Weight Lifters' Association founded
1914
Roller Hockey
National Roller Hockey Association of G. B. founded
1921
Table Tennis
Table Tennis Association founded Later to become the English Table Tennis Association 1927
1923
Show Jumping
British Show Jumping Association founded
1923
Association Football
1st F.A. Cup Final played at Wembley Stadium. Bolton Wanderers 2 West Ham 0 gate 126 047
1923
Rounders
National Rounders Association founded
1926
Bowling
English Bowling Federation founded
1926
Cricket
Women's Cricket Association founded
1926
Netball
All England Women's Netball Association founded
1926
Squash
Squash Rackets Association founded
1927
Snooker
1st World Championship Joe Davis winner
1927
Table Tennis
English Table Tennis Association founded
1928
Clay Pigeon Shooting
Clay Pigeon Shooting Association founded
1928
Bobsleigh
British Bobsleigh Association founded
1929
Gliding
British Gliding Association founded
1930
Bicycle Polo
Bicycle Polo Association of Great Britain founded
1932
Athletics
British Amateur Athletic Board founded
1936
Basketball
Amateur Basketball Association founded changed name to English Basket Ball Association in 1974
1936
Canoeing
British Canoe Union formed
1944
Mountaineering
British Mountaineering Council founded
1948
Judo
British Judo Association founded
1948
Olympic Games
14th Olympic Games - London
1949
Water Skiing
British Water Ski Federation founded
1953
Swimming
British sub-Aqua club founded
1954
Athletics
1st four-minute mile Roger Bannister Iffley Road Stadium Oxford
1954
Rugby League
Rugby League Challenge Cup at Odsal Stadium Bradford Largest RL crowd to date 102 569
1965
Association Football
Stanley Matthews knighted for services to soccer whilst still playing in the top division aged 50
1966
Association Football
World Cup – England. England beat West Germany 4-2 in final
1969
Lawn Tennis
Ann Jones becomes first professional British Wimbledon winner
1972
Rugby League
Great Britain wins rugby league World Cup
1974
Hang Gliding
British Hang Gliding Association founded
1977
Lawn Tennis
Virginia Wade wins Wimbledon
1984
Ice Skating
Torvill & Dean become the only couple to receive nine 6.0 scores (perfect scores) in the Olympics
1988
Golf
Sandy Lyle becomes first Scotsman to win the US Masters
1989
Golf
Nick Faldo becomes first Englishman to win the US Masters
1991
Golf
Ian Woosnam becomes first Welshman to win the US Masters
1996
Association Football
European Championships hosted in England
2000
Rowing
Steve Redgrave becomes the only man to win gold at five consecutive Olympic Games in an endurance sport.
2002
Boxing
Lennox Lewis becomes the last undisputed world heavyweight champion.
2003
Rugby
England win the Rugby World Cup
2012
Cycling
Bradley Wiggins becomes the first British winner of the Tour de France
2012
Olympics
30th Olympic Games - London
2013
Lawn Tennis
Andy Murray becomes the first professional British Wimbledon winner
2020
Association Football
European Championships hosted in England
Britain has a wide and varied sporting history. The National sport is regarded as being Association Football - One of many sports invented by the British which is now played worldwide. The Fat Badgers believe that ideally, sport should be played on a sports pitch, television should be watched in the home and drinking should be done in an inn - however sport, television and drinking are linked together in many ways and therefore we show a football symbol when an inn shows televised sport. The beauty of British inns is that they usually have a bar and a lounge, we would prefer to see the lounge remain as a drinking, eating and socialising room and the bar remain as the venue for any televised sports.
British Sport