Please note: We have mainly written about England, as that is the country within the UK where our students live. We would be very happy for schools and visitors to send us information we can add to our website on Wales and Scotland.
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Many of the world's famous sports began in Britain, including cricket, football, lawn tennis, golf and rugby
England's national sport is cricket although to many people football (soccer) is seen as our national sport. Football is our most popular sport. Some of England's football teams are world famous, the most famous being Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool.
Cricket is played on village greens and in towns/cities on Sundays from April to August
The rules of cricket became the responsibility, in the 18th century, of the Marylebone Cricket Club(MCC), based at Lord’s cricket ground in north
Teams are made up of 11 players each. They play with a ball slightly smaller than a baseball and a bat shaped like a paddle. Two batters stand in front of wickets, set about 20 metres apart. Each wicket consists of three wooden rods (stumps) pushed into the ground, with two small pieces of wood (bails) balanced on top. A member of the opposing team (the bowler) throws the ball towards one of the batters, who must hit the ball so that it does not knock a bail off the wicket. If the ball travels far enough, the two batters run back and forth between the wickets while the fielders on the opposing team try to catch the ball. The game is scored according to the number of runs, which is the number of times the batters exchange places.
Football is undoubtedly the most popular sport in England, and has been played for hundreds of years.
In the English Football League there are 92 professional clubs. These are semi-professional, so most players have other full-time jobs. Hundreds of thousands of people also play football in parks and playgrounds just for fun.
The highlight of the English football year is the FA (Football Association) Cup Final each May.
|Did you know?
|The first set of laws of the game of football, or soccer as it is known in the US, date from the formation of The Football Association in England in 1863.
Rugby originated from Rugby school in Warwickshire. It is similar to football, but played with an oval ball. Players can carry the ball and tackle each other. The best rugby teams compete in the Super League final each September.
For many years Rugby was only played by the rich upper classes, but now it is popular all over the country. There are two different types of rugby - Rugby League, played mainly in the north of England, and Rugby Union, played in the rest of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, together with France and Italy, play in an annual tournament called the Six Nations.
American Football derived from our game of Rugby also Baseball derived from the old English game of Rounders.
The world's most famous tennis tournament is Wimbledon. It started at a small club in south London in the nineteenth century. It begins on the nearest Monday to June 22, at a time when English often have the finest weather. Millions of people watch the Championships on TV live.
It is traditional for visitors to eat strawberries and cream whilst they watch the tennis.
|Did you know?
| Wimbledon is the oldest of all the major tennis tournaments beginning in 1877. The rewards of prize money began in 1968 when the total purse allocated was £26,150 (about $40,000).
Netball is the largest female team sport in England. The sport is played almost exclusively by women and girls, although male participation has increased in recent years.
Over 3 million people participate in basketball in the UK.
Scotland is traditionally regarded as the home of golf. There are over 400 golf courses in Scotland alone. The most important golf club in Scotland is in the seaside town of St. Andrews, near Dundee.
Horseracing, the sport of Kings is a very popular sport with meetings being held every day throughout the year. The Derby originated here, as did The Grand National which is the hardest horse race in the world.
Horse racing and greyhound racing are popular spectator sports. People can place bets on the races at legal off-track betting shops. Some of the best-known horse races are held at Ascot, Newmarket, Goodwood and Epsom.
Ascot, a small town in the south of England, becomes the centre of horse-racing world for one week in June. It's called Royal Ascot because the Queen always goes to Ascot. She has a lot of racehorses and likes to watch racing.
Another equestrian sport is polo, brought to Britain from India in the 19th Century by army officers. It is the fastest ball sport in the world.
Polo is played with four men on horses to a team. A ball is hit with a stick towards the goal, one at each end of a 300 yard long by 160 yard wide field...
Find out more here ....
Table Tennis (ping pong)
Table tennis was invented in England in 1880. It began with Cambridge University students using cigar boxes and champagne corks.
Although the game originated in England, British players don't have much luck in international championships.
Badminton takes its name from the Duke of Beaufort’s country home, Badminton House, where the sport was first played in the 19th century.
University Boat Race
In the nineteenth century, students at Oxford and Cambridge, Britain's two oldest universities, were huge fans of rowing. In 1829, the two schools agreed to hold a race against each other for the first time on the Thames River. The Oxford boat won and a tradition was born. Today, the University Boat Race is held every spring in either late March or early April.
Angling is one of the most popular sports in the UK, with an estimated 3.3 million people participating in the sport on a regular basis. Fishermen can be see sitting beside rivers and lakes.
The two main forms of bowls are lawn flat green (outdoor and indoor) and crown green.
Boxing in its modern form is based on the rules established by the Marquess of Queensberry in 1865. In the UK boxing is both amateur and professional, and strict medical regulations are applied in both.
Swimming is also a popular pastime and enjoyed by people of all ages.
Various martial arts, mainly derived from the Far East, are practised in the UK, such as judo and karate.
Darts is a very popular pub game. The game of darts, as it is today, was invented in the north of England in a town called Grimsby. However, the origins of the game date back to at least the Middle Ages.