1001 to 1600 in sports

By 1600, rural folk in Great Britain had begun to play early versions of cricket, football and golf. Early in the 16th century, English public houses were showing interest in bowls and real tennis, as well as dice and cards, all of which the government tried to eliminate forcefully. According to Derek Birley, it was late in the 16th century that "licensing began to replace prohibition ... a public house might be licensed to allow men of substance to engage in dice, cards, tables, bowls, and tennis on condition that there was no blaspheming or swearing, and no play before noon on working days or during hours of religious worship on Sundays".[1]

Events of years in sports
Other years
before 1001 | 1001 to 1600 | 1601 to 1700 | 1701 to 1725 | 1726 to 1730



  • c.1001–c.1100 — games that are accepted as direct predecessors to bandy have been recorded in Russian monastery records dating back to this period.[2]



  • Having been popular in both ancient Greece and ancient Rome, boxing was apparently in centuries-long decline following the rise of Christianity after the fall of the Roman Empire.[3]



  • 10 March 1301 — an expenses paid item in the English royal accounts confirms that the Edward II of England, then the Prince of Wales – aged 15, was playing a game called creag at Newenden, Kent. Despite speculation that creag was an early form of cricket, there is no supportive evidence and it is much more likely that the word is an early spelling of craic, meaning "fun and games" in general, though it does confirm that games were being played, if only among aristocrats, at the end of the 13th century.



  • 11th to 13th centuries — the most widely accepted theory about the origin of cricket is that it developed among children in south-east England sometime before 1300.
  • 17 January 1597 — a court of law in Guildford heard from a 59-year-old coroner, John Derrick, who gave witness that when he was a scholar at the "Free School at Guildford", fifty years earlier, "hee and diverse of his fellows did runne and play at creckett and other plaies [sic]" on common land which was the subject of the current legal dispute, confirming that the sport was played there by schoolboys c.1550. It is perhaps significant that cricket is the only one of the "plaies" to be specifically named.[4][5]
  • 1598 – reference to cricket in an Italian-English dictionary by Giovanni Florio. His definition of the word sgillare is: "to make a noise as a cricket, to play cricket-a-wicket, and be merry"; Florio is the first writer known to have defined "cricket" in terms of both an insect and a game.[6]






Theory of origin

  • 12th century — the most widely accepted theory is that golf (as practiced today) originates from Scotland in the 12th century with shepherds knocking stones into rabbit holes on the site now occupied by The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.[22] The real origin of golf, however, is uncertain and open to debate.[23]

Horse racingEdit


Mesoamerican ballgameEdit


  • 1528 — soon after the Spanish conquest, Hernán Cortés sent a troupe of ōllamanime (ballplayers) to Spain to perform for Charles V where they were drawn by the German Christoph Weiditz. Besides the fascination with their exotic visitors, the Europeans were amazed by the bouncing rubber balls.[29]


  1. ^ Birley, Derek (1999). A Social History of English Cricket. Aurum. pp. 4–5. ISBN 1-85410-710-0.
  2. ^ "Bandy | HockeyGods". Archived from the original on 2021-02-27. Retrieved 2021-03-09.
  3. ^ Michael Poliakoff. "Encyclopædia Britannica entry for Boxing". Britannica.com. Archived from the original on 24 March 2007. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
  4. ^ Major, John (2007). More Than A Game. London: HarperCollins. p. 19. ISBN 978-0-00-718364-7.
  5. ^ Underdown, David (2000). Start of Play. London: Allen Lane. p. 3. ISBN 0-713-99330-8.
  6. ^ Florio, Giovanni (1611). "Queen Anna's New World of Words, f. 144 and f. 198". Archived from the original on 2 February 2010. Retrieved 29 September 2008.
  7. ^ "Wooden Curling Stone". Wisconsin Historical Society. 23 February 2006. Archived from the original on 5 November 2010. Retrieved 14 October 2010.
  8. ^ @PaisleyMuseum (17 December 2018). "A Bonspiel (a curling tournament) on Castle Semple Loch at Lochwinnoch #ArchiveAdvent The earliest recorded game of…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  9. ^ "The Flemish and the game of 'curling' – Scotland and the Flemish People". flemish.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk. Archived from the original on 2021-03-03. Retrieved 2021-03-09.
  10. ^ "Hunters in the Snow, Pieter Bruegel the Elder: Interpretation, Analysis". www.visual-arts-cork.com. Archived from the original on 2020-08-06. Retrieved 2021-03-09.
  11. ^ "Curling was played in Paisley, near Glasgow, as early as 1541". 17 February 2010. Archived from the original on 26 September 2020. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  12. ^ "Provost Celebrates Curling's Roots at Paisley Abbey – Scottish Curling".
  13. ^ "History of the Game – Scottish Curling". Archived from the original on 2021-03-05. Retrieved 2021-03-09.
  14. ^ Dunning, Eric (1999). Sport Matters: Sociological Studies of Sport, Violence and Civilisation. Routledge. p. 89. ISBN 978-0-415-09378-1.
  15. ^ Dunning, Eric (1999). Sport Matters: Sociological Studies of Sport, Violence and Civilisation. Routledge. p. 88. ISBN 978-0-415-09378-1.
  16. ^ Stephen Alsford, FitzStephen's Description of London Archived 2004-03-22 at the Wayback Machine, Florilegium Urbanum, 5 April 2006
  17. ^ "Irish inventions: fact and fiction". Carlow-nationalist.ie. Archived from the original on 2012-07-29. Retrieved 2012-04-16.
  18. ^ Birley, Derek (1993). Sport and The Making of Britain. Manchester University Press. p. 32. ISBN 978-0719037597.
  19. ^ Derek Baker (England in the Later Middle Ages). 1995. Boydell & Brewer. p. 187. ISBN 978-0-85115-648-4
  20. ^ Craigie, William A. A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue: from the Twelfth Century to the End of the Seventeenth. Aberdeen University Press, Oxford University Press.
  21. ^ Halpern, J. Balls and Blood, Sports Illustrated. Vol 109, No. 4: August 4, 2008, p. 42.
  22. ^ "The R&A – Playing golf in St Andrews". Archived from the original on 2020-12-03. Retrieved 2021-03-09.
  23. ^ "Golf | sport". Archived from the original on 2021-04-15. Retrieved 2021-03-09.
  24. ^ Halliday, Stephen (3 March 2014). London's Markets: From Smithfield to Portobello Road. ISBN 9780752497396.
  25. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2021-09-16. Retrieved 2021-03-09.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  26. ^ Kay, Dr Joyce; Vamplew, Professor Wray (2 October 2012). Encyclopedia of British Horse Racing. ISBN 9781135762667. Archived from the original on 16 September 2021. Retrieved 16 September 2021.
  27. ^ "King Henry VIII and His Horses". 17 March 2020. Archived from the original on 17 January 2021. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  28. ^ "Horse Breed: Thoroughbred". 31 January 2018. Archived from the original on 12 March 2021. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  29. ^ Garza Camino, Mercedes de la; Ana Luisa Izquierdo (1980). "El Ullamaliztli en el Siglo XVI". Estudios de Cultura Náhuatl (in Spanish). 14: 315–333. ISSN 0071-1675.