On the Ori­gins of Sports

Gary Bel­sky and Neil Fine
  • From the Publisher
May 3, 2016

Our pas­sion for sports has start­ed wars, emp­tied trea­suries, end­ed mar­riages, and set cities aflame. Sports fans reg­u­lar­ly spend hun­dreds of dol­lars on tick­ets, devote entire week­ends to watch­ing games, argue with col­leagues over the great­est game and ath­lete of all time, and root for their gov­ern­ments to win the rights to host mon­ey-los­ing mega-events like the Olympics and the World Cup. What does this say about us, and how did we get here?

In their new book, On the Ori­gins of Sports, award-win­ning edi­tors Gary Bel­sky and Neil Fine set out to under­stand why and how sports have become so impor­tant to us. They gath­er the orig­i­nal rules, his­to­ry, and mis­cel­lany of the world’s 21 most pop­u­lar sports in one vol­ume, com­plete with detailed dia­grams and illus­tra­tions. By tak­ing read­ers back in his­to­ry to learn the lore behind these sports and how they have changed over time, they give fans a new con­text for watch­ing and com­pet­ing in games.

Discussion Questions