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Sports Facts

Updated on September 1, 2010

Here are some interesting facts about sports.

Interesting Facts about Sports

Did you know until 1859, the umpire sat behind home plate in a padded rocking chair?

Babe Ruth was the first baseball player credited to ordering a bat with a knob on it. They were produced by Louisville Slugger in 1919.

Boxing was filmed for the first time in 1894 in a match between Mike Leonard and Jack Cushing.

Gymnasiums were introduced in 900BC and Greek athletes practised in the nude to the accompaniment of music. They also performed naked at the Olympic Games.

The very first Olympic race, held in 776 BC, was won by Corubus, a chef.

During a match played in Paraguay between Sportivo Ameliano and General Caballero, a total of 20 red cards were shown. Imagine 2 players left on the field!

The ancient Egyptians played a game like bowling using large stones set up as pins and small stones as a ball.

During the hundred days of the opening games at the Colosseum in Rome, in 80 A.D., over 5,000 animals were killed, including elephants, tigers, lions, elks, hyenas, hippopotamuses, and giraffes.

About 42,000 tennis balls are used in the plus-minus 650 matches in the Wimbledon Championship.

The fastest serve in a game of tennis was in 1963 by Michael Sangster. It was recorded to be 154 mile per hour!

Horse racing is one of the oldest sports around. Would you believe that it was originated by nomads around the year 4500 B.C. It is possible that the sport began before this time but 4500 B.C. is when they first started keeping written records.

Official baseball rules state that an umpire may not be replaced during a game except if he becomes ill, injured, or if he dies.

Did you know tennis was played at the Olympics until 1924, then reinstituted in 1988?

Though Russia had sent a few athletes to compete in the 1908 and 1912 Olympic Games, they did not compete again until the 1952 Games at all.

Motor boating was an official sport at the 1908 Summer Olympics.

The first (ancient) Olympic games were held in 776 B.C. The only event was a short footrace down the centre of the stadium in Olympia.

Around 600 B.C., a Greek athlete named Protiselaus threw a discus 152 feet from a standing position. Interestingly, that distance was not exceeded until over 2,500 years later, when Clarence Houser threw a discus 155 feet in 1928.

The ancient Romans first played a game like golf using bent wooden sticks and a leather ball stuffed with feathers.

Polo was played at the Olympics in 1900, 1908, 1920, 1924, and 1936.

While choosing locations for the Olympic Games, the IOC specifically gives the honor of holding the Games to a city rather than a country.

The first opening ceremonies for the Olympics were held during the 1908 Olympic Games in London.

The last Olympic gold medals that were made entirely out of gold were awarded way back in 1912.

Taiwan won the silver medal in baseball in the 1992 Olympic Games held in Spain.

Chile won the bronze medal in football in the 2000 Olympic Games held in Sydney,Australia.

Pakistan won gold medals in Rome(1960) and Mexico City(1968) Los Angeles(1984) for field hockey. Pakistan has also won 3 silver and 2 bronze in the same field hockey.

A baseball ball has exactly 108 stitches, a cricket ball has between 65 and 70 stiches.

A soccer ball is made up of 32 leather panels, held together by 642 stitches.

A Few More Facts about Sports

The first World Series was played in 1903 between Pittsburgh and Boston. The nine-game series was won by Boston 5-3.

In 1997, the teams from the American League were allowed to play in the National League, thus bringing to an end one of the oldest tradition of the game. The first inter-league game was played on 12th June, 1997.

In baseball, the umpires used to sit in padded chairs behind the home plate before 1859.

A badminton shuttle easily travels at 180 km/h (112 mph).

Saudi Arabia sent 9 athletes to the 1992 Summer Olympics which were played in Barcelona, Spain.

Until now Finland has won 2 silver and 3 bronze medals in ice hockey in Summer Olympics.

Georgia has won two gold medals in Judo and Wrestling each in the Summer Olympic Games.

Baltimore Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken, Jr. didn't miss a single game in 16 years. He played in 2,632 consecutive games from April 30, 1982 to Sept. 19, 1998.

The first live coverage of a soccer match shown on television, was in the year 1937. It was a practice match of Arsenal. The match was played at Highbury stadium.

Rotherham United goalkeeper Arthur Wharton, born in Ghana, was the first black professional player, in 1889.

The first baseball stadium built in the United States was the Forbes Field, built in Pittsburgh. It was built in 1909

The distance between the bases is exactly 90 feet in the Major League Baseball, while the distance from the pitchers mound to the home plate is 60 feet and 8 inches.

The first professional baseball league was initiated in 1871. Most of the big cities in the eastern parts of United States had a professional team representing them by the beginning of 20th century.

It is widely accepted that soccer started in the Britain.

Sheffield FC is recognized as the oldest club in all over world that was established back in 1857.

In 2005, Golf Digest calculated that the countries with most golf courses per capita, were: Scotland, New Zealand, Australia, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Canada, Wales, United States, Sweden, and England.

Boxing did not became a legal sport untill 1901.


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