When we think of sports, it is easy to refer to the mainstream sports that we know so well. Football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer; all of these sports dominate the conversation on a daily basis in nearly every corner of the world.
What may come as a surprise is that these sports are infantile compared to some of the oldest sports created. But what are the oldest sports going right now? Here are the top five oldest sports.
Many consider wrestling to be the oldest sport in the world. There are cave paintings going back nearly 16,000 years depicting wrestling. It has followed through the centuries and is still one of the world’s most popular sports throughout the continent of Europe.
It only makes sense that one of the simplest and most accessible sports is one of the oldest. It is a universal human expression and one of the key components to most popular sports today. In the first Olympics in 776 BC, it was the only sport that was actually recorded.
- Javelin Throwing
Another sport that was part of some of the earliest Olympic games. Moreover, it is still around, a common track and field event. The sport can be traced back as far as 708 BC, though it was introduced to modern Olympics around 1906.
Polo dates back to the Persian Empire in Central Asia, played by the emperors of the time. It is a team sport that uses horses and mallets to guide a small wooden ball into designated goals. The first documented polo game goes back to 316 AD, though the modern game was developed in India during the British Empire.
While ice hockey is a relatively new invention, the game of hockey can be traced back to 600 BC in ancient Greece. It was originally known as “shinty” and the term “hockey” was first used in 1363. It expanded with the British Empire in the 1800s and has become a globally popular sport.