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Boxing History
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Boxing originated when a person first lifted a fist against another in play. Different eras of the sport have been distinguished by the use or nonuse of fist coverings. The ancient Greeks believed fist fighting was one of the games played by the gods on Olympus; thus it became part of the Olympic Games in about 688 BC. Homer has a reference to boxing in the Iliad. During Roman times the sport began to thrive on a wide scale. Boxers fought with leather bands around their fists for protection and sometimes wore metal-filled, leather hand coverings called cesti, resulting in...

One Hundred Years of the Paper Flight
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Until the end of the nineteenth century the majority of darts thrown in inns and taverns in this country and utilised in fairgrounds were imported from France. The French darts were made of wood, had a needle point, sometimes with a lead weight round the outside for better balance and always three or four turkey feathers as flights. Darts is often described as “a traditional English pub game” and, therefore, it would seem logical that any new inventions relating to the game, especially at the turn of the century, would come from, at least, within the British Isles. It will,...

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A History of Fencing
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The history of fencing parallels the evolution of civilization, back from the days of ancient Egypt and Rome, to the barbaric Dark Ages, to the fast and elegant Rennassiance, up to the modern, increasingly popular fencing of today. Fencing has always been regarded as more than a sport; it is an art form, an ancient symbol of power and glory, and a deeply personal, individual form of expression. Fencing is and always has been an intrinsic part of life, from the dueling and battle of yore to the widely captivating movies and facets of popular culture such as Zorro and...

Football violence in history
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Football has been associated with violence ever since its early beginnings in 13th century England. The original ‘folk’ form of the game, most often played on Shrove Tuesdays and other Holy Days, involved only slightly structured battles between the youth of neighbouring villages and towns. The presence of a ball, in the form of a leather-bound inflated pig’s bladder, was almost incidental to this semi-legitimised opportunity for settling old scores, land disputes, and engaging in 'manly', tribal aggression. Parallels existed in other European countries, such as the German Knappen and the Florentine calcio in costume, but the roots of the...

The History of Horse Racing
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By the time humans began to keep written records, horse racing was an organized sport in all major civilizations from Central Asia to the Mediterranean. Both chariot and mounted horse racing were events in the ancient Greek Olympics by 638 BC, and the sport became a public obsession in the Roman Empire. The origins of modern racing lie in the 12th century, when English knights returned from the Crusades with swift Arab horses. Over the next 400 years, an increasing number of Arab stallions were imported and bred to English mares to produce horses that combined speed and endurance. Matching...

History of Ice Skating in Australia
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The year 1904 is now regarded as the start of the sport of ice skating in Australia with the opening of the first artificial ice skating rink, the Glaciarium, at 91 Hindley Street, Adelaide, South Australia, on Tuesday, September 6th, 1904, as reported in the Adelaide Advertiser. This building is still in use today. After many uses and several changes over the years it is the current home of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and can be viewed on their website. Prior to this date there was some activity regarding ice skating in Australia. This mainly involved developing the ways and...

The early history of real tennis
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Real Tennis as it is called in Britain, Royal Tennis as it is called in Australia, Court Tennis as it is called in the States, Jeu de Paume as it is called in France or Tennis as it is properly known, is the oldest of all the racket games, and unlike most of the others, such as squash or lawn tennis, it is a product of evolution rather than pure invention. The game started to form into something recognisable in the 11th century. It started as hand ball, played by monks around the cloisters of monasteries in Italy and France,...

Rugby History
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Rugby history in England goes back long into the 19th century and even earlier. In 1800's formalities were introduced to football rules in the seven major public schools of England. Six of the seven schools were largely playing the same game (including Eton, Harrow and Winchester) - while the seventh, Rugby School (founded in 1567) at Warwickshire, was playing a markedly different version of football. It is at Rugby school where rugby became codified into a sport. The other schools moved ahead refining their rules and eventually their game became known as "association football" - soccer. How the Rugby School's...

 Sean Fagan
Short Biographies of Fencing Masters
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History is filled with weapon masters winning fame and fortune with their spectacular skills. The Fencing master was a man of his time; respected, wealthy, glamorous, and well-travelled. Here are some short bios of a few of the most well-known fencing masters. George Silver was a teacher of defense in England during the sixteenth century. Silver highly disapproved of the Italian and Spanish fencers, and their weapon of choice, the Rapier. He considered the Rapier a dangerous and ineffective weapon, and unfit for use. Silver wrote two major essays, "Paradoxes of Defense" and "Brief Instructions on my Paradoxes of Defense",...

History of Badminton
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Before Badminton House, there was poona. Before poona, there was jeu de volant. Before that, battledore and shuttlecock, and, before that, Ti Jian Zi. It's not easy tracking the family lineage of the sport now known as badminton. As far back as the 5th century BC, the Chinese were playing Ti Jian Zi, or shuttle-kicking, a game played with the feet. The shuttlecock was there, but it remains unclear whether it led to the game of battledore and shuttlecock that arose about five centuries later in China, Japan, India and Greece. The battledores were the early versions of today's racquets....