Sports in Britain
The British like sports very much. Their native sports are football, cricket, rugby, tennis, table-tennis, badminton, canoeing and others. The first rules for such sports as boxing, golf, hockey, yachting and horse-racing also originated fromBritain. In fact they like watching sports more than playing them.
Football is the most popular game. Football, or soccer, is an example of a professional game. The game of football was first played in Britain, and later people began to play it in other countries. There are many amateur soccer players in Britain who play the game on Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Amateur clubs often play against professionals. Almost every school has its football team and every boy in Britain knows a lot about the game. He can tell you the names of the players in the most important teams, he has pictures of them and knows the results of many matches.
The Football Association drew up the rules of the modern game in 1863 and in 1888 12 clubs joined together to form the first Football League.England won the World Cup in 1966.Rugby and football became two separate sports when the Football Association said that only the goalkeeper could handle the ball.
Football is a team sport, usually played outdoors, on a football pitch, with a round football, a goal, with two teams of 11 players, and a goalkeeper. You play a game of football or a football match.
Rugby is another popular British sport which is played in other countries. It is also called rugby football. The story is told that in 1823 boys at Rugby school inEngland were playing football in the normal way, when suddenly one boy picked the ball up and ran with it. That was how a new game was born. There are two forms of rugby football: the amateur game and the professional game.
Two kinds of rugby are played inBritain. Rugby Union is played by amateurs in teams of15 inthe south ofEnglandand inWales(where it is the national sport). Rugby League is played by professionals in teams of13 inthe north ofEngland.
Rugby is a team sport, played outdoors, on a rugby pitch, with an oval rugby ball, and two teams of 15 players. You play a game of rugby or a rugby match.
Cricket is the favorite summer sport. Amateur cricket has the same rules as the professional game. A typical amateur cricket match takes place on a village green, an open space in the centre of the village. It is played between two teams — the “home” team and the “visitors” who come from another village.
Cricket is very much the English game. A match can take five days – and still end in a draw. A form of cricket was being played 250 years ago.
Cricket is a team game, usually played outdoors, on a cricket pitch, with a bat, a cricket ball, and stumps. There are 11 players on each team. You play a cricket match.
Golf was probably invented inHolland, but has been played inScotland for at least 400 years. At first, it was played with balls made of wood, then of leather stuffed with feathers.
Usually played by individuals, golf is played on a golf course, using several types of golf clubs and a golf ball. You play a game of golf or a round of golf.
Tennis is also one of the most popular sport games inBritain. The first rules for tennis were drawn up by the All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club when it held its first tournament in theLondon suburb ofWimbledon in 1877.Wimbledon is still the world’s most famous tennis event.
Tennis is a racquet sport played by either two players (singles) or two pairs (doubles). It is played on a court divided by a net with racquets and a tennis ball. You play a game of tennis or a tennis match.
Next to football, the main spectator sport in Britainis horse-racing. A lot of people are interested in the races and risk money on the horse which they think will win.Britain is also famous for motor-car racing, boat-racing, dog-racing, and even races for donkeys. The famous boat-race between the teams ofOxford andCambridge attracts large crowds of people.
Sports in America
Americans pay much attention to physical fitness. Many sports and sporting activities are popular in the USA. People take part in swimming, skating, skiing, squash and badminton, tennis, marathons, bowling, archery etc. But five main American sports are hockey, volleyball, baseball, football and basketball. Basketball and volleyball were invented inAmerica.
Every high school offers its students many sports, such as wrestling, rowing, tennis and golf. There are no separate universities for sports in theUSA. Students of any higher educational establishment are trained in different kinds of sports. Many colleges and universities are famous for their sports clubs. There are sports facilities at every school.
Some unusual kinds of sports originated in America. They are wind-surfing, skate-boarding and triathlon. Triathlon includes swimming, bicycle racing and long-distance-running. Now these sports are becoming more and more popular inEurope. Indeed, a sport is a part of life of an average American.