An Introduction to British Sports

 

Sports have been played in Great Britain for several centuries. In fact, some of the world’s best loved sports originated in Great Britain and are still played to this day. In addition, several traditional British sports have been adopted and adapted by other countries to create vibrant new versions of these sports.

 

Image of Soccer ball on the green grass of Soccer field.Football

Football is perhaps the most popular sport in Britain. Virtually every town in Great Britain has its own football team and stadium, and some major cities such as London and Manchester have several major football teams. Football is also played in most schools in Great Britain and in addition to professional football teams Great Britain also boasts numerous casual football teams.

Rugby players tackling during game at the parkRugby

This popular sport was invented at Rugby school (hence its name) in the English town of Warwickshire in the 19th century. Rugby features an oblong ball rather than a round ball and unlike football, players are permitted to run with the ball in addition to kicking it around the pitch. Similarly to what happens in football, players compete to score goals for their team, although unlike football, goals are scored by kicking the ball over the high bar of one of the posts at either end of the pitch.

 

Cricket batsman hitting a ball shot from below against a blue skyCricket

Cricket was established in England in the 16th century and is played with two teams, each with eleven players. This game is played with a bat and a ball rather than a bat and batter. Each team take turns to score runs whilst the other team fields. Unlike most sports, which typically last for around 90 minutes, cricket games typically last for several hours and can go on for days, in certain conditions. This sport has become extremely popular in several parts of the world in addition to Great Britain, especially India, Sri Lanka, Australia and South Africa and international cricket matches are played each month, especially in the summer.

 

Close-up of tennis player holding racket and ball in handsTennis

This quintessential British game is played between two opponents, who try to score points by making the other player miss the ball. A point is either scored by the other player when their opponent misses the ball, when the ball hits the net on their opponent’s side or when the ball is determined to have gone off the lines that mark the area of the tennis court.

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